Caldera courts source code issue again

Caldera Inc., claiming that Microsoft Corporation has not fulfilled a federal ruling and turned over all of the source code for DOS and Windows, is heading to court once again. The company says that Microsoft has failed to turn over all of the source code required by the court order.

"Microsoft didn't deliver all the source code," said Caldera CEO Bryan Sparks. "They said they couldn't find some of the Windows 95 and DOS source code we requested. They said they couldn't find Q-DOS-which Microsoft calls the crown jewels--the product Microsoft (originally) bought from Seattle Computer."

In February, a federal court required Microsoft to turn over all of its source code for DOS, Windows 3.1, and Windows 95 to lawyers and technical witnesses representing Caldera. Following a complaint from Caldera that the order had not been followed, a Federal judge in July gave Microsoft five days to comply. Now Caldera is saying that while Microsoft did turn over part of the code within five days, much is missing.

"The part they did give us, they provided within five days," Sparks says. But we probably will \[have to\] file a formal complaint to get the rest."

Caldera, which bought the DOS-compatible DR-DOS from Novell in 1996, has inherited a lawsuit that was originally owned by Digital Research, which marketed DR-DOS as a better DOS than DOS in the early 1990s. Microsoft allegedly built code into Windows 3.1 that would detect DR-DOS and give out false error messages or refused to work properly.

"We allege in our complaint that Microsoft added an incompatibility to the Christmas beta \[of Windows 3.1\], designed to make it incompatible with other operating systems," says Sparks. "But this is just one of many of our claims."

Sparks claims to know of "killer, smoking gun documents" that prove his claims, but he is reluctant to talk to the press about them at this time. His company also sells a Linux-based operating system

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