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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.

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By Screwballl on 8/20/2009 5:55:13 PM , Rating: -1
ok Bill Gates, come out from behind the anonymous internet logins...

Only a MS fanboy would deny the capabilities of Open Office, which in real world terms is just as strong (and stronger in other areas) than MS Office. Add in the FREE price tag, the fact that you can do ANYTHING that MSO can do, and you have an all around better product than what Microsoft has. Plus the fact that it can open and use any file from MSO and you have a full featured office suite, again for much much much cheaper than anything Microsoft has to offer.
Sure it may not have pretty (useless) ribbons and a rainbow boy flair to it but most of us want a functional product, not fancy packaging.

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.

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