Microsoft Eats Crow, Retracts Novell Claims

Novell announced today that Microsoft has agreed to stop disseminating false statements in advertising about Novell and its NetWare products and will issue a corrective letter to address the issues. However, Novell will continue its lawsuit against Microsoft to recover financial damages the alleged false advertising caused. As reported previously, Microsoft had sent Novell customers a fake box of cereal called "Microsoft Server Crunch" that contains outrageous claims about Novell and NetWare.

"We are pleased with today's developments because Microsoft represented to a court of law that it will no longer disseminate the statements Novell contends constitute false advertising, whether on the original marketing piece in question or by any other means," said Novell Senior Vice President and General Counsel Joe LaSala. "We are also satisfied with Microsoft's agreement to send out an amended retraction to our customers. We believe this is recognition by Microsoft that its initial 'corrective action' was insufficient and shows Microsoft's initial attempt to correct its false and misleading statements about Novell was half-hearted at best. While the revised retraction is a good beginning, it does not adequately redress the harm to Novell caused by Microsoft's campaign of false statements. We are anxious to move to the next phase of the litigation where discovery will begin, and we will put together our case for damages."

Microsoft's correction letter, which will be sent to the 3000 Novell customers who received the original cereal box advertising, will include the following text. "Contrary to the statements made about Novell on the package by Microsoft, Novell has advised Microsoft that it is growing and expanding its software business, while adding significant resources to its existing consulting services business. Accordingly, Microsoft retracts its statements that Novell will not fully support NetWare, that NetWare has an 'expiration date' or that it is or will become 'obsolete,' and that NetWare will become costly and time-consuming to maintain."

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