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Microsoft

MS Wins Six month reprieve on Caldera case 41

Master Switch writes "Microsoft won a six month repreive from Caldera's case against them. They initially asked for 3 months, but due to scheduling conflicts, the judge gave them six. Estimated potential damages are 1.6million if Caldera should win the case " Update: 02/19 03:19 by S : That should say 1.6 billion.
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MS Wins Six month reprieve on Caldera case

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  • 1.6 Million is a drop-in-the-bucket these dayz; 1.6 Billion sounds closer to the mark. Is there some verification of this? A URL?
  • Posted by QuantmJoe:

    Is this still relevant? Are there that many people still using DR-DOS and Win3.1? Did this just become an issue recently or has Caldera just now decided to take action?

    Joe
    Brimming with queries
  • Posted by Alonzo The Great:

    What else Can I say?

    I myself run PC-DOS 7.0 under 3.11... This case IS very important to me!
  • by gavinhall ( 33 )
    Posted by QuantmJoe:

    I wasn't asking those questions to challenge the validity of it or anything.. I was genuinely curious. The few news bits I've read on it haven't given too much background.. mostly just "The judge ruled that there would be a 6 month blah blah etc etc"

    As to the "murder someone 20 years ago" comment... I had written a reply venting some steam over the rampant use of incorrect/partly-correct analogies all over the media these days.. but Netscape crashed after "Preview" but before "Submit" :p

    Say goodnight Data...
    Joe

    -----
    "I am a jelly donut." - JFK
  • Sure. Novel lost a lot of a money, M$ gained it. Who cares if anybody uses win3.1 NOW?
  • See http://www.ddj.com/articles/1993/9309/9309d/9309d. htm
    for an article about some of MS' tech tying.
    Don't let news of MS summary judgement motions
    fool you. All parts of Caldera's case are alive
    and well. (Not that I'm biased)
  • You might want to do a little more research. One of the pillars in the case is the Win 3.1 beta. There's a little piece of code that is encrypted (to hide it's functionality) that, as the MS Exec that wanted it stated, "Put Win 3.1 on a treadmill if it didn't run on MS-DOS." (not a direct quote.) The code looks for a small unused MS-DOS specific funtion, and if not found, issues an error message about DOS versions, at which point you could expect the system to crash eventually. When they released the shipping version, they just flipped the "PerformTest" bit to 0. The code is still there.

    The guy who found this is the same guy that used to praise MS, and wrote books on "undocumented" features with MS's blessing. On his web site (anyone have a link?) he tells how you can still turn on the bit in the release version while it's running, at which point you will promptly be issued the exact error message that all the beta testing people saw. The conclusion drawn is that MS used this to scare companies doing the beta testing from using DR-DOS.
  • Whether or not DR-DOS is a viable product today is not the issue. The issue is whether MS used illegal market barriers to prevent DR-DOS from competing with MS-DOS. If Caldera can prove that MS prevented DR-DOS from gaining market share illegally, then MS owes Caldera damages. Although Caldera was not the company that developed DR-DOS, each time DR-DOS has changed hands, part of the package was any potential damages won from MS.

    I believe that there is actually a strong case against MS. Before MS's per-CPU licensing schemes DR-DOS was gaining market share. The combination of per-CPU market share and Win 3.1 refusing to run on DR-DOS, killed DR-DOS. The 1995 ruling against MS declared per-CPU licensing illegal, so that half of their argument seems solid. I don't know if they'll get anywhere with the source code arguments, I'd think MS would remove any damaging code before turning over the source.

    I wouldn't mind a $1.6 billion dead horse. :-)

  • I've been assuming, quite jadedly, the MS wouldn't be able to produce the code and environment to rebuild identical binaries (even if they wanted to). Presumably Caldera has already presented the disassembled section of code in question, in less of course they felt bound by the EULA. :-)
  • Is this still relevant?

    Well, its in the news today, in all likelyhood, due to the DOJ trail. However, Caldera has been trying to get this to trial for a number of years now. Remember, M$ has about 20Billion dollars. That buys quite a lot of lawyers and they (M$) could drag this case out for another 20 years.

  • The bad thing about this is they pushed it off into 2000, when we all know civilization is going to come to an end ;-)

    I just hope that they don't show up in court after all the delays and say that it's now irrelevant. This thing has dragged on for so long.. On the other hand, the anti-trust trial should be over then, so Caldera should additional ammo

  • Arguing that Windows 9x is just a "GUI" (as if it was KDE or something), is a little silly. Windows does all of the memory and device managment on a modern computer.

    DOS is only used for bootstrapping and for legacy driver support under 9x. (Wait, that's all DOS was ever used for!) It should be given away.
  • Methinks that Micro$oft is just looking to push this case back in an attempt to use the time factor to dilute Caldera's case impact. This has been dragging on since 1996.
  • This was an issue when Digital Research owned DR-DOS. Digital Research "went away" and Novell bought much of their technology, including DR-DOS. As you know, there's no love lost between the boys in Orem and the gang in Redmond.

    Novell started the legal rumblings some time ago (circa Win 3.1) when they claimed that Microsoft implemented changes to the code that specifically targeted DR-DOS and would not allow Windows to operate on top of that OS. Legal wheels grind and legal wheels churn. In the meantime, Caldera was created by Big Cheeses at Novell, ostensibly to focus on things like open software, however they also bought DR-DOS...and the pending legal action.

    In fact, for quite a while, Caldera was really talking up the legal action...just short of the point of claiming the damages that they sought as an asset.

    DR-DOS isn't what it used to be since the market has changed (in fact, the source code is freely available), but Caldera still perceives that Microsoft has damaged them. Maybe they have and maybe they haven't, but this is one of those cases that just cries, "Publicity!" It did when DR had it, it did when Novell had it, and it still does for Caldera. Unfortunately, as time has gone by, the stakes have gone down. The relevance of the case is still timely due to the "issues" that MS has with the DOJ, but not because of any particular demand for the software. While there are still a few people who use it, I think that it's safe to say that it's a dead horse. (apologies to the die hard DR-DOS users.)

    HardCase [uswest.net]
  • Oops, it was late, thanks for noting that
  • #1-- Why does this have to benefit Linux in order to be worthwhile? I don't recall this site being a Linux site; it's a "news for nerds" site that addresses technology issues. Not everything here will be about Linux.

    #2-- Just because you get an API does not mean you have legal rights to do whatever you want with them. I am not at liberty to disclose arrangements we have made with Novell regarding APIs for NetWare, but suffice it to say that we do not own these APIs nor can we do just any ol' thing with them. Novell has more to do with these things than you seem to acknowledge; it's their property, after all, not ours.

    #3-- I prefer not to discuss Caldera's lawsuit in public (not that I can speak with much authority on it because it's being handled in different "Caldera" from ours), but suffice it to say this lawsuit is not frivolous, and even if Linux will not benefit from it, that does not make it a worthless lawsuit.

    #4-- The maintenance program only applies to our high end products. Currently, the only high end server product we offer is OpenLinux Standard 1.2. OpenLinux 1.3 is a retail product and, for the time being, is being used as the maintenance vehicle for keeping OpenLinux Standard 1.2 up to date (none of the commercial offerings in Standard 1.2 have been updated beyond the NetWare client/admin utilities, and they are now included in OpenLinux 1.3). This is why the maintenance program still says it covers OpenLinux Standard 1.2. 1.3 customers can not purchase maintenance because maintenance is not meant for the retail product.

    #5-- The Q1 maintenance CD -- OpenLinux 1.3.1 -- has been out for a short while and is in the hands of maintenance customers. If you have not received your copy, I would suggest you contact our sales department and see what the problem may be. The maintenance program is definitely not being neglected.



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