Feeds

Microsoft secures web Office XML patent

No prosecution. Promise

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.