Microsoft has backed down and retracted critical statements about Novell and NetWare 6 after the networking company filed a false advertising lawsuit.
Novell had objected to 'The Microsoft Server Crunch', a cereal box-like marketing mailout attacking Novell. It included statements, such as: "You're left with a server platform without the full support of its manufacturer," which related to a recent merger between Cambridge Technology Partners and Novell. A further statement claimed that NetWare 6 has an "expiration date".
Lawyers were sent in and Microsoft has now agreed to stop disseminating the statements. The Redmond giant admitted to sending the mailer to around 3000 Novell customers.
Microsoft is also to send a retraction letter along with corrective information to the same Novell customers which received the original false statements in the marketing campaign. Novell has said that it will continue to pursue the lawsuit to recover damages.
Microsoft's letter says that the company "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".
Joe LaSala, Novell's senior vice president, said he was "satisfied with Microsoft's agreement to send out a retraction to our customers". But he added: "While the 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."
Separately, Novell released an updated version of its iChain security software this week, boasting better user access control to protect networks from internal hacks.
Although not typically a security player, Novell hopes that the significant 177 million users of its Directory Services technology, which forms the basis of its access control system, will be able to help change that.
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