Microsoft uses (some) Macs in Redmond

...says WordPerfect user Graham Lea

For some important documents, like its Annual Report, Microsoft uses Macs. Kerry Leimer Jay used Word 98 for the Mac on his G3 system, and his file - with a path name that will be familiar to Mac users - was msft:ar99:downloads:ar99.doc. The discovery was made by Richard M Smith, a MacInTouch reader. The Word version of the Annual Report has the metadata that provides the proof. All you need is to download the .DOC file and put it though a utility to display the content. In July, The Registerpointed out the perils of using Word if you want to keep any little secrets contained in so-called hidden text fields. Microsoft is aware of the problem, and has even produced a product support document "How to minimize metadata in Microsoft Word documents" that warns that Word documents "may contain content that you may not want to share with others when you distribute the document electronically". Not all the data is readily available (through the "Word user interface", Microsoft says -- but WordPerfect is a better tool for looking at it). Some data needs what Microsoft calls "extraordinary means" to see it -- like a simple file dumper. Microsoft's advice for the removal of metadata says that "there is no single method that you can use to eliminate all such content" and goes on to describe some 20 cases of "how to eliminate" this or that potential problem, and then proposes eight more papers to read about the subject. A quicker way would be not to use Word , especially in view of the extra bandwidth for all those useless bytes, and the security problems (like an embedded virus) in Word files attached to emails. Perhaps this is the beginning of a case for an Internet tax. You may ask, what's wrong with using Macs. Nothing at all, squire, but we thought you'd like to know that Microsoft guys can be human. Related story Exclusive: We reveal Gateway exec's secret MS evidence

Sponsored: Driving business with continuous operational intelligence