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What to make of Microsoft's Office patent flop

Dec 24, 2009, 10:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stephen Shankland)

[ Thanks to Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols for this link. ]

"It seems that Microsoft knew all along that they were going to get hit like a drum by i4i when the Canadian company won its XML patent lawsuit. Of course, that isn't what Microsoft said when the judge ordered Microsoft to pay i4i $290-million and stop selling any version of Word or Office that could create .XML, .DOCX or .DOCM files that contained custom XML formatting. But, now Microsoft has run up the white flag and the company is frantically jerking the feature out of its currently shipping Office programs.

"Now, part of me wants to say it couldn't have happened to a nicer company. After all, Microsoft loves to play the bully with its own patent portfolio. Earlier this year, Microsoft used its patents like a sledgehammer on TomTom, the GPS device company.

"I also find it more than a little funny to see how Microsoft was crying about how unfair it all was not just to Microsoft but, as Microsoft's lawyers put it at the time, to all the little people out there "who require new copies of Office and Word would be stranded without an alternative set of software.""

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