Feeds

Microsoft secures web Office XML patent

No prosecution. Promise

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Microsoft might be offering up its XML-based Office specs and formats with a promise not to prosecute, but that hasn't stopped it from locking down another patent on the suite.

The company has been awarded a US patent apparently intended to protect the formatting and editing of Word documents that use XML.

Microsoft's patent appears designed not just to cover documents on the desktop but also those being stored and edited online in its Office Web apps - due later this year.

Significantly, the patent award covers "the manipulation of word-processing documents [that] may be done on computing devices that do not include the word-processor itself."

On protection of formatting, the patent said: "There are no feature losses when saving the word-processor documents as XML."

Presumably, this patent is part of Microsoft's Office Open XML file format, which was accepted as an ISO standard after much international politicking last year and is also an ECMA standard.

OOXML is covered by Microsoft's Open Specification Promise, under which Microsoft promised not prosecute those using, selling, or distributing its implementation of a technology or specification.

Bootnote

OpenOffice, touted by many as an alternative to Microsoft's Office, is destined to look a whole lot more like its prime competitive target in the near future. The largely Sun-Microsystems-backed OpenOffice has revealed a planned new look and feel that adopts the ribbon interface Microsoft introduced to its own productivity suite with Office 2007.

The change, part of Project Renaissance, is a risky move: Microsoft's ribbon interface has served to confuse rather than help users, because of its departure from the familiar drop-down system of menus to access hidden features. You can see the change here. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.