January 11th ban hammer date for Microsoft Word: Off again. Kind of.

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by Mike
Posted December 23rd, 2009 at 6:18 am

Not even 24 hours ago we heard the news that Microsoft lost their appeal to i4i — a small XML developers firm — and that the presiding judge decided to uphold the January 11th ban on Microsoft ‘07. Yesterday the two most obvious choices for Microsoft were to pay up and forget about it or appeal again, risking losing more money and another court case. Microsoft however is choosing plan c. Plan C is simply selling new versions of Word ‘03 and ‘07 without the infringing and “little-used feature” according to Microsoft.

With respect to Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007, we have been preparing for this possibility since the District Court issued its injunction in August 2009 and have put the wheels in motion to remove this little-used feature from these products. Therefore, we expect to have copies of Microsoft Word 2007 and Office 2007, with this feature removed, available for U.S. sale and distribution by the injunction date. In addition, the beta versions of Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010, which are available now for downloading, do not contain the technology covered by the injunction.

While Microsoft will escape the dreaded ban hammer on their bread and butter Office Suite, they will also still be responsible for a $240 million payment as awarded by the first judge and upheld by the second. That payment however is still up in the air as Microsoft has stated they are pursuing other legal options. We shall see…

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