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Sam Penrod ReportingA company with a strong Utah presence is getting a big payoff from software giant Microsoft. Novell will be paid more than half a billion dollars to settle a legal challenge over software.
It's been a bitter dispute between Novell and Microsoft, but $536 million is a lot of money and today Novell is claiming victory. And Novell remains one of Utah County's biggest employers so the news here is very good.
This whole dispute has been going on for years, back to the mid 1990's when Novell accused Microsoft of using Windows to dominate the market and prevent Novell's Net Ware from being able to compete.
This was settled when Novell agreed to pull out of anti-trust litigation in the European Union, where Microsoft is accused of becoming a monopoly with computer technology. The $536 million is about half of what Novell has been generating in sales a year, so the company says the settlement will be a big help.
Kevan Barney, Novell: "It's going to be used to run the company and obviously we'll be able to more effectively reach our corporate goals and do the things we want to do, which is good for employees in Provo and the Utah economy. It's a real boon for us."
Novell employs six thousand people around the world. Two thousand of those workers are in Provo, where much of the company's software is still developed.
But the legal fight between Novell and Microsoft isn't over yet. Novell plans to file suit later this week, claiming Microsoft illegally interfered with Novell's marketing of WordPerfect, also back in the 1990's. So far Microsoft says it won't settle that case.