09.08.08

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Caldera-Microsoft Exposé Begins

Posted in Antitrust, Courtroom, Law, Microsoft, Novell, SCO, SUN at 6:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yesterday we wrote about the Caldera settlement because Groklaw had obtained the details of a mysterious settlements. It now proceeds to further details and pinpoints a site that we mentioned here before. A lot of legal material is available out there, so although Microsoft tried to destroy it, it can be resurrected. Pamela seems up to the task.

The Caldera v. Microsoft Docket – All the Documents To Be Found, So Far

[...]

There is also a web site I’ve linked to before, where they have a collection of some more of the missing documents. And in the previous article I did on it, I told the rest of the story regarding the destruction of the documents by Canopy, and Sun’s intervention to save some of them. Perhaps they’ll get dragged into this mess too.

The web site is MaxFrame Corporation’s, where you can also find some materials about Digital Research, Dr. Gary Kildall, and a History of MS-DOS. Scroll down on the home page to the link for “The Full Story” and you’ll find all the documents they have. For example, here’s the Complaint, the Amended Complaint, a Caldera January 10, 2000 press release announcing that Microsoft had decided to settle, and a Joe Barr January 2000 LinuxWorld article, Details are scarce, but the settlement looks to be a humbling defeat for Microsoft.

It’s going to be very interesting to see what Microsoft desperately tried to hide, paying Novell tens of millions of dollars in the process.

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4 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    September 8, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Gravatar

    I remember some years back, within a few short months after the Borland lawsuit was dragged up on Yahoo news (don’t remember what the article(s) was about precisely) and discussed on Yahoo reader comments (back when Yahoo allow such comments) that the link to the Borland lawsuit went dead. I may have saved a copy, but certainly I was not able to find that webpage when I did look for it on a few occasions thereafter.

    The matter was settled out of court. The precise violations alleged involved California anti-competition laws about what a company can’t do such as attempt to deplete a competitor of its (key?) employees. Monopoly issues weren’t even involved here. The precise target was that guy (Hiej….?) that developed the core of dotnet (and/or C#), who was a star for years while at Borland, as well as many of his associates also at Borland.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 8, 2008 at 8:03 am

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    You might find the following handy (some of them are recent):

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/08/08/borland-international-lesson/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/08/07/borland-brain-drain-vacuum/
    http://boycottnovell.com/comes-vs-microsoft/text/msg00067.html

  3. Jose_X said,

    September 8, 2008 at 8:49 am

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    This isn’t the actual Borland suit, but it covers some details: http://news.cnet.com/2009-1023-229218.html The story is from 1999.

    >> Yocam claimed that in a 30-month time frame, Microsoft hired 34 of the ailing software developer’s key employees with huge signing bonuses, some in excess of $1 million. “They have the audacity to send limos to Borland’s headquarters to take Borland employees out to lunch,” he said at the time.
    >> While the suit was later settled, the damage had been done….

    I just found this http://www.secinfo.com/drdbh.81th.htm

    >> On May 7, 1997, the Company filed a lawsuit against Microsoft Corporation
    (“Microsoft”) in the California Superior Court in Santa Clara County. The
    lawsuit charges Microsoft with unfair competition in violation of California
    law. The lawsuit focuses on the recruiting and hiring of Borland employees by
    Microsoft with the alleged purpose of damaging Borland’s ability to compete with
    Microsoft and seeks unspecified monetary damages and an injunction against
    Microsoft’s practices.

    It may be possible that the webpage I mentioned earlier can be found somewhere (or the equivalent based on court documents), but it was interesting that at least at the time that the bad publicity hit the air (early days of dotnet/mono), that this particular page disappeared. Microsoft had invested in Borland by then, and they certainly didn’t want a bad image for this young technology, themselves, or their employees, especially since MSdotnet was being laughed at by everyone and their dog at that point in time.

    The following is also interesting though I post it not intending to portray any wrongdoing: http://www.foxprohistory.org/ashton_sues_fox.htm

    >> Microsoft’s merge with Fox Software was well timed. The two companies had been in negotiations for three years, but talks didn’t get serious until a threatening lawsuit against Fox Softwarec was lifted. The suit was filed in 1988 by Ashton-Tate, which Borland acquired in 1991. Ironically, after Borland acquired Ashton-Tate, the company dropped the suit under pressure from the Justice Department and promised not to file a similar suit for ten years, clearing the way for Microsoft’s acquisition.
    >> The day the news broke, Borland’s stock dropped by 10 percent, and the downward spiral had begun. For the next three years, Borland executives would spend all of their time and energy battling Microsoft.

    and again from http://news.cnet.com/2009-1023-229218.html
    >> In retrospect, Kahn said Microsoft’s key weapon on both the database and tools front was price. “The fundamental problem I had at Borland was that I was trying to sell what Microsoft was giving away,” Kahn told CNET News.com. “Everyone always agreed that Borland built the best technology, but how much better did the technology continue to have to be to compete with what essentially was free software?”

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 8, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Gravatar

    Groklaw seems to have some material about this.

    None is mentioned in the headline though, so I assume there’s no cohesive analysis. Court documents would be handy.

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