Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Patents The Courts

Microsoft Pulls Office From Its Own Online Store 127

Posted by kdawson
from the overtaken-by-the-deadline dept.
CWmike writes "Microsoft has pulled almost every version of Office from its own online store to comply with a court order requiring it to remove custom XML technology from its popular Word software that starts on Monday. As of mid-day, the only edition available from the Microsoft Store was Office Ultimate 2007, a $670 'full-version' suite. All other Windows editions, as well as Office 2008 for Mac, were accompanied by the message: 'This product is currently unavailable while we update versions on our site. We expect it to be available soon.' Microsoft confirmed that the disappearance of Office was related to the injunction that came out of a patent infringement case the company lost in 2009. 'We've taken steps to comply with the court's ruling and we're introducing the revised software into the US market," said Michael Croan, a senior marketing manager, in an e-mail. He also downplayed the move. 'This process will be imperceptible to the vast majority of customers, who will find both trial and purchase options readily available.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Pulls Office From Its Own Online Store

Comments Filter:
  • wheres the news (Score:3, Informative)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:40AM (#30734216) Journal

    I'm always up for a good bashing, but eh what? It was already decided in court that MS was violating the patent (which imo is stupid, btw). They were required to stop selling Word, and now they comply. Whats the news here? That MS complied to laws and judge orders?

    Also, how is that "downplaying the move"? They probably worked on non-infringing Word version for long time already and are replacing it soon. In fact;

    Microsoft has posted updates for both Word 2003 and Word 2007 to its download site and told customers in accompanying support documents that those updates are mandatory "only if you have been instructed to do so in a separate communication from Microsoft." The company has also committed to revamping Word 2008 for Mac and Word 2004 for Mac, even though those versions were not named in the injunction.

    In the meantime, Microsoft also told potential customers that they can download the free beta of Office 2010, the next-generation suite slated for a June release.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      From all system administrators, thank you Microsoft for the decision to coincide Patent Compliance Tuesday with Patch Tuesday [wikipedia.org].

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'm impressed that Microsoft is finally taking the security of their Office suite seriously. We've been waiting for this patch for years.

    • by Anci3nt of Days (1615945) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @03:07AM (#30734350)
      M$ complying with the law is news.
      • M$ complying with the law is news.

        Not really. MSFT just picks and chooses when to do so. MSFT doesn't believe in rules restricting molopolistic business practices--it has been a belief deeply ingrained within their executive team, including Gates and Ballmer. That belief extends to their resistance to conform with the spirit, if not the letter, of rulings pertaining to those practices including its attempts at tight integration of application-level programming into its OS (Internet Explorer, Media Player), lack of interoperability/closed

    • Re: here$ the new$ (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      MS complied with the EU ruling, and note... immediately took full vengeance on: the USERS. $670 for an Office Cocktail to burn down your desktop. Smallchange, maybe to those driving a Veyron. I think it is finally time for those users (and their bosses) to "move on" to Open Office, even on the MS platform, and ultimately migrate to Linux desktop.

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by sopssa (1498795) *

        Did you also think that food stores pay off the stealing users from their own pockets, and don't increase prices to get it back from users?

        • by catman (1412)
          How is a fine comparable to users stealing?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ultranova (717540)

          Did you also think that food stores pay off the stealing users from their own pockets, and don't increase prices to get it back from users?

          A food store, like any other store, sets the price of the food it sells to the point that brings it the most profit. Rising the price will decrease, not increase, profits. So yes, it pays for any stolen items out of its own pockets, since it has no other options.

          I wish people stopped perpetuating the PR-invented myth that companies are somehow impervious to fines becaus

          • by shentino (1139071)

            Actually, the stolen stuff comes directly out of its pockets, in the form of paid invoices for the items that were nicked.

            From an economics standpoint, there is no difference between a fine and a theft. If the thief is never apprehended it hurts their assets just as badly as a legit fine.

            The only blame that is deserved is upon the thief, who got away with it.

            Much like spammers freely exploit stolen computing resources...and get away with it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by JackieBrown (987087)

        That is wrong. They have the trial version availble while the other versions are updated and re-released.

        What, surely you don't think they would offer a trial version just to try to lock you into to their products?

        • by icebike (68054)

          That is wrong. They have the trial version availble while the other versions are updated and re-released.

          I'm guessing the trial version has no infringing features.

          As for lock in via a trial version, is there seriously anyone left on the planet that does not know about OPENOFFICE.ORG ?

          • I wrote the above as a joke, but..

            The type of people that would use the trial version of MS Office are probably not the type people that would have heard of openoffice (or even better AbiWord.)

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by icebike (68054)

              I disagree. The kind of people who would use the trial version are the kind that don't have 600 bucks for the full package and no corporate backing. Those people are used to digging for bargains, and free is a good price.

              AbiWord on the other hand is pretty lame compared to OpenOffic or StarOffice. I look at it every three or four years to see if it has improved, and it is a perennial disappointment.

              • Re: here$ the new$ (Score:5, Insightful)

                by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @05:15AM (#30734914)

                Do you work in an IT related field? Because I do not. And I do not know anybody (at work) that has even heard of openoffice. In fact, I do not think it would even occur to most of those people that there might even exist another "office" solution.

                I know when I tell people that I don't use MS Office they are shock and almost immeditely assume that I must not view any documents at home.

                • Brain, meet mouth (Score:5, Interesting)

                  by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @06:48AM (#30735408) Homepage

                  "Do you work in an IT related field? Because I do not. And I do not know anybody (at work) that has even heard of openoffice."

                  ""I know when I tell people that I don't use MS Office they are shock and almost immeditely assume that I must not view any documents at home.

                  Hey. Here is a radical idea. Maybe instead of telling people at work that you don't use MS Office, you should tell them about Open Office. Then you would know lots of people who have heard about Open Office!

                • Contractual Silence (Score:1, Informative)

                  by Anonymous Coward

                  I know from experience at least one training firm that had a contractual requirement in their dealings with Microsoft to not mention free software.

                  They are afraid of the news from great free software.

                  Personal pref is Open Office but Abiword is worth your attention too.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by smchris (464899)

                  Keep telling them otherwise. I know a dude who's loved him some Microsoft (as long as somebody would copy a disk for him) and has insulted my use of open source for the last decade. This month he loves OpenOffice.org and has been emailing me about how great it is like he's the one who discovered it. Looking into other open source programs and musing about whether Yellow Dog would revitalize his old Powerbook so I guess hell froze over. It can be amazing how slow people are to contemplate change
                  b

                  • by frsmith (836165)
                    Yep Had the same here in Cardiff. Guy thought Linux was strange and only used a snide copy of win2000. When that died on him He asked me if I could get him a copy of Win2k to install. I said no, I'll install Linux for his needs ( basically ebay!!) He's now stuck with a broken Win2k and no drivers for his old scanners. He still complain a lot though!!!
                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by IANAAC (692242)

                  Do you work in an IT related field? Because I do not. And I do not know anybody (at work) that has even heard of openoffice. In fact, I do not think it would even occur to most of those people that there might even exist another "office" solution.

                  I think it would probably depend more on what you actually use an office package for in your work.

                  I, along with my colleagues, have either a .doc, .xls or .ppt file open all day to work on. Most of us are self-employed as well - the PP got it right that many

                • by nurb432 (527695)

                  I know a lot of people not in the IT world that have asked me about OO.. "can i use this instead, i cant afford 'office'?".

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by ozmanjusri (601766)
      I'm always up for a good bashing,

      WTF kind of bullshit is this?

      You're the biggest apologist Microsoft has! If Ballmer himself stood up and admitted they were selling Win 7 backdoors to the Russian mafia, you'd have a first post touting it as a feature!

      • by Stooshie (993666)
        In Russia, M$ owns you!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Xest (935314)

        So anyone that makes good points that are a bit more level headed than the usual hate based anti-Microsoft drivel is an apologist?

        The problem with Slashdot (which really is a problem that stems from the FOSS community) is that it often has a zealotry to it that does it more harm than good in the eyes of anyone looking for objective comments. You read some of the anti-MS stuff here and if you were an outsider it'd give you the impression the site is full of nutjobs.

        Microsoft have done a lot of things wrong,

        • I agree with your point. I have serious reservations about Microsoft in terms of how they do business. I don't necessarily hate them, I just disagree with how they do business. And when I make comments about them, I try to frame it about something they do, not who they are. I try to keep it level and neutral and just state the facts.

          My feelings are the same for Apple. I won't buy Apple or Microsoft products until they start to embrace and support free standards that can be used by anybody. That's re
          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I can understand where you're coming from, but I take things a bit more practically. We spent three years trying to make a Server 2003 network do what we need for it to do before going over to Apple. Now we're slowly making the transition. Just getting a Mac server made things work WAY more smoothly. Setting it up was a breeze, except for making the Windows machines play nice with it. Every person I've put on a Mac, I never hear from them unless they need a new user added or something of that nature.

        • Re:wheres the news (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@hotmail.cOPENBSDom minus bsd> on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @08:17AM (#30735972) Journal
          So anyone that makes good points that are a bit more level headed than the usual hate based anti-Microsoft drivel is an apologist?

          Recognizing that Microsoft is a bad corporate citizen is not "hate based anti-Microsoft drivel".

          They have a long history of using other people's innovation without permission, and this case is no exception. I4i is no patent troll, they produced, sold and still sell an XML editing tool. They have a very specific patent, specific enough that other implementations (like ODF) don't infringe.

          Sopssa is an apologist. He participated in the original discussion, and has to be aware that this patent suit is fair and valid, and yet is still dismissive of i4i's efforts. That isn't reasonable behavour, it's fanboism or worse.

          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            They have a long history of using other people's innovation without permission, and this case is no exception.

            Heh.. If you think inventing something trivial to do with XML tags is "innovation" you have a diminished capacity of thought or creativity.. or something.

            They have a very specific patent, specific enough that other implementations (like ODF) don't infringe.

            This makes no sense. Just because ODF doesn't infringe, doesn't make the patent valid or specific. Looks like you haven't even read the patent. The language is extremely general and broad. Or maybe you just agree with everything a judge says? Ofcource, that might make you a racist too ;)

            and has to be aware that this patent suit is fair and valid, and yet is still dismissive of i4i's efforts

            What if he thinks it isn't fair and valid? Is he not allowed to have a

        • Apple is guilty of doing as much wrong as Microsoft nowadays, yet because they base MacOS X on BSD they're often given a free ride.

          You must be new here. Any Apple-related story draws 10x as many Apple-hating comments as it does Apple-friendly comments.

          • by Xest (935314)

            It's certainly not that simple. Whilst I agree that's true in the odd Apple article, there are plenty also where it's not the case and where Apple gets defended, sometimes even illogically so. For example, I've seen companies like Apple and Valve defended over DRM in the past, by the very same people who attack DRM when it comes from the likes of Sony.

            Perhaps more interestingly though is that I recommend you look through a few Apple related articles here without filtering out any comments based on their sco

        • "Microsoft have done a lot of things wrong"

          Like breaking the law in pretty much all major localities around the planet.

          What are you? A masochist?

          If you hear a chorus of disapproval maybe, just maybe, there is a frigging reason of why people feel so aggravated.

          Google and Apple now have quite a dominance in the markets that will matter in the future and people are far more cool about them because they are not complete and utter unethical bastards.

          Do I need to clarify the point any further?

          • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @09:23AM (#30736610)

            "Like breaking the law in pretty much all major localities around the planet."

            You realise a lot of companies have too yes? Facebook has been guilty of breaking privacy laws across the world, Apple has been guilty of price fixing in the UK due to it's higher pricing of songs to the rest of the EU, Google has found itself guilty of breaching copyright across the world through it's books quest. But you single out only Microsoft's cases?

            "If you hear a chorus of disapproval maybe, just maybe, there is a frigging reason of why people feel so aggravated."

            This argument is stupid, by the same logic you could argue that Microsoft's dominance in many areas is because most people prefer them. The fact is, you can't infer anything about the validity of the problem from numbers when there's clearly other factors involved like bias in this case, or monopolistic practices in Microsoft's case.

            "Google and Apple now have quite a dominance in the markets that will matter in the future and people are far more cool about them because they are not complete and utter unethical bastards."

            Huh? Is this the same Apple that although improving, is still one of the worst offenders when it comes to pollution caused by manufacturing and disposal of it's products? The same Apple that uses child labour? The same Apple guilty of price fixing? The same Apple guilty of being one of the most prolific pushers of DRM over the last decade? The same Apple that simply blames the user when their iPhone explodes in their face? The same Apple that leverages a combination of iTunes, the iPhone and it's app store for anti-competitive practices?

            What about Google? Is this the same Google that wants to farm all your data? The same Google whose CEO doesn't believe you need privacy unless you have something to hide? The same Google that would happily pander to Chinese censorship and so on?

            Look, I'm a fan of some of Apple and Google's products as much as the next guy, but that doesn't mean I'm going to pretend they don't do much wrong as well, clearly they can be quite evil themselves, arguably just as much so as Microsoft. In reality Microsoft seem no less evil than other major players like Facebook either. In the grand scheme of things Microsoft couldn't even come close to many manufacturing firms, many mining firms and so forth. Really in terms of being evil, Microsoft as a company, are pretty much par for the course. The difference is, they're the main opponent of the open source movement and as this is largely an open source supporting community then that is why you see such a focus on them here, not because there is some reality in them being evil enough to stand out from the rest of the world.

            • by FrigBot (1459361) *

              I feel like I have eaten from the tree of knowledge. My eyes are opened. Please mod parent up. I'm serious here. This isn't flamebait and I'm not trolling and I'm not trying to be funny here. But the above comment represents a very well-written argument and if I had some mod points he'd certainly get one.

            • I hope you aren't trying to bring reason and common sense to the discussion? If so, then shame on you.
        • by Jesus_666 (702802)
          A big issue people have with Microsoft DRM vs. Apple DRM is that Microsoft screwed up with DRM big time. Some people are still bitter about PlaysForSure.
    • Whats the news here? That MS complied to laws and judge orders?

      If you're conforming to Slashdot's usual biases, then yes.

    • by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker&gnu,org> on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @04:14AM (#30734626) Homepage

      Whats the news here? That MS complied to laws and judge orders?

      Yes, that's exactly it.

      And that's not meant to be a smartass comment about how often Microsoft does and doesn't do that.

      All I'm trying to say is that this Microsoft/XML/Patent story is of interest to the slashdot crowd, and we would like to be informed about how the sequence of events unfold.

      Getting confirmation that Microsoft complies with the law and court orders is an important event in this story---perhaps even the most crucial.

      That's the reason it's on slashdot.

    • "Whats the news here? That MS complied to laws and judge orders?"

      if you know the answer?

  • by Laser_iCE (1125271) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:43AM (#30734236)
    Perfect opportunity for Open Office to gain some ground. You and I may not know the people, but there will be someone out there who needs to download Office during the week for an assignment or work task, and will be unable to buy their legitimate version online. So the person goes to google and types in "office suite" and what comes up first? OO.org
    • Star Office is closer to MS Office than Open Office is. Open Office is almost like Wordpad with spreadsheets. I need my spell checker damnit.
      • by TheLink (130905)
        Which is closer? Star Office or Kingsoft Office? :)
      • The copy that Debian provides has a spell checker. (Is there a woosh here I am missing or does the windows version not come with one?)

      • Yeah! Well, Applixware runs like crap on every single operating system it happens to be compatible with, particularly Solaris. And its interface looks like a very poorly designed MS Access front end :-) (I have no idea what my point is)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by icebike (68054)

        You need your reading glasses too, if you haven't found the spell checker in OpenOffice.org.

        • by JoshDD (1713044)
          Funny I just went into OO.org and it has a button that says spell check. But it doesn't work. I just misspelled several words and it found no errors. Which is why I don't consider it to have a spell checker.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by icebike (68054)

            Press F7, click options, select your dictionaries, check boxes for spellcheck as you type.

            I think your experience with OO is PEBCAK related.

            • by JoshDD (1713044)
              K you win I suck. I've never used OO more than a half a dozen times when I was to lazy to move my track ball 1/4 inch up to get to Abi word or whatever it is. [The origional thought behind my comment was to compare commercial app to commercial app...oo is oss therefore apples oranges kinda thing but whatever. I use a office program like twice a month. (It's not a part of my job...I draw pretty pictures and just fax them) Btw were did technology go wrong after the fax?
    • And you also get Java as a bonus!

  • First joke (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I've had this problem for a long time:
    $ bash microsoft
    bash: microsoft: No such file or directory
    $ bash office
    bash: office: No such file or directory
    $ bash word
    bash: word: No such file or directory

  • by starbugs (1670420) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:55AM (#30734288)

    What I want to know is what will i4i do with its 300 million from Microsoft.
    And will Microsoft pay-up?

  • by NixieBunny (859050) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:55AM (#30734292) Homepage
    You'd think that Microsoft could manage to remove the XML extensions that the judge didn't like by now. Perhaps the regression testing for Windows 98 on a 286 slowed them down?
    • "You'd think that Microsoft could manage to remove the XML extensions that the judge didn't like by now. Perhaps the regression testing for Windows 98 on a 286 slowed them down?"

      Yes. It slowed them down by exactly enough time to make sure they get press stating that the new version will be available for download in a few days. Funny how that just happened to work out that way for them, isn't it?

  • Aren't they supposed to use XML to be compliant and open? And what if they can say: 'Hey, we tried, but this one bad small company threatend de poor liddle MicroSoft with a patent lawsuit and now we have to take XML out, sooo sad!
    The truth is, MS wants it's formats to stay proprietary and I figure they'd welcome any reason that holds to keep it that way. I wouldn't be suprised if this XML-patent thing was staged.

    My 2 cents.

    • by santax (1541065)
      They have to pay that little poor bad company 270 million in damages.... So no- I don't think this is an inside job. Would it not have been way cheaper to just push their own standard? As they did... with xml...?
    • by EvanED (569694)

      Huh? Don't worry, 99.9% of the .x XML stuff is sticking around. It's only one particular, apparently rarely-used feature that is covered by this injunction.

      • by EvanED (569694)

        And don't believe me? The older, non-XML formats haven't been updated to include Office 2007 features. This is especially apparent in PowerPoint.

    • by Techman83 (949264)
      I highly doubt it, i4i (ironic sounding name IMO) has a very specific patent on a specific XML function, not XML in it's entirety. Which is why they haven't sued other office packages like OO.org.

      It's probably a similar scenario to the Uniloc case [wikipedia.org]. i4i offers a licensing deal for their patent, Microsoft says bugger off, then implements it anyway.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It is most similar to the "spreadsheet as database table" patent in the sense that in both cases the patent covered something pretty obvious, about something which users were starting to need, something that was hanging in the air so to speak. In both cases the patent covered *any* thinkable solution to something users might want, that was easily implementable by any competent programmer, which is probably why Microsoft said bugger off in the first place. (The spreadsheet patent was also reality-denying by

    • by makomk (752139)

      Nope. Microsoft's attempt to stop their own use of XML being open is patenting their XML document format (designed with extra patentability in mind...)

    • XML doesn't magically make something compliant and open. Mostly it just makes it bloated. Well-documented formats unencumbered by patents are what makes something open, and that doesn't depend on the latest flavour-of-the-month serialization format.
  • I am getting so sick of these companies misusing the hard work of others. Microsoft Office has been free for home-users since version 1, same goes for their OS, windows 1 to 7. All free to the average home user and then some business that never created a damn thing comes in, demands more cash than 99.9% of startups would make in total in 200 years (look it up... it's true :D ) and kills a great product while doing so. This is why open source and free software just doesn't work. The patentbitches wait silent
    • What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rtb61 (674572)

      Ultimately the tricky problem is who do you actually sue with open source. Technically every person on the planet owns the code and is free to use the application that the code creates. So sue the planet, you can't really sue companies providing service and support, nor companies providing manuals, not even companies that supply you with a copy of the completed application that you technically already owned before you even approached the company.

      I am trying to imagine the patent cops trying to enter ever

      • Ultimately the tricky problem is who do you actually sue with open source

        Identify the infringing source. Then cvs annotate or equivalent, track down the author and sue them

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by rtb61 (674572)

          The infringing source is of course a composite, with thousands of contributors, rather than one. The underlying reality of that, is that it is a composite of code modules that creates the perceived infringement (only in countries with software patents) not any of the individual modules, as each module has a specific range of non infringing functions and it is only when combined, in effect compiled and the application assembled, that infringement occurs. Whilst I made not have contributed any code, does tha

      • You can sue anyone who uses the patented technology. So you can sue all major users for royalties for each infringement(use) of the patent. The author and distributors would be most endangered by having users of the software legally assault him for a plethora of liabilities related to their being sued, but can also be sued for IP infringement himself. Unless you are someone like Microsoft with well known deep pockets, you would most likely be forced to settle the suit as you'd have no way to handle the lega
  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @03:00AM (#30734320) Homepage Journal

    ... they should also have to deactivate every (legal) copy that's currently out in the wild. After all, the software industry has been telling us for years that we don't really get to buy software, just rent it. So surely it can't be legal for Microsoft to continue to rent out software that violates someone else's patent!

    • by santax (1541065)
      Hmmz, neh not disable it. Just make sure it stops working after an hour, gives you irritating popups and general makes your life suck. Oh wait, they implemented that before this lawsuit!
    • by dingen (958134)
      We're not renting the software, we are granted a license to use it.
    • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @03:30AM (#30734434) Homepage

      ... they should also have to deactivate every (legal) copy that's currently out in the wild.

      A large part of the damage award is to cover those copies. That's why they don't have to be disabled. They pay damages to cover the copies already out there, and have to stop selling new copies that infringe.

      • They pay damages to cover the copies already out there, and have to stop selling new copies that infringe.

        It's still weird, though.

        There is a period until the infringement can be fixed. These infringing new copies could be included in the settlement, which is only a temporary situation. Instead they actually pull Office from their online store, which I think is strange. There is more going on.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by sorak (246725)

          Would you want to do business with someone who just sued you? They are using this to encourage people to test drive the 2010 beta, and have no reason to throw any more money at i4i.

          • Would you want to do business with someone who just sued you?

            All big corps seem to be doing that all the time, no? MS, Apple, IBM, Sun - if you dig around, you'll probably find all possible combos of X suing Y taken from the list above, yet not only they do business with each other, they have various partnership deals and such (which were often in place while the lawsuits went on!).

      • ... they should also have to deactivate every (legal) copy that's currently out in the wild.

        A large part of the damage award is to cover those copies. That's why they don't have to be disabled. They pay damages to cover the copies already out there, and have to stop selling new copies that infringe.

        What's funny is that most of the users of those 'infringing copies' probably don't even know about or use the infringing functionality.

    • Well maybe they have to do that but what would that do to business? Practically every business in the western world would grind to a halt if suddenly denied Microsoft Office, even the business of managing patents.

    • Or they could just post an automatic update to those copies that removes the offending feature.
    • by sa1lnr (669048)

      I would have that that the $300 million covered this?

  • How convenient... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jimicus (737525) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @03:28AM (#30734416)

    How convenient that the $670 edition should be the one that remains available.

    I can only think of three explanations for this:

    1. MS are quite happy to put some of the revenue from Office to paying damages, provided the revenue is from the most expensive version.
    2. They're holding back on making the cheaper versions compliant intentionally to see if only having the expensive version available dramatically affects sales.
    3. They're not as well organised as I'd like to believe - packaging every different edition of Office is a major undertaking which requires a lot of work.

    • by clodney (778910)

      How convenient that the $670 edition should be the one that remains available.

      I can only think of three explanations for this:

      1. MS are quite happy to put some of the revenue from Office to paying damages, provided the revenue is from the most expensive version.
      2. They're holding back on making the cheaper versions compliant intentionally to see if only having the expensive version available dramatically affects sales.
      3. They're not as well organised as I'd like to believe - packaging every different edition of Office is a major undertaking which requires a lot of work.

      How about:
      4. Each SKU has to be built and tested by the same group, and each SKU takes a certain amount of time. MS decided to concentrate on some combination of the biggest volume/biggest revenue SKUs and leave the lesser used ones to the end.

      • by jimicus (737525)

        How about:
        4. Each SKU has to be built and tested by the same group, and each SKU takes a certain amount of time. MS decided to concentrate on some combination of the biggest volume/biggest revenue SKUs and leave the lesser used ones to the end.

        I thought that, but seeing as each SKU is a superset of the one beneath it it seems odd that the packaging and testing isn't to a greater or lesser extent automated. It's not like Microsoft couldn't manage the resources to do that.

        Having said that, seeing how anti-automation everything Microsoft has historically churned out is (powershell notwithstanding), perhaps I shouldn't be too surprised.

  • I am no MS fan boy but I think that this action by the patent parasites i4i is completely wrong. We all know that the US patent system needs to be reformed, especially in the area of software patents -- this is just another example of how it is broken.
  • Compliance (Score:3, Funny)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @04:35AM (#30734728) Journal

    Your Honor, Microsoft will comply with the courts wishes, I give you my Word.... bundled with Excel and Powerpoint and....

  • It appears there's a very twisted opportunity here: patent as many evil ideas as you can then wait for companies to pursue those strategies by patent trolling them. How about starting by patenting violations of net neutrality like "a system and method for filtering internet content to prevent civil unrest." Or protecting an emerging tech like SVG: "System and method to extend svg-format files with any non-svg content."

  • by cenc (1310167)

    AN OPEN LETTER TO HOBBYISTS
    By William Henry Gates III

    February 3, 1976

    An Open Letter to Hobbyists

    To me, the most critical thing in the hobby market right now is the lack of good software courses, books and software itself. Without good software and an owner who understands programming, a hobby computer is wasted. Will quality software be written for the hobby market?

    Almost a year ago, Paul Allen and myself, expecting the hobby market to expand, hired Monte Davidoff and developed Altair BASIC. Though the init

  • Just because it hits Microsoft, I am not going to overboard and root for that gold digger who claims to have patented some XML tags or whatever. XML is by definition extensible. How can anyone patent a tag?

    Let us say this patent claim can potentially hurt all ODF vendors, but right now the patent troll is going after Microsoft. Can Microsoft pay some huge award and thus validate the patent claim and use it as a weapon against other competitors. Remember how the Automobile Manufacturers' Association in 189

  • In the mean time, we would rather you pop on over to your favorite torrent site and get a virus infested pirated copy of our lovely office suite rather than trudging over to the damned dingy open office site and use that... thanks, Steve

  • .I find it interesting that they keep a copy of still infringing software available to purchase, AND its the most expensive version they offer.

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

Working...