backtop


Print 103 comment(s) - last by .. on Aug 30 at 11:07 AM

Company also says that the ban will cause it "irreparable" harm

I4i's victory in its patent infringement case against Microsoft was a slap in the face for the Redmond juggernaut.  Not only did a judge order $290M USD in damages be awarded to i4i for Microsoft's violation of its XML patents, but it also ordered Microsoft to stop selling Word, in its current form, until a final verdict is reached.  Word currently uses the Office Open XML (OOXML) format, which infringes on i4i's patent.

As the days roll by and Microsoft's 60-day compliance windows closes, the company is pleading with courts to lift the injunction.  It says that if the injunction is not lifted it will likely be forced to stop selling Microsoft Office for several months. 

Writes Microsoft's defense team, "Microsoft and its distributors face the imminent possibility of a massive disruption in their sales. If left undisturbed, the district court’s injunction will inflict irreparable harm on Microsoft by potentially keeping the centerpiece of its product line out of the market for months. The injunction would block not only the distribution of Word, but also of the entire Office suite, which contains Word and other popular programs."

Some are puzzled, though, as to why Microsoft would stop selling Office, rather than simply changes it file format and distinguishing between the current and XML-less editions.  States Barry Negrin, a partner with the New York firm Pryor Cashman LLP who has practiced patent and trademark law for 17 years, "All Microsoft has to do is disable the custom XML feature, which should be pretty easy to do, then give that a different SKU number from what’s been sold so it’s easy to distinguish the two versions."

In the unlikely event that Microsoft does indeed carry through on its claim to stop selling Office, it could prove a headache for consumers and businesses, who rely on the software's functionality.  However, light-weight alternatives such as Open Office 3 (which nears Office 2007 in functionality) and Google Docs could get a brief boost if Microsoft Office disappeared for several months -- a prospect that has some excited.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Interesting...
By MrBlastman on 8/20/2009 12:16:43 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
"All Microsoft has to do is disable the custom XML feature, which should be pretty easy to do, then give that a different SKU number from what’s been sold so it’s easy to distinguish the two versions."


While that sounds all easy and dandy, making a change to an enterprise software product is never trivial. Anytime you touch code, you open the door to the possibility of new bugs and problems. With a product such as this that businesses rely on, that means Microsoft will have to:

a. Re-test the product
b. Finalize a new code set
c. Issue that set to the factory to make new copy that can be sold
d. Box up new copy and ship it to the stores while warehousing all the old copy

All of this... costs MONEY. It isn't trivial. It is far less expensive for a short while to stop sales until the Lawyers can figure things out.

This isn't even considering what incompatiblities might be dug up by having two different format supporting versions of the same year of Office out in the wild.

The company that requested the injunction on Microsoft is a bunch of greedy scumbags, plain and simple (unless Microsoft belligerently abused a legit patent). This stinks of SCO once again.




RE: Interesting...
By brybir on 8/20/2009 12:27:09 PM , Rating: 4
Sometimes I think we here in the comments think that everyone else is stupid.

We see things like "the change is trivial" or "if they knew what they were doing they would"

The above poster is right. One of Microsoft's flagship products has an injunction placed upon it by a federal court. It either has the choice of working around the infringing use or stop selling the product. This could and probably will cost Microsoft billions of dollars either way. You can be certain they are in panic mode over at Microsoft from the lowest level coder to the CEO, and probably most of their in house and outside legal teams.

They will have to decide what to do. My guess is that they are banking on an appeals court putting a hold on the injunction as recent patent litigation at the Supreme Court and Federal Circuit has really moved away from issuing injunctions that cause "Irreperable Harm" in favor of cash settlements and long term workouts.

So we shall see what happens. All in all I think its a win for most of us that have been avidly against software and business method patents. This lawsuits is just another example of some of the absurd results. Maybe Microsoft losing a billion dollars here or there will help it change its stance on software patents.


RE: Interesting...
By MadMan007 on 8/20/2009 12:46:16 PM , Rating: 4
<q>All in all I think its a win for most of us that have been avidly against software and business method patents.</q>

Did you mean it's a win for those who don't like MS? Because this is just a different company doing the same type of software patent litigatoin against MS.

Or do you mean the potential impact of the case might finally make more people realize software patents need to be improved?


RE: Interesting...
By mars777 on 8/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting...
By MrWho on 8/21/2009 11:12:19 AM , Rating: 2
[quote]
Because this is just a different company doing the same type of software patent litigatoin against MS.
[/quote]

Oh, the sweet irony! :)


RE: Interesting...
By Motoman on 8/20/2009 12:54:40 PM , Rating: 5
...having worked in the software industry for about 17 years, let me just call BS on this one.

Yes, generally speaking, making a change to a program involves a lot of regression testing and other QA fun.

But in this case, I do think it would be pretty trivial for MS to just make unavailable the format in question. Just remove it from the options in the file dialog. Wouldn't take them much to do that. Or to verify it didn't break anything.

Anyway, I wonder why MS doesn't just pony up the money that i4i wants, to keep selling the produt as-is, and then file suit claiming that the patent is unenforceable to get their money back. $290M is pocket change for MS.

...either way, there's not a chance in hell that MS is actually going to pull Word from the market. No chance at all...this is just blustering on their part.


RE: Interesting...
By Xavier434 on 8/20/2009 1:11:06 PM , Rating: 5
I tend to side with you on this one too. If MS has coded Office efficiently enough then this kind of change shouldn't cost them so much money that it is worth even considering stalling the sales of the entire suite.

I think they are bluffing.


RE: Interesting...
By Spivonious on 8/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting...
By Xavier434 on 8/20/2009 1:59:26 PM , Rating: 2
That doesn't mean that the structure of the code is 15 years old though. It just means that a lot of the concepts and some of the design is 15 years old.

I am not saying you are wrong necessarily, but it just seems highly unusual that a product so popular and so seasoned would be so costly and difficult to implement this specific kind of change. Even more importantly, it seems even less likely that the cost to do so would greatly exceed that of refusing to sell the whole sweet for several months.


RE: Interesting...
By Samus on 8/21/09, Rating: 0
RE: Interesting...
By Fritzr on 8/21/2009 5:44:43 AM , Rating: 4
Do a little research before spouting off. i4i is a real company, they have real products and a real patent that was issued to them for a concept they use in their own product.

If you had even read this article and nothing else you would have noticed that Microsoft discussed this patent with i4i BEFORE infringing on it and also that the court felt that Microsoft was attempting to use their financial might to bury a smaller company that failed to settle for Microsoft's offer.

Microsoft had 3 choices
1) License the patent
2) Not use the method described in the patent
3) Infringe the patent and hope i4i could not afford the cost of taking Microsoft to court

Microsoft chose #3 and lost the bet.


RE: Interesting...
By Samus on 8/21/2009 10:35:34 AM , Rating: 5
I'm affraid your confused with RIM v NTP, where a patent was previously discussed and RIM lost.

Because even though i4i attempted to license the patent to Microsoft, they didn't disclose specifically what part of XML Microsoft was infringing and therefor didn't take the threat seriously. I don't have the IP documentation in front of me, nor does anybody here, but if you know anything about computer languages, I would have done the same thing Microsoft did and blew them off. You can't logically patent a feature on top of an open source language. Only a dumbass judge and jury would grant such a ridiculous judgement.

Ohh, and please, do tell us what products i4i has developed. Because if you check out their portfolio, they basically make nothing but a bunch of crappy XML software that needs...you guessed it, Microsoft software to run. Word, mostly. So I don't see how Microsoft halting shipments of Office is going to help i4i. But i4i doesn't care about selling their XML software anymore, because they're being awarded $290 million, more than they'll ever be worth.


RE: Interesting...
By AbsShek on 8/24/2009 8:03:19 AM , Rating: 2
The OOXML side of things is fairly new, and it is a general rule of thumb in software development is that if you are making feature updates to legacy code, you revise the design and modernize it as necessary.

This "old code" argument has been pulled for a lot of software by MS, and I consider it moot. They do get a lot of flak for their products, but they also have very capable developers who end up getting pushed around by marketing, directors etc (like in most software companies).*

The holding off sales looks like more of a publicity stunt than anything else.

*DISCLAIMER: I do not work for MS. Personally, I avoid their software where I can.


RE: Interesting...
By ZachDontScare on 8/20/09, Rating: 0
RE: Interesting...
By Motley on 8/20/2009 2:16:30 PM , Rating: 4
I would also like to add in that they would also likely have to change the internal product code so that patches to the original version of office don't get applied.

Of course that also means that every add-on and 3rd party add-on has to be retested to make sure they will continue to work in 2007.1 as well. Those that call office through DOM, or .NET interop libraries will need to be retested and possibly patched as well.


RE: Interesting...
By Motoman on 8/20/2009 2:32:56 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
And I'm calling BS on your calling it BS. Do you work in the commercial software industry? I do - and MrBlastman is dead on accurate with his assessment.


Yup, commercial. And again, I agree with the OP in general terms. However, if you look at what I'm suggesting, you'll see it's a pretty trivial thing.

It seems to me that all MS needs to do is to remove the offending XML-format option from the file dialogs - in particular, the Open and Save As dialogs. Just remove that option from the drop-down. That makes it impossible for anyone to use the offending functionality.

Realistically, they *should* even have the format translation functionality in discrete subroutines too - such that they could pull the whole thing with little to no effort.

And I'm not saying push it out the door with no QA at all. What I'm saying is that for something this small, and unequivocal (no one can even get to the function if you take away the GUI option to get there), the risk is exceedingly small. QA it in a week. New image for production is then ready, start using it on new disks. Issue a new SKU number.

If they're not completely lost, they've already done this anyway.

The point being that this is a relatively special case in terms of the change needed and the risk involved. Doesn't look to me like something that needs full regression testing.


RE: Interesting...
By Boze on 8/21/2009 6:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The point being that this is a relatively special case in terms of the change needed and the risk involved. Doesn't look to me like something that needs full regression testing.


That's what technical, logical people tend to think. Until something goes horribly awry. Then the old adage of the medical professions becomes the order of the day - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."


RE: Interesting...
By Smilin on 8/25/2009 5:55:23 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, you're clueless.

I'm not sure what development you do but I seriously doubt it's on the same scale as what Microsoft does.

Lets say for argument sake that they leave all the code in and simply remove the option for the menu. Easy right? Wrong.. Now you have to go and relocalize the UI for 37 different languages.


RE: Interesting...
By Xavier434 on 8/20/2009 2:34:42 PM , Rating: 1
...but will that process actually cost MS more than the loss in sales? That is really the only question at hand. No one is arguing that the process that MS has to go through to make the change doesn't cost much money.


RE: Interesting...
By Fritzr on 8/21/2009 5:56:42 AM , Rating: 4
They could have adopted an existing open standard. Instead they chose to adopt an existing proprietary standard and have it declared an open standard used only by Microsoft.

All they had to do was use the Open Office XML format or any other XML formats declared open and free of licensing fees


RE: Interesting...
By HotFoot on 8/21/2009 7:28:03 AM , Rating: 2
I guess MS is just lucky this is a Patent violation and not being covered by copyright and prosecuted by the RIAA... the fine would have been in the Billions or more, surely.


RE: Interesting...
By Smilin on 8/25/2009 6:02:06 PM , Rating: 2
Oh that's right. The Open Office XML format that is utterly incapable of storing spreadsheet formulas without...wait for it...proprietary extensions.

Open Office XML sucks. We'll see what 1.3 brings though.


RE: Interesting...
By Smilin on 8/25/2009 6:32:08 PM , Rating: 2
Forget everything I just said. All this office open openness opening xml confuses me.

I mixed up the people's front of judea with the people's judean front.


RE: Interesting...
By VaultDweller on 8/21/2009 7:53:24 AM , Rating: 4
I have a question for everyone that's remarking that making code changes to a commercial software like Office is such a monumental undertaking... do you realize that Microsoft issues patches and updates (that make code changes to Office!) pretty much every single month?


RE: Interesting...
By fleshconsumed on 8/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting...
By Motoman on 8/20/2009 8:49:30 PM , Rating: 4
...on the contrary, most if not all of that is handled by the same control. Or maybe a couple of controls.

Working with modern modular programming makes a lot of that stuff pretty easy.


RE: Interesting...
By DOSGuy on 8/20/2009 8:41:40 PM , Rating: 2
But it's pretty bizarre bluster. When I first heard about the injunction, I assumed that Microsoft would either buy a license from I4I to continuing selling Word, purchase the patent from them, or buy out the company. I4I would obviously agree to one of those options since, not having a competing product, they gain nothing from the injunction. Microsoft's admission that they will have to stop selling Office for months only raises how much money I4I can demand.

Since this admission obviously hurts their bargaining position, the only explanation I can come up with is that Microsoft is trying to scare the courts with the prospect of taking Microsoft Office away. And yes, I realize that, as a publicly traded company, Microsoft is obliged to disclose this potentially massive hit to their balance sheets, but it seems like they could have warned the public in a more subtle way. Announcing in such straightforward language their intention to pull Office seems almost like a threat.


RE: Interesting...
By Motoman on 8/20/2009 8:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
It is a threat. They're bluffing. They're hoping they can just intimidate the judge into doing what they want.

What MS needs is precisely not to get what they want...in this case, anyway. If they did knowingly break a patent, well, they need to make amends. If the patent is unenforceable, that will come out in the wash. They also need to not be able to bully a federal judge around...there's no good that can come out of that, in any way.


RE: Interesting...
By gstrickler on 8/22/2009 1:30:16 AM , Rating: 2
When you read something as absurd as this, you have to start asking questions. Why would MS make such a statement?

Option 1: They can't or are unwilling to pay the $290M? Absurd, it's practically pocket change to MS. They've got billions in cash and liquid assets, they could pay it in 24 hours if they had to.

Option 2: They can't make the required changes in time? Preposterous, they make emergency security updates, test them, and release them as critical updates in under 30 days when it's important enough. Additionally, they've known they could lose this for months or longer, they have a contingency plan that involves disabling the offending code, and if they don't, their shareholders should sue the Executives and Board of Directors for failing to perform their fiduciary responsibilities. They've probably written and tested the change already.

Option 3: They want to delay payment to i4i as long as possible and make it as financially painful as possible for i4i? A common tactic. Very probable, but not the main reason.

Option 4: It's a bluff? Playing chicken with the a judge who has already ruled against you is generally not a smart move. Despite all the stupid mistakes to come from MS, they're not stupid, especially when it comes to legal issues. Remember, Bill Gates father is a lawyer. I think it is a bluff, but you have to look deeper to see why.

Key piece of info - 60 Days from the Judge's order puts us into mid October, which is precariously close to the Christmas and end-of-year budget season whose sales are critical to distributors, retailers, and OEMs. They are the ones who would suffer "irreparable harm".

Stopping sales of Word and Office will hurt MS's OEMs, distributers, and retailers more than it will hurt MS. Stopping sales of Word and Office for 30-60 days will have a temporary impact on MS's cash flow, but most end-users will either rush to buy it before sales are suspended, or wait until they resume, and MS will end up selling about the same number of copies. Net damage to MS, very little.

However, if the OEM's can't offer the discounted OEM versions pre-installed on a computer, those OEMs lose sales of Office and/or have delayed sales of computers. User's who go ahead and buy a computer during this time and can't get Office as an OEM add-on (at OEM pricing) will either pirate it (causing MS "irreparable harm"), or will have to pay full price later (causing the consumer "irreparable harm"). You could mitigate the damage to users and MS with some type of voucher allowing a later purchase at near OEM pricing, but the OEMs may still suffer.

MS has no intention of stopping sales of Word or Office, but it's not the court they're trying to bluff. MS is trying to get the OEMs and retailers to join them in showing that the injunction will cause "irreparable harm" to them, and thus have the injunction lifted. Then they can drag it out as long as practical and make i4i wait for their money (see option 3) until MS gets around to releasing a version of Word that doesn't infringe on the patent.

P.S. None of the above implies that I think the patent is valid.


RE: Interesting...
By Smilin on 8/25/2009 6:13:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Option 1: They can't or are unwilling to pay the $290M? Absurd, it's practically pocket change to MS. They've got billions in cash and liquid assets, they could pay it in 24 hours if they had to.


This would be the end of the case though. They will have basically validated a bogus patent and guaranteed anyone trying to use their open format now has to pay licensing instead. Unless i4i is willing to accept a settlement (large one even) that does not admit guilt then there is no way MS should go for this.

The judge needs to get rid of the injuction while appeals are still ongoing. This injuction will result in such harsh punishment for the defendant that they will consider giving up their appeal just to avoid it. That is not justice.

No, the judge needs to drop this thing. I'm sure MS would love to drag this case out, stall and all that. If i4i was having lost revenue that was going to bankrupt them I would understand. This isn't the case though. i4i is alive and well and doing just fine without this money. They can wait patiently for the whole case to be concluded.


RE: Interesting...
By gstrickler on 8/29/2009 2:17:24 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Interesting...
By sxr7171 on 8/21/2009 3:33:28 PM , Rating: 1
You know how they say we don't negotiate with terrorists? Well that's what this sounds like. If they paid the $290 million, then it would open up the floodgates to all sorts of other disruptive coercion. I think they should just find a suitable fee as if they had licensed the tech and pay going forward. If a patent holder waits this long to enforce a patent they should be subject to a "you snooze, you lose" provision. You can't just sit there and wait for a product to sell millions and then suddenly decide to enforce a patent and expect to collect on prior sales. It's just ridiculous. They should maybe be allowed a licensing fee from the day they filed, but not before that.


RE: Interesting...
By Guspaz on 8/20/2009 12:36:30 PM , Rating: 5
From one of DailyTech's earlier reports on this:
quote:
Microsoft was reportedly hurt in the proceedings by a published trail of emails that indicated that the company knew that it was infringing on i4i's work.
To me, that doesn't sound like a "greedy scumbag", that sounds like willful patent infringement... This patent is 11 years old, and even Microsoft agreed internally that they were infringing. That's not greed, that's defending your rights.

For a time, Microsoft considered adopting ODF instead of OOXML. ODF, as i4i has stated, doesn't infringe on the patent. Microsoft COULD have taken the open route and adopted ODF. Instead, they decided to push ahead with a proprietary format that they KNEW infringed on the patent.

Microsoft isn't the victim here.


RE: Interesting...
By MrBlastman on 8/20/2009 12:42:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if they did know it was an infringement then the only recourse is to pay the fine and move on. When they put it on their financial statements, list it as an R&D cost and wrap it in with the costs of goods sold.


RE: Interesting...
By omnicronx on 8/20/2009 12:56:31 PM , Rating: 5
According to internal emails they knew, and this was one of the main reasons why the Judge sided with i4i. If Microsoft knew about the patent and thought it was invalid, they should have either payed licensing fees or done the leg work to invalidate the patent BEFORE they released a product they knew was infringing..

Its pretty hard to make the argument that a patent is invalid when your own internal emails acknowledge infringement, regardless if it is true or not.

MS is a giant company, they should have known better and I don't feel one bit sorry. I agree that the only solution is to pay the fine, license the technology, or settle in a similar manor.

I would also like to point out that although your most of your first post is true, the infringing technology is only used by a small portion of word users. It is not merely everything and everything XML, but a small portion based on Microsoft's proprietary custom XML. I've heard through the grapevine that MS is already working on a patch to remove custom XML if needed.


RE: Interesting...
By MrBlastman on 8/20/2009 1:02:42 PM , Rating: 2
If they did know it, it would not suprise me. Microsoft has been pretty heavy handed in the past with their tactics (and, to be fair, they've been very smart with a lot of decisions they have made--they are quite business savvy), so to me, if proven guilty, wouldn't be shocked. It would look like they simply figured: "Okay, there's a patent. These guys aren't dolts like IBM was so we'll just release it anyways and if they catch us, boo hoo we'll pour some peroxide on the boo boo and pay the little fine and move on."

Either way, they win in the end by having the format they wanted all along available. When you are large and have lots of money, you can muscle people around like that.


RE: Interesting...
By omnicronx on 8/20/2009 1:05:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Either way, they win in the end by having the format they wanted all along available. When you are large and have lots of money, you can muscle people around like that.
Exactly, but many people still think MS is the victim, when in reality this probably not the case.

MS had their options, they just chose not to exercise them.


RE: Interesting...
By Motoman on 8/20/2009 10:38:11 PM , Rating: 3
...I have to admit to not having read the patent to make up my mind whether or not it's enforceable, but you are right - MS clearly determined that they were just going to bulldoze through this issue, and got caught with their pants down.

The patent may be crap, that will come out in the wash...but MS has got no ground to complain about this at all. They willfully decided to circumvent a patent rather than either license it or challenge the validity of the patent in court - so they deserve no one's pity.


RE: Interesting...
By sxr7171 on 8/21/2009 3:38:44 PM , Rating: 2
Well if it was basically intentional they deserve every penny of the $290 million fine. This kind of behavior needs to be discouraged.

BTW, the word you were looking for is: paid.


RE: Interesting...
By HinderedHindsight on 8/20/2009 12:58:07 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Microsoft isn't the victim here.


You're right, at least, Microsoft isn't the only victim: anyone who uses XML (or anything resembling XML) to separate content from structure is. It web developers and anyone who has developed database driven applications is a victim as well.

The patent is overly broad and should not have been granted.


RE: Interesting...
By Guspaz on 8/20/2009 1:19:21 PM , Rating: 3
Microsoft knew about the patent in advance. If they thought it was overly broad and should not have been granted, they were obligated to challenge the patent BEFORE infringing upon it.

They willfully chose not to do so, which seems to be what torpedoed their case.

Is the patent really overly broad, though? This post http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2009/08/mircrosoft-an... seems to indicate that they're not quite as broad as you imply.


RE: Interesting...
By omnicronx on 8/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting...
By deegee on 8/21/2009 1:56:04 AM , Rating: 2
I've been reading a number of the articles on this case.
It would appear that MS did actually nick i4i's tech and infringe on their patent knowingly, so they are getting what they deserve legally.
However, imho i4i's patent is really stretching the boundaries of what is or should be "patent-able".
To me this just looks like MS challenging the patent by flexing its muscles and crying fowl after-the-fact instead of doing it quietly and legally before-hand like they should have, but this does give them extra free press.
What I hope happens is that MS ponies up the fines, learns themselves the hard way that most software patents shouldn't be allowed (doubtful tho'), and that the patent is finally removed.


RE: Interesting...
By FITCamaro on 8/20/2009 6:34:21 PM , Rating: 2
The infringement was probably something along the lines of, "This patent is bullsh*t anyway. No judge is stupid enough to enforce this."


RE: Interesting...
By HinderedHindsight on 8/20/2009 12:40:39 PM , Rating: 1
Most astute of you to point out; the Office is a huge suite of software, and Word is an integral piece which has what could be thousands of pieces of interoperability within the suite itself, let alone third party products which might depend on the XML format in order to function.

The likelihood is they'll have to re-engineer the integrated components of the other Office suite products to ensure compatibility. While this lawsuit might center around Word, it does't affect just Word, as the business world will find out.

If I were Microsoft, I might start electing to cease selling other products since I'm being forced to stop selling Word/Office. But in this case, it would be a full embargo of all my products to companies named and formed from i4i.

I might also investigate my EULA to see if I could revoke any licenses already issued to said companies. If Microsoft's lawyers didn't find a way to implement this as a part of the EULA, then they're not doing their f*ing jobs.

(note, most of the preceding is a joke, not intended for serious consumption- if you can't take the joke, don't respond)


RE: Interesting...
By croc on 8/20/2009 8:13:24 PM , Rating: 2
From what I know, MS did deliberately abuse i4i's patents, and did so with deliberate knowledge that they were doing so. Further, they attempted to put their products (Word, in this case) as an alternative to i4i's primary business partners, namely pharmaceutical companies, where i4i already had a lucrative market. Canada is a signatory to NAFTA, yes? This case, in my opinion, just goes to show (once again) that signing a trade agreement with the US isn't worth the paper it is written on.


RE: Interesting...
By SilthDraeth on 8/21/2009 1:12:20 AM , Rating: 3
So patent lawyers are now software engineers rivaling the best that Microsoft.

I don't know why I ever get shocked at anything anymore, but people still find new ways to do it.


RE: Interesting...
By Salisme on 8/21/2009 7:04:14 AM , Rating: 2
You forgot one other option, and reading through the other posts here, so did everyone else. Isn't office 2010 just about ready to ship? Why rework the present 2007 version when the 2010 is available to be worked on?

Let Word in Office 2007 die and MS can reap the benefits of a forced upgrade in a few month because of this ruling. Its quite marketing genius that frankly I'm surprised no one else saw coming.

Sal


RE: Interesting...
By PitViper007 on 8/21/2009 1:16:38 PM , Rating: 2
Good point. Maybe that's what they're intending to do. Leave the market without office for a month or two then release 2010. Then they don't HAVE to rework 2007. This is of course assuming the OOXML isn't in 2010.


RE: Interesting...
By psychobriggsy on 8/21/2009 7:03:34 AM , Rating: 3
"The company that requested the injunction on Microsoft is a bunch of greedy scumbags, plain and simple (unless Microsoft belligerently abused a legit patent)."

From what I've read about it, it's a valid patent, it will expire in a few years (it was filed for a long time ago, it's not a fly-by-night patenting of something obvious), and the company has been using it to generate revenues in several products that it sells and has sold for many years.

So for Microsoft it comes down to "Irreparable Damage" vs. $300m.


RE: Interesting...
By Shadrack2 on 8/21/2009 8:28:16 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Actually, I believe MS would have to pay the $300M and negotiate a license for the technology. If they win an appeal they simply stop paying for that license. Seems it would be a far better approach than suffering "Irreparable Damage" or having to make changes to the product...and I would think MS would expect no less from a company that infringes on their own patents.


RE: Interesting...
By BSMonitor on 8/21/2009 3:59:15 PM , Rating: 2
Hah!! That dude sounds like my boss! Everything should be pretty easy to do!


RE: Interesting...
By smilingcrow on 8/21/2009 5:06:55 PM , Rating: 2
Word up ......... or should that be down!


OO3 nearing Office 2007 in functionality...not!
By ranran on 8/20/2009 2:52:29 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
However, light-weight alternatives such as Open Office 3 (which nears Office 2007 in functionality)...


That's a joke, right?

While I would love to see Open Office become as robust as Office, it..just...isn't there.....yet.....

For multi-departmental/inter-office use of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc..... Office is still heads above any free alternative...




By Motoman on 8/20/2009 6:33:29 PM , Rating: 3
...while I won't bother to argue about word processing or spreadsheet functionality, which frankly the average person uses maybe 5% of on a daily basis, OO and other office suites have nothing to compete with the Exchange/Outlook combo. I don't think OO even has an email client, let alone a server. Yeah, T-Bird...I know. Use it myself. But for serious business work, you need a unified mail/calendar system...and the only real competition to Exchange/Outlook AFAIK is Lotus Notes. Which is $#%^ing retarded.


By kmmatney on 8/21/2009 12:56:58 AM , Rating: 3
Last time I tried OO, it didn't even have a "text-to-columns" feature in the spreadsheet. It is not a better product. I got in on the $99 3-license office 2007 deal for home use, which I thought was a better deal, than the free OO.


Far reaching
By See Spot Run on 8/20/2009 12:27:30 PM , Rating: 5
This has far reaching consequences in the business world. I do tech support for financial consolidation software and we have some major fortune 500 clients.

Office is used extensively, using Excel for either input of data into accounts (one of the ways), or reporting. Other "Office" products are not supported, open office causes more grief than it costs to buy MS Office and I can tell you straight up Google docs doesn't work.

In many software applications for businesses, there is NO alternative to MS Office.




RE: Far reaching
By rrburton on 8/20/2009 12:58:13 PM , Rating: 2
Well then I guess this means that MS is "too big to fail" so the government better step in and make sure that they can keep selling their product


RE: Far reaching
By JKflipflop98 on 8/21/2009 9:15:34 PM , Rating: 2
STFU dude!! If those idiots in Washington hear you, M$ will be getting $115 billion in TARP money a quarter.


A Threat
By ltcommanderdata on 8/20/2009 12:24:32 PM , Rating: 1
Is that supposed to be a threat to the courts to grant them an injunction? Personally, I think it'd be interesting to see what would happen if Microsoft stopped selling Word and Office. Somehow I doubt the world would shut down.




RE: A Threat
By brybir on 8/20/2009 12:32:36 PM , Rating: 2
It would get people moving thats for sure. Imagine your business has a large install base of Office and suddenly no more is availible to you. You can either move to another application or pirate. In large organizations it is not trivial to move to another platform with short notice. They are also not going to pirate (most of them anyways).

Or, the back to school crowd goes to buy little Betsy a new computer and a copy of Office for school (as many schools recommend or tacitly require "Office" and ignore other options). You can imagine a few million angry parents, students and educational institutions angrily taking to the media and to their congressfolk.

So, the result will be this thing exploding on CNN, FOX etc and soon enough someone will take notice. I dont know what the answer is or how they would fix it, but when patent disputes spill over and affect "average individuals" instead of faceless corporations, things often start changing quickly.


RE: A Threat
By Zingam on 8/20/2009 12:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
They would loose money!


RE: A Threat
By Motoman on 8/20/2009 10:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
...then again, Twitter was offline for what, an hour or so, and it's like the Matrix went down. Millions of bewildered people just sort of sitting around, blinking absent-mindedly, without any idea of what to do.

The lesson there, apparently, is for whatever interstellar race that wants to conquor us, all you have to do is shut down our social notworking services first. We'll all be zombies and not be able to resist your invasion at all.


By nerdye on 8/20/2009 9:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
Remember when MS lost a lawsuit in 2003 about the way IE uses activeX, while the company that sued MS didn't go after mozilla, netscape, apple for safari, or whatever other browsers were around at the time. MS was forced to pull activeX native interaction from IE6 and to my knowledge was also fined 500+ million dollars at the same time (though I could be wrong on that). This to me feels the same, its MS again using a supposedly open standard that all the other competing products use and don't get sued for, but are getting sued for. The company I was working for at the time of the activeX lawsuit had to rework 3 of their best selling products which took an unbelievable amount of man hours to continue to support IE with its activeX changes.

These types of lawsuits make me feel like the software patent laws are still in the wild wild west so to speak, straight mining for gold. Rules need to change so gold digging companies like this can't create lawsuits so unjust.

Just look at rambus, they only have one product on the market, the ram in the ps3 if I'm not mistaken. But rambus procedes to make a killing each year suing the pants off of ddr companies (to my knowledge samsung exclusively) while not even having a memory product in the pc world!!!




By Fritzr on 8/21/2009 6:16:20 AM , Rating: 2
A patent is not a trademark. It works in similar fashion to copyright. You file a patent on an idea before anyone else does and you are granted a 20 yr transferable license on the idea. If someone wants to use your patent you can say yes, yes if you pay me, or no. Nowhere in the law is there a requirement that the idea actually be used. Some patents HAVE been used to keep products off the market for the life of the patent, just as copyright is often used to prevent anyone from publishing works the copyright owner prefers to bury.


lol
By xDrift0rx on 8/20/2009 12:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
that picture of Ballmer makes me laugh so hard




RE: lol
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/20/2009 12:24:53 PM , Rating: 1
I had two thoughts when I first saw the picture:

1) Looks like Ballmer is gonna cry
2) It reminds me of Michael Bolton's face in Office Space when the annoying receptionist waves to him and says "Hi Michael Bolton" in slow motion :)


:)
By Zingam on 8/20/2009 12:29:37 PM , Rating: 1
I knew I did it right when I moved my office to Open Office!




RE: :)
By mmntech on 8/20/2009 1:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Still, this whole case sounds like blatant patent trolling to me.


By DEredita on 8/20/2009 2:17:24 PM , Rating: 1
They should send a patch to disable Office on all government computers, and say "Yes judge, we complied with your ban by sending a patch out to disable all government installations of Office. If you undo the ban, the software will work again. Until then, have a good day."

Or threaten to turn off everyone's MS Office that has Word in it, which would basically threaten to shut down the whole country.




By HotFoot on 8/21/2009 7:51:38 AM , Rating: 2
So, what you're saying is, MS is an effective monopoly and the government needs to step in with a lot of strict regulations to protect millions of people who are basically forced to use these products in their jobs.


Microsoft is saying to us
By micksh on 8/20/2009 1:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
Buy the Office now, while you still can!




Painful
By Sellingapatent on 8/20/2009 6:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
That is painful but they will end up working something out. If I owned the patent, I would take the ~$240MM and a royalty arrangement on future sales.




Get Real
By clovell on 8/20/2009 6:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
This is a baseless lawsuit and a baseless judgement - Microsoft shouldn't have to do a damned thing.

/article.




Attention
By Sir Picto on 8/20/2009 7:47:37 PM , Rating: 2
It seems like Microsoft is seeking all the sympathy it can get over the case. While they knew they were infringing on the patent, the system itself is broken.

Do you fight and potentially lose? Cough up the money and quietly consent? Or do you kick and scream until the last second to make people feel sorry for you?

It feels a lot like when you go into the bank knowing your overdraft fee is valid, but making such a fuss they refund your money anyway. You get free food if you are that desperate with the same tactics in a restaurant.

It's a good excuse to create their own standard. They will probably pay the fine and licensing fees. Releasing another feature-stripped product is not the image they want to present when they have alternatives.

I wish Microsoft bought the company outright. Make them sign contracts as part of the agreement to stay with the company for say, five or ten years. When the red tape is over with, move those people to the basement and hand them a can of Raid.

I can picture Ballmer tossing his jacket into the back of his convertible with a self-satisfied grin.




Attention all patent trolls:
By bersl2 on 8/20/2009 8:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
If you were planning on suing MS, please do so now . It's the best chance for MS to realize the madness of software patents and stop advocating in favor of them.




This is retarded.
By thebrown13 on 8/20/2009 11:03:15 PM , Rating: 2
ALL modern software uses XML to store settings. ALL MODERN SOFTWARE. Anything else would be completely stupid and a giant waste of time. Someone needs to step in and stop this.




Corporate Panic
By R3T4rd on 8/21/2009 5:07:16 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, I can see my Corporate IT Dept. just running around like chickens with thier heads cut off.

For those of you who don't know this, MS Office is a "MUST" in the Corporate world and in the "hundreds-of-thousand-users" companies.

I work for a top 10 Fortune 500 Company and if MS holds true to thier claim, its massive chaos - guaranteeeeeed!

Oh well, job security for me I guess.




By on 8/22/2009 11:37:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com

(air jordan, air max, shox tn, rift, puma, dunk sb, adidas) nike jordan shoes 1-24 $32
lv, coach, chane bag $35
COOGI(jeans, tshirts, hoody, jacket) $30
christian audigier(jeans, tshirts, hoody) $13
edhardy(shoes, tshirts, jeans, caps, watche, handbag) $25
Armani(jeans, tshirts,) $24
AF(jeans, coat, hoody, sweater, tshirts)Abercrombie & Fitch $31

quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com




By on 8/22/2009 11:37:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com

(air jordan, air max, shox tn, rift, puma, dunk sb, adidas) nike jordan shoes 1-24 $32
lv, coach, chane bag $35
COOGI(jeans, tshirts, hoody, jacket) $30
christian audigier(jeans, tshirts, hoody) $13
edhardy(shoes, tshirts, jeans, caps, watche, handbag) $25
Armani(jeans, tshirts,) $24
AF(jeans, coat, hoody, sweater, tshirts)Abercrombie & Fitch $31

quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com




By on 8/22/2009 11:57:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com

(air jordan, air max, shox tn, rift, puma, dunk sb, adidas) nike jordan shoes 1-24 $32
lv, coach, chane bag $35
COOGI(jeans, tshirts, hoody, jacket) $30
christian audigier(jeans, tshirts, hoody) $13
edhardy(shoes, tshirts, jeans, caps, watche, handbag) $25
Armani(jeans, tshirts,) $24
AF(jeans, coat, hoody, sweater, tshirts)Abercrombie & Fitch $31

quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com




Old Testament Justice...
By 41A on 8/22/2009 9:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
What could be more appropriate than

an EYE FOR an EYE




Simply Big Business Blackmail
By Dfere on 8/26/2009 10:25:52 AM , Rating: 2
Oh.. yeah....?

Court, do not do this or we will SHUT YOU DOWN. We are a MONOPOLY, don't you understand? You NEED us. New employees are NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO WORK for you without us on their new computer.

Oh my god. Big Business attitude again.

I think its time we dust off the old anti-trust laws that were enacted the better part of a century ago, they seem to have relevance again. And without BIG BUSINESS, we get less political influence by companies.




By on 8/27/2009 11:23:41 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.ebuyings.com

the website wholesale for many kinds of fashion shoes, like the nike,jordan,prama,****, also including the jeans,shirts,bags,hat and the decorations. All the products are free shipping, and the the price is competitive, and also can accept the paypal payment.,after the payment, can ship within short time.

free shipping
competitive price
any size available
accept the paypal

our price:
gstar coogi evisu true jeans $36;
coach chanel gucci LV handbags $32;
coogi DG edhardy gucci t-shirts $15;
CA edhardy vests.paul smith shoes $35;
jordan dunk af1 max gucci shoes $33;
EDhardy gucci ny New Era cap $15;
coach okely **** CHANEL DG Sunglass $16;

http://www.ebuyings.com/productlist.asp?id=s28 (JORDAN SHOES)
http://www.ebuyings.com/productlist.asp?id=s1 (ED HARDY)
http://www.ebuyings.com/productlist.asp?id=s11<... (JEANS)
http://www.ebuyings.com/productlist.asp?id=s6 (TSHIRTS)
http://www.ebuyings.com/productlist.asp?id=s5 (Bikini)
http://www.ebuyings.com/productlist.asp?id=s65 (HANDBAGS)
http://www.ebuyings.com/productlist.asp?id=s21 (Air_max_man)
http://www.ebuyings.com/productlist.asp?id=s29 (Nike shox)
http://www.ebuyings.com/productlist.asp?id=s6 (Polo tshirt)




By on 8/30/2009 11:07:27 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.crispstyle.com

bikini$25

(air jordan, air max, shox tn, rift, puma, dunk sb, adidas)

nike jordan shoes 1-24 $32

lv, coach, chane bag $35

COOGI(jeans, tshirts, hoody, jacket) $30

christian audigier(jeans, tshirts, hoody) $13

edhardy(shoes, tshirts, jeans, caps, watche, handbag) $25

Armani(jeans, tshirts,) $24

AF(jeans, coat, hoody, sweater, tshirts)Abercrombie & Fitch $31

http://www.crispstyle.com




Error
By bradmshannon on 8/20/2009 12:16:35 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
the company is pleasing with courts to lift the injunction


I'd be pleasing too...




OMG!
By omnicronx on 8/20/2009 1:04:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Some are puzzled, though, as to why Microsoft would stop selling Office, rather than simply changes it file format and distinguishing between the current and XML-less editions.
Why would you/they make such a statement when right below you quote what they have to take out. There will be no XML-less version of word, they don't need to disable XML functionality but the custom XML feature. Once again all the readers are confused.
quote:
"All Microsoft has to do is disable the custom XML feature , which should be pretty easy to do, then give that a different SKU number from what’s been sold so it’s easy to distinguish the two versions."




By on 8/27/2009 9:08:57 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com
(air jordan, air max, shox tn, rift, puma, dunk sb, adidas) nike jordan shoes 1-24 $32
lv, coach, chane bag $35
COOGI(jeans, tshirts, hoody, jacket) $30
christian audigier(jeans, tshirts, hoody) $13
edhardy(shoes, tshirts, jeans, caps, watche, handbag) $25
Armani(jeans, tshirts,) $24
AF(jeans, coat, hoody, sweater, tshirts)Abercrombie & Fitch $31
quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com




Moving On
By drycrust on 8/20/09, Rating: 0
I hope Microsucks gets whacked for $500 Billion
By Beenthere on 8/20/09, Rating: -1
By Bateluer on 8/20/2009 1:21:57 PM , Rating: 4
I'm a big fan of Linux and highly supportive of the open source movement, it would be absolute chaos if MS was forced into bankruptcy, which is what a 500B fine would do.


RE: I hope Microsucks gets whacked for $500 Billion
By Beenthere on 8/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: I hope Microsucks gets whacked for $500 Billion
By Motoman on 8/20/2009 3:02:59 PM , Rating: 5
...looks like someone's been skipping their meds...


RE: I hope Microsucks gets whacked for $500 Billion
By Beenthere on 8/20/09, Rating: -1
By Motoman on 8/20/2009 10:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
Holy crap dude, your average comment rating is actually NEGATIVE.

Now that's impressive. I salute your morony!

...as for Egypt, I can't say...haven't Beenthere. Oh, I kill me.


By bkslopper on 8/20/2009 3:59:53 PM , Rating: 2
So....

You don't like Windows, and you don't seem to like Linux either?

Apple fan?


RE: I hope Microsucks gets whacked for $500 Billion
By Beenthere on 8/20/09, Rating: -1
By Jjoshua2 on 8/20/2009 8:58:51 PM , Rating: 3
You should try writing your own OS sometime :)


RE: I hope Microsucks gets whacked for $500 Billion
By Motoman on 8/20/2009 10:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
How about Windows NT 4.0 and up, Mac OSs for (I don't know) the last few versions, and virtually all distros of Linux.

...the vast majority of problems anyone has with any OS is between the keyboard and the chair.

Reckon you could try an Amiga if you wanted. Or SkyOS. You know what? I don't think DOS ever crashed. And it's plenty user-friendly, so long as you learn DOS commands. I liked it just fine, back in the day. Since you're clearly smarter than all of the rest of us, you shouldn't have any problem at all.


By cornelius785 on 8/21/2009 9:54:00 AM , Rating: 2
oh right, so it's MY fault that i find KDE/gnome somewhat confusing; MY fault that I have to dig through google looking for tid bit of information to solve a problem based on mailing lists/IRC chats/forum thread anywhere that could be up to a several years old; MY fault that people get called an idiot, told to google (or search for) it, told to just code it yourself, and similar; MY fault that when i have to search sometimes for hours (to find the right version and somewhat recent) looking for a tutorial to get something running; and (my favorite) MY fault that the devs of fedora thought it was APPROPRIATE to release a version of fedora that they KNEW it would break computers with scsi or RAID well before it gets released. saying a blanket term that most problem are caused by the idiot at the keyboard is a short sighted.

that being said, i'm still sticking with fedora for a home server (plus more), which i've been running since fedora 4. linux is still heavily developer friendly and needs some polishing before i'd consider installing it on a non-server computer.


Just like..
By DigitalFreak on 8/20/09, Rating: -1
"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki