Responding to allegations by Novell that it had tried to disparage the company, Microsoft yesterday said that it had already tried to address Novell's concerns by halting the shipments of the offending promotional materials and issuing new clarifying statements. Microsoft says that it hopes that Novell will take these efforts in good faith, though of course, Novell is now suing Microsoft for making false and misleading statements about Novell and its products. Novell is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a corrective advertising campaign by Microsoft.
The problems started when Microsoft sent a mock cereal box called "Microsoft Server Crunch" to Novell customers that included false statements about Novell exiting the software business and Novell software expiring. "The box made some representations that Novell took issue with," a Microsoft spokesperson said, noting that Microsoft hated cereal box shipments and sent out notes clarifying and correcting the statements after Novell complained. "Apparently these actions have not satisfied Novell. We will review the lawsuit when we receive it and respond accordingly."
"We regret any inconvenience to these customers and hope that Novell views our efforts to address their concerns in good faith," the spokesperson added. Novell, however, obviously wasn't impressed with Microsoft's responses. "Microsoft hasn't acknowledged that the statements were false and they haven't said they would not use them any more," a Novell spokesperson said. "That's where the problem lies."
Microsoft has historically competed quite aggressively, though its competitors and critics argue that the company has often crossed the line. As a result, Microsoft has been under almost constant legal scrutiny for the past ten years, resulting in one of the country's most infamous antitrust cases, which is still making its way through the courts.