Even if Microsoft Corp. officers all the way up to Bill Gates did engage in anti-competitive practices in the mid-'90s, Novell Inc. made poor decisions that led to the decline of the Utah company, an attorney said Tuesday as a federal court trial opened that pits the two companies in a high-stakes lawsuit.
David Tulchin denied in opening arguments in Salt Lake City that Microsoft had engaged in anti-competitive behavior. But even if it had, he said, the Provo-based company was to blame for a $1 billion loss related to Novell's mid-'90s purchase of faltering WordPerfect and the spreadsheet Quattro Pro in a bid to go head-to-head with the software giant.
During the first full day of what's expected to be a seven-week trial in the lawsuit brought by Novell, the attorney asked the 12-member jury not to award any money. WordPerfect and then Novell failed to grasp until it was too late that the graphical operating systems that began with Apple and then Microsoft's Windows 3.0 were the future of personal computing, he argued. The Utah companies were slow adapting their software, he added, also pointing out that Novell had waited 10 years after it was allegedly harmed to file the suit.