Closing arguments concluded today in Novell's antritrust case against Microsoft, some seven years after Novell's formal complaint. Juries are now set to begin deliberating on whether Microsoft's alleged anti-competitive behavior dating back to the launch of Windows 95 caused Novell's WordPerfect software to lose marketshare to Word. Novell claims that Microsoft encouraged the company to prepare WordPerfect in time for the Windows 95 launch, only to pull support for it at the last minute to give Word a competitive edge. Novell's value dropped from $1.2 billion to $170 million in less than two years before the company was sold to Corel in 1996, and the company claims Microsoft's anti-competitive actions are responsible for this drop.
For its part, Microsoft lays the blame at Novell for failing to properly develop the application — Bill Gates testified last month that his company pulled support for WordPerfect in advance of the Windows 95 launch because it wasn't running properly and he was afraid it would crash the operating system. While we don't know who the jury will side with, it looks like we're finally getting close to a resolution more than 15 years in the making.