back to article Dell and HP sing Microsoft tune on Word injunction

Dell and Hewlett-Packard are supporting Microsoft's bid to postpone a US court injunction on Word shipments. The duo have filed documents with a US court that claims the injunction will subject them to heavy burdens and adversely impact the public interest. Dell and HP have zeroed in on the complications the injunction will …

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Happy

As you Sow, so shall yea reap......

"If the ruling stood, Microsoft argued: "Patent litigation will be reduced to a free-for-all, unbounded by the requirements of the substantive law or the rules of evidence or trial procedure"

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Thanks

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Silver badge

Old tactics

HP and Dell would probably not even have noticed the change. MS have either strongarmed or bribed them to write these letters (and the cut n paste bits are probably taken directly from the template MS certainly helpfully provided). This is quite common tactics. It is used by supermarket chains to silence their opposition for example: if you attack them, you will be sued by the company *and* by all its partners (you're looking at a few hundred separate lawsuits in some cases) so of course no-one can afford to speak up...

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Big Brother

No title required.

Actually a lot of HP PCs ship with a trial version of Office these days. Come to think of it my Mother-in-Laws new Gateway has it too.

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Black Helicopters

Zombie ??

Now it is getting clear who the real microsoft zombies are.

Or are they just a bit brown around the nose ....

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Silver badge

"This is not justice"

bwahahahahahahahahahahaha

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Dead Vulture

Actually...

Gavin, you seem to be missing the bit where most HP's (and probably Dells as well) ship "Office Ready" where they have the trial of Office installed on them, just awaiting the user to click buy etc. So yes, they do have Office on them, it's just that it's not yet a full version till it's bought.

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Silver badge

Concrete crap

Quit preloading the bloat & trial ware so we can get a clean install to start with. Here's hoping the judge says, "It's just tough shit."

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Bronze badge
Happy

Yes, this is justice...

I find it hilarious that MS is being sued by a company whose name I choose to pronounce "eye-for-an-eye".

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Silver badge

Dell and HP

Want their kickback from installing trial copies of Office.

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Silver badge

Anti-trust

I hope the people who monitor freedom of the market place are taking notes

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Silver badge

Dell and HP could actually make some sales

As there are free trail versions of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office, then why not go a step further and have a free version of Vista that people pay money to change to Windows 7? If this became a common feature of Dell/HP machines then I would look at there sites to see if they sell anything I want, and perhaps recommend them to others.

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Happy

The company's legal team claimed: "This is not justice."

No it's not justice. It's Kama.

And until MS stop threating Linux with undisclosed Patent threats then I agree with the post here http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/27/dell_hp_amicus_microsoft/comments/#c_569563

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Anonymous Coward

Clippy says...

It looks like you're writing an amicus brief. Would you like help?

*Give me some stock phrases to use

*Protect my Microsoft kick-back

*Call me a waaaaambulance

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MS: Oh, it's so hard to not break the law. Do we really have to be good?

Court reply: Yes

And to Dell & HP...Remove software, test, long hard job? Total and utter rubbish. Think positive. Customers would no longer be faced with that daunting task! On top of that, freedom of choice would be on a more level playing field so public interests are improved.

Seems to me, big companies hate all patents but their own, but as they are among the leading proponents of ridiculous patents, let the court kick them where it hurts. Harder and harder, because they don't seem to be learning.

Justice? Microsoft? Don't make me laugh.

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Cost to Dell et al

Dell etc have an image without Office on. They can use that on all future machines. Time/cost/effort - zero.

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Unhappy

Would make my life harder if it were banned too.

The Office Ready install on HP machines is VERY useful for me, most people buying a business PC want office. And installing the OEM code takes much less time than actually having to have seperate images.

It would be a pain in the neck for me and my customers if I can't get hold of office when someone needs it.

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Gates Horns

Live by the Sword

Die by the Sword.

So its "justice" to rip into TomTom et al because of supposed patent infringements, but not "justice" when its Microsoft on the receiving end?

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FAIL

Prior art

Although I am not in favour of software patents, it would appear that, in this case, the patent holders had a product that they thought was protected by the patent. Microsoft employed them to collate data from the 911 attacks, got to the point where they understood how the patent holder's software worked, incorporated that methodology into Word and then stole the patent holder's customer base.

It's important to note 2 things here; firstly the implication is that the methodology was non-trivial to the point that Microsoft were not able to incorporate it into Word without studying the patent-holder's methods.

And secondly, it is only Word which has been litigated against; the other elements of the Office suite, which use the same XML formatting and data storage model were not affected.

So it seems that rather than just being a simple patent troll seeking to extract maximum monetary recompense from Microsoft, the patent holders are simply asking for a wrong to be righted.

But from what I understand, the patent is horribly loose and merely describes a system of mapping data and formatting information separately by using metacodes: a description that surely applies to most formatted data files, from HTML through to Words own .doc format and which should probably fail on prior art.

So, much as I believe that Microsoft have knowingly and cynically swindled their erstwhile partners, it seems difficult to believe that this patent has any merit at all.

In which case, not only was the money spent on the patent completely wasted, but worse, it probably gave the patent holders a false sense of security in the face of their business partnership with Microsoft.

If I have misunderstood what has happened here, I'm very happy to have it explained to...

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Stop

Office Pre-Installs

Yeah, my laptop came with one of those 30 day trial versions of office. I didn't want it and the amount of crap it had installed was amazing. If you de-installed office then you had to de-install at least one other application which seemed to take forever to remove. But I did it, so what's with all this retesting shit?

So why remove it I hear you ask. Simple - because the damned thing is installed the Vista update utility insists that you have Office installed and the amount of extra download and patching it wanted to do for a product I didn't even want was just bloody stupid.

How Dell and HP can claim that its hard work I don't know but is is so obvious that they've just taken a stock letter from MS and modified it, and the judge may well see that too and you don't try to fool a judge because a pissed of judge is not what MS need. If the Judge thinks he is being played by MS and that the HP and Dell responses are just the response of stool pigeons then it wont look good for MS.

As for MS's pathetic little whine. If you dont like being sued for breaking peoples patents, how ever stupid you think they are, then don't break them. When there are MS emails pointing out that they would infringe this patent which then basically go on to encourage breaking it then really you can't have any sympathy for them.

"promote the Progress of Science and the useful Arts."? Bollock to that. Software patents DO NOT do that and this case is just the latest of a long line which shows that SW Patents are wrong, especially when the US Patent system is so obviously broken.

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FAIL

MacroShaft.

"The duo have filed documents with a US court that claims the injunction will subject them to heavy burdens and adversely impact the public interest."

Could we, the public, file similar injuctions claiming this is bullshit and none us give a crap about MS office? If we can, I think we should because M$ are clearly bargaining on some kind of public interest that doesn't exist.

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Bronze badge
Pint

ROTFLMAO

If I'm ever found guilty in court I think I might try Microsoft's, "the punishment you hand down is inconvenient and may cause me some problems" and see if they set it aside.

I would just love to be the judge hearing Microsoft's legal argument.

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And in the mean time...

HP and Dell will be beavering away at the pre-install for the "include free OpenOffice.org suite supporting all international standards" so the bases are covered regardless of how this falls out.

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