Feeds

Microsoft patents Wish Lists

Just what you always wanted

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Microsoft has been granted a patent for electronic Wish Lists. The patent, 7,315,834, was filed in April 2005 and granted on New Year's Day.

While world+dog have been using Wish Lists and Gift Registries online for years, the patent text concedes, they're severely limited in their present form:

Most item lists are limited to providing only offers to the user, such that the user cannot enter general product categories or manufacturers of items into a user's item list.

What a nuisance. But another reason cited for the necessity behind this 'invention' is even more curious:

In some situations smaller merchants cannot afford the membership costs associated with membership of a shopping portal, the costs associated with having their own electronic item list system or may not have the critical mass to justify a single site shopping list.

"Accordingly," Microsoft explains, "there is an unmet need in the art for a system and method that mitigates the above stated deficiencies with traditional electronic item list applications."

Phew. That's why the best brains in the industry need to apply themselves to this task - and what a relief that Microsoft spends $7bn a year on R&D.

Seriously, can e-commerce sites really not afford to allocate an extra ten rows in a database table? Or a field for free form text? (That 'innovation' in itself takes up a fair chunk of the patent.)

Thanks to TheoDP for the tip. He also notes that a flood of recent patent applications - 22 in the past week - personally name William H. Gates as one of the inventors.

The World's Richest Man is due to leave Microsoft this year - and doesn't appear to be ready to settle for the traditional clock and mildly risqué leaving card. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.