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Utah Uprising: Novell's Noorda Took On Microsoft Early

Jun 27, 2000, 03:06 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paula Rooney, Darryl K. Taft)

"A handful of powerful Utahns -- including Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Ray Noorda, former Novell CEO and president of venture capital firm The Canopy Group, Provo -- have not overlooked who fostered the decline of their state's early IT prominence. Without their prodding, the Microsoft antitrust case and court-ordered breakup might never have happened."

"Jim Barksdale, former CEO of Netscape, and Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems (stock: SUNW), are usually credited with leading the charge against Microsoft. But Noorda and Hatch used Capitol Hill and state courtrooms early on to air their feelings about Microsoft's power, opening the door for the U.S. Department of Justice to file its case in May 1998."

"Noorda, at least, had something that Microsoft didn't: political connections. He used them, and his own cash, to bring Microsoft down, sources say. ... He was also at least partially responsible for the first antitrust settlement against Microsoft on the books. ... When the judge ruled three years later that the case would go to a jury trial, Microsoft, swamped with the federal case, settled it out of court for $250 million."

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