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Bill Gates: Microsoft Word was better than WordPerfect

Bill Gates defended Microsoft in the Novell antitrust case on Monday, stating that Microsoft Word was better than WordPerfect. Gates testified on behalf of his company in an old antitrust case with Novell that revolves around Windows 95, Microsoft Word, and WordPerfect.

Apparently, Novell claims that Microsoft purposely delayed releasing Windows 95 in order to harm Novell’s WordPerfect application software business, back in the 1990s, in an attempt to crust the competition when it came to the Office Productivity market. Microsoft, however, continues to argue that the delay had nothing to do with Novell, instead, was because the company needed more time to decide on what features to include in the operating system. On top of that, Novell also sued Microsoft for violating antitrust laws by having arrangements with other computer makers. Those allegations were dropped, except for a few, which include the delayed releasing of Windows 95.

During his testimony today in court, Gates stated that Novell couldn’t deliver a Windows 95 compatible WordPerfect program in time for the rollout of the operating system, so Microsoft went with its own Word software. Gates also stated that Word was infact better than WordPerfect. By 1994, Microsoft’s Word was ranked #1 in the market, above WordPerfect.

Microsoft also had to eliminate a technical feature that would have supported WordPerfect due to the potential crash it would cause to the operating system. “We were making trade-offs,” Gates stated.

Microsoft argued that Novell missed the opportunity and that it was their fault. Microsoft had no obligation to give a competitor a “leg up.”

Microsoft is calling Novell’s claims “groundless” and is seeking a dismissal.

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