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Microsoft not allowed to sell Word

VileReynard
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Posts: 11,205
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Microsoft not allowed to sell Word

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8197990.stm
Quote
A US federal court has ordered Microsoft to pay over $290m (£175m) for wilfully infringing on a patent by Canadian firm i4i.
The patent relates to the use of XML, a mark-up language that allows formatting of text and makes files readable across different programs.
XML is integral to Microsoft's flagship word processing software Word.
Texas district court judge Leonard Davis also filed an injunction preventing Microsoft from selling Word.
The row specifically relates to the use of Extensible Mark-up Language, or XML, documents.

Quote
In a separate injunction, the court prohibited Microsoft from "selling, offering to sell, and/or importing in or into the United States" any version of the software that can open custom XML files (with file extensions .xml, .docx, or .docm).
  Grin

5 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Microsoft not allowed to sell Word

So look out for a new Office 'E' soon (or some other letter).
(Which sounds like an upgrade, but just the bits upsetting the court taken out).
What do we reckon for the letter then, a 1 in 26 chance of being right Smiley
David_W
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Registered: ‎19-07-2007

Re: Microsoft not allowed to sell Word

From what I've read, Open Office also uses the same "patent" to do with XML.  Nothing really is going to happen to MS though, they will appeal and have a stay of execution so they can continue to sell Word, the "trial" will go on for a few years costing the litigator a fortune in legal costs, before MS either wins or pays out an undisclosed sum of money for a licence.  If Open Office however *does* use the same technology, it will bite them harder than MS, I can't see OO paying out millions to licence the patent, which means that OO will not be able to read Word compatible files which of course means people having to switch back to MS Word to read word files.
So I think this is one where the open source enthusiasts should stand in Microsofts corner against the patent as a loss for MS will directly effect an OS product, and as the patent is for a way to read the XML files that Word produces, it would be impossible for an open source workaround the patent as reading the XML file is the patent itself.
VileReynard
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Microsoft not allowed to sell Word

Since the patent dates from 1998, presumably Office 97 files - (the interchange format effectively) are acceptable. Grin
I've found that these .docx files etc are a pain - any imported M$ files have all been .doc files (at least for me).

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Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Microsoft not allowed to sell Word

That is one reason I have Open Office as well as Office 2003.
The MS addon for 2003 to open DocX involves adding a load of Office 2007 files along with all it's security patches as Windows Update sees it as a full Word 2007 installation whereas Open Office handles DocX without problems
snozboz
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Registered: ‎27-07-2007

Re: Microsoft not allowed to sell Word

I thought XML was an international standard, and so therefore "open" in its nature.  Coz isn't XML the markup language of which HTML is a special subset?  So presumably the W3C are involved...?
The problem, of course, with Microsoft's use of XML is they have customised it with their own proprietary stuff (like they did with HTML) so it isn't enough to comply with the standard to be able to use a Microsoft .docx file (or whatever).