Microsoft Ordered to Stop Selling Word and Office?

Back in August, a court sided with a small Canadian company named i4i, which holds a patent from 1998. That patent deals with the way the XML language is implemented, and Microsoft was found to be in violation with its Word program. Microsoft was ordered to license the code from the i4i team, or reprogram it. Otherwise… Word would have to be removed from sale in the marketplace.

The original ruling was set to take place back in October, but appeals pushed that date back. The court has given their final ruling in this matter, and most news sources are saying that sales must stop. Also, Microsoft has a fat $290 million judgment ruling against them, as well. January 11th, 2010 is the official pull date for the software. As of that date, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office will supposedlyboth be barred from sale. This includes both boxed copies found at retailers, as well as bundled copies on computers sold. Many computer manufacturers are not very happy about this ruling.

You’ll still be able to use your already-purchased copies, and Microsoft is allowed to continue to support them. That’s good news, at least. If you use Microsoft Word and / or Office and plan to continue doing so… I would suggest buying an extra copy to keep on hand if you are able to.

One news source is claiming that the news spreading about the court injunction isn’t quite “correct”. It states that Microsoft has to remove the custom XML contained within .docx, .docm, or .xml files. It doesn’t exactly state that they can no longer ever sell Word or Office. Microsoft has already released a statement regarding the ruling. Reportedly, they also apparently circulated an email to their many OEM providers late yesterday. In the email, they stated:

A new supplement for the 2007 Microsoft Office system is required for the United States. After the supplement is installed, Microsoft Office Word will no longer read Custom XML elements…

One thing that bothers me greatly is that Microsoft refers to custom XML as a hardly-used or useful element of Word. Why, then, was it ever included in the first place? This entire situation – the stress on OEM retailers, consumers, and Microsoft themselves – could have been avoided.

  • mike

    god, i seriously hope they don't stop selling office. Office is used by everyone, even mac users.

  • mike

    god, i seriously hope they don't stop selling office. Office is used by everyone, even mac users.

  • Ian

    It may be, but it may be good for everyone. Microsoft makes - mostly - good products, but such dependence on one company is a risk to us all. Maybe this will force people into exploring other options, such as OpenOffice.org. Just because you don't pay $100+ doesn't mean it's worse than Office. Some could argue that it's better.

    Bias alert- I'm a Linux user who uses only OpenOffice.org.

  • Ian

    It may be, but it may be good for everyone. Microsoft makes - mostly - good products, but such dependence on one company is a risk to us all. Maybe this will force people into exploring other options, such as OpenOffice.org. Just because you don't pay $100+ doesn't mean it's worse than Office. Some could argue that it's better.

    Bias alert- I'm a Linux user who uses only OpenOffice.org.

  • Are Microsoft going to say, well we were beaten and that's it for Office? No. New stock will be in stores right away with the minor modifications.

    The effect on the public will be minimal. You probably wouldn't even notice anything if it were not for the blogs and news sites on the matter.

    If you look around, there is always a dozen court cases going with large and large or large and small companies like Microsoft and i4i.

  • Are Microsoft going to say, well we were beaten and that's it for Office? No. New stock will be in stores right away with the minor modifications.

    The effect on the public will be minimal. You probably wouldn't even notice anything if it were not for the blogs and news sites on the matter.

    If you look around, there is always a dozen court cases going with large and large or large and small companies like Microsoft and i4i.

  • newdood

    Oh MAN - where to start!!

    On the one hand, I'd like to congratulate i4i. I'd like to congratulate ANYBODY that can put a dent, however small, in the Micro$oft armor.

    Unfortunately, there is the other hand. SaraW is most likely right - the change will be made and the M$ steamroller will continue on its rampant, monopolistic path of destruction.

  • newdood

    Oh MAN - where to start!!

    On the one hand, I'd like to congratulate i4i. I'd like to congratulate ANYBODY that can put a dent, however small, in the Micro$oft armor.

    Unfortunately, there is the other hand. SaraW is most likely right - the change will be made and the M$ steamroller will continue on its rampant, monopolistic path of destruction.

  • Rico

    I still don't understand why Microsoft is allowed to get away with criminal behavior and user are so "addicted" to their products.

  • Rico

    I still don't understand why Microsoft is allowed to get away with criminal behavior and user are so "addicted" to their products.

  • mike

    why do you guys all hate microsoft? Are you all Mac users? I think Microsoft makes great products, but yes Microsoft is a huge monopoly.

  • mike

    why do you guys all hate microsoft? Are you all Mac users? I think Microsoft makes great products, but yes Microsoft is a huge monopoly.

  • THE FOUNDER

    I wonder how this will affect Microsoft Office 2010, which is currently in public beta. I'm guessing microsoft will delay the launch, which will allow them to get rid of this so called 'custom xml'.

    I do not feel that Microsoft will be barred from selling office, mainly because it is a major software package for businesses. However, like Kat has started, this will cause a lot of unnecessary trouble for many oems and retail outlets. I feel sorry for them, more than I do for Microsoft.

  • THE FOUNDER

    I wonder how this will affect Microsoft Office 2010, which is currently in public beta. I'm guessing microsoft will delay the launch, which will allow them to get rid of this so called 'custom xml'.

    I do not feel that Microsoft will be barred from selling office, mainly because it is a major software package for businesses. However, like Kat has started, this will cause a lot of unnecessary trouble for many oems and retail outlets. I feel sorry for them, more than I do for Microsoft.