Claiming that Microsoft failed to provide all of the DOS and Windows source code required by the judge overseeing its private antitrust suit against the company, Caldera is poised to ask the judge to compel the software giant to turn over the rest of the source code in question.
"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 bought from Seattle Computer." In February, federal judge Ron Boyce requested Microsoft to turn over, under protective order, DOS, Windows 3.X and Windows 95 source code to Caldera's lawyers and expert witnesses. In July, following Caldera's motion to compel Microsoft to comply, the judge gave Microsoft five days to deliver the source code in question.
"The part they did give us, they provided within five days. But we probably will file a formal complaint to get the rest," said Sparks. Caldera is embroiled in a legal battle with Microsoft which is expected to go to trial next June. Caldera sued Microsoft for alleged anti-competitive behaviour in 1996, claiming that Microsoft had unfairly monopolised the DOS market. The case was expanded to include the alleged tying of DOS and Windows 95 in February of this year.
Microsoft officials did not return calls requesting comment by press time. But in a protective order motion filed in August in the U.S. Department of Justice vs. Microsoft case, Microsoft claimed that the plaintiff in Caldera sought a relatively small portion of the source code for Windows 95. While Caldera's complaints against Microsoft are not currently part of the DoJ vs. Microsoft case, Caldera's complaint alleges that Microsoft knowingly introduced incompatibilities into Windows 3.1 in order to stifle competition., a charge levied by author Wendy Goldman Rohm in her upcoming book, The Microsoft File: The Secret Case Against Bill Gates.
"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," confirmed Sparks. " But this is just one of many of our claims."
Sparks declined to comment on other "killer, smoking gun documents" pertaining to Microsoft's competitive strategy that Caldera has obtained by subpoenaing Microsoft, citing protective order protections.