Microsoft pays Novell half a billion

The case between Microsoft and Novell came to a conclusion today when Microsoft agreed to settle with half a billion dollars payout.

Novell was suing Microsoft over loss of business relating to Novell’s gateway product called NDS. NDS was introduced several years ago and enabled users to retain password and user management on Novell servers. With the introduction of Windows 2000 and cryptographic signing of dynamic link libraries Microsoft rendered NDS unworkable and Novell unable to maintain the product. Microsoft claim that the addition of cryptographic DLL signing was added to Windows for security reasons.

Novell claim that they indicated their intention to develop NDS on Windows NT before introducing the product. Bill Thompson, former head of networking group for NT, now Exchange Server product group manager) verbally informed Novell that Microsoft would break their product.

Microsoft’s decision to extend the security borders and thus rendering NDS unmarketable was a contributing factor in Novell’s decision to become a Linux company.

Microsoft is planning to appeal the decision made by the European Union antitrust investigation to side with Novell. Issues relating to the WordPerfect office suite in early 90’s are still outstanding.

Cited from article by Andrew Orlowski and published by the Register.