Microsoft’s Bill Gates returns to the witness stand on Nov. 22 to defend his company against a $1 billion antitrust lawsuit that claims the software giant tricked a competitor into huge losses and soared onto the market with Windows 95, reports the Associated Press. Utah-based Novell Inc. sued Microsoft in 2004. The company says Gates duped it into thinking he would include its WordPerfect writing program in the new Windows system, then backed out because he feared it was too good. Novell said it was later forced to sell WordPerfect for a $1.2 billion loss. Gates testified Nov. 21 that Microsoft was racing to put out Windows 95 when he dropped technical features that no longer would support the rival’s word processor because engineers warned it would crash the system. Windows 95 was a major innovation, and Gates said he had his mind on larger issues. “We worked super hard. It was the most challenging, trying project we had ever done,” the Microsoft co-founder said, adding that Novell just couldn’t deliver a Windows 95 compatible WordPerfect program in time for rollout, and Microsoft’s own Word program was actually better. He said that by 1994, Microsoft Word was rated No. 1 in the market above WordPerfect. WordPerfect once had nearly 50 percent of the market for computer writing programs, but its share quickly plummeted to less than 10 percent as Microsoft’s own office programs took hold…

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staff and wire services reports