Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 21st Nov 2005 23:51 UTC
Features, Office Microsoft intends to submit file formats for its new Office 12 applications to the European standards body ECMA International. The company hopes this will allay concern about its level of control over document formats. Update by AS: For the curious, here's a sample Office 12 file and a sample XPS file. (Note: Right click > Save As..., we're not configured to serve these files just yet.)
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RE: Cost
by on Tue 22nd Nov 2005 00:44 UTC in reply to "Cost"

Member since:

"As part of the submission do they allow use of the standard free of charge?"

Yes, however patent rights are not covered at all. So while you can use the technology for free, it doesn't guarentee that Microsloft won't sue you for reimplementing the technology.

This is the same strategy they used against Java to make .NYET seem more free to newbs, while still controlling the technology 100% like they did.

That said, Microsoft hasn't really ever sued a competitor, they just find other even more underhanded ways to bury them.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Cost
by Tyr. on Tue 22nd Nov 2005 00:51 in reply to "RE: Cost"
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, however patent rights are not covered at all. So while you can use the technology for free, it doesn't guarentee that Microsloft won't sue you for reimplementing the technology.

Exactly, an approach which would lend itself magnificently to FUD attacks by Microsoft proxies. Noone likes to have the sword of Domocles above their heads. And having a wolf tell you not to worry it's not going to bite you isn't very reassuring either.

Second this would probably only last for one version of Office. After that the obligatory Microsoft feature-bloat would be added to the new version and the default MSOffice format would turn from a "standard file format" into a "standards-based file format" (but now with more features! the pr will exclaim)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Cost
by matthew_i on Tue 22nd Nov 2005 01:02 in reply to "RE: Cost"
matthew_i Member since:
2005-07-14

That said, Microsoft hasn't really ever sued a competitor, they just find other even more underhanded ways to bury them.

They sued Linspire when it was still known as "Lindows". In fact, they did it in every country where Linspire operated at the time.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Cost
by Bit_Rapist on Tue 22nd Nov 2005 01:09 in reply to "RE[2]: Cost"
Bit_Rapist Member since:
2005-11-13

They sued Linspire when it was still known as "Lindows". In fact, they did it in every country where Linspire operated at the time.

That was over trademark infringement. Historically MS has not been a major sue happy corporation when it comes to *ip* rights.

Most of the patents etc. that they pursue or more than likely to fend off the literal hordes of people who are suing them constantly.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Cost
by Celerate on Tue 22nd Nov 2005 06:33 in reply to "RE: Cost"
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't think they can sue a clean room implementation though, unless the DMCA comes into play, and then I don't think the DMCA can be applied to "open" standards.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Cost
by on Tue 22nd Nov 2005 08:14 in reply to "RE[2]: Cost"
Member since:

Sure they can. If the clean room implementation use patented algorithms.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Cost
by CrimsonScythe on Tue 22nd Nov 2005 15:29 in reply to "RE[2]: Cost"
CrimsonScythe Member since:
2005-07-10

One of the many problems with software patents, is that they cover the idea that they have patented, no matter how it is implemented. It doesn't matter at all whether or not you even know that such a patent exists, since they have patented very the idea itself. If we were talking about copyright, then you would be correct.

Reply Parent Score: 2