Microsoft issues wipe clean Word tool for OEMs

PC manufacturers got early warning

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Microsoft spat out an Office 2007 patch for Stateside OEMs in October that pre-empted yesterday's Word XML appeal ruling, when a court upheld an injunction against the software giant.

It turns out that Redmond, which had said it was preparing for the worst after it won a temporary reprieve on the injunction in September, has been readying what is effectively a wipe clean tool for its Word product, way in advance of Tuesday's court edict.

"After this patch is installed, Word will no longer read the Custom XML elements contained within DOCX, DOCM, or XML files," said Microsoft in an advisory note to its OEM channel back in October.

"These files will continue to open, but any Custom XML elements will be removed. The ability to handle custom XML markup is typically used in association with automated server based processing of Word documents. Custom XML is not typically used by most end users of Word."

The patch only applies to Word products in the US, where the injunction will apply from 11 January, said Microsoft.

Microsoft was ordered yesterday to pay $290m to Canadian software maker i4i, following a long-running patent spat with the firm over an XML - or extensible markup language - custom editor present in some editions of MS Word. ®

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