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Go get ’em, SCO!

I’m sure you’ve read it 4.3 billion other places already, but Microsoft has been granted a patent on double-clicking.

Well, there’s something you probably have only read a few hundred other places. Apple obviously had people double-clicking more than a year before Microsoft did, seeing as Windows 1.0 was released in November 1985 and the first Macintosh shipped in early 1984. Commodore had Amigans double-clicking by the summer of 1985. So did Atari.

Guess who supplied Atari with its operating system, since Jack Tramiel failed to swindle his way into ownership of the Amiga?

Digital Research, that’s who. DR provided Atari with a version of CP/M-68K, with its GEM GUI running on top of it. Atari marketed the bundle as TOS, for Tramiel OS.

Digital Research got crushed by the Microsoft juggernaut a few years later and eventually sold out to Novell. Novell then attempted to compete head-on with Microsoft (buying up its Utah neighbor, WordPerfect, and part of Borland in the process) and failed spectacularly. Smelling a rat–Novell believed Microsoft sabotaged some of its applications so they would not run under DR-DOS–it then pawned the Digital Research portfolio off on Caldera, a Linux company run by former Novell executives. The catch? Caldera had to turn around and sue Microsoft. Which they did, successfully.

A few more years later, The Santa Cruz Operation, a small Unix firm, wanted out. It sold its Unix-on-Intel business, as well as the rights to the old AT&T Unix (purchased from Novell, ironically) to Caldera, who soon changed its name to The SCO Group to reflect this business.

Yes, this is the same SCO who is now on a legal rampage, suing anything that moves.

Now, whether Novell or SCO is the more rightful owner of the double-click “innovation” is arguable. But such matters never seem to matter to SCO. It’s a frivolous lawsuit, but Darl McBride and Co. have made frivolous and baseless lawsuits into an art form.

Go get ’em, Darl.

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