Microsoft removes XML feature from Word 2007

Microsoft has released an update for Word 2007 that removes the custom XML tagging technology from the software.


Microsoft has released an update for Word 2007 that removes the custom XML tagging technology from the software.

A US court banned the company from including the technology its software after January 10, after it rejected the company's appeal of an injunction applied by a lower court several months ago.

The case, which began in 2007, pitted Canadian software developer i4i against Microsoft when the former accused the latter of illegally using its XML editing technology in Word.

Previously, Microsoft had produced a patch for computer makers who factory install Microsoft Office 2007 on new PCs before they're shipped to distributors, retailers or customers.

The update, which weighs in at 12.3MB and is available on Microsoft's download site, is mandatory only for customers who purchase or license Word 2007 for use in the US after this Sunday.

In an accompanying support document, Microsoft also said it will distribute a similar patch for Word 2003, although that update has not yet appeared on the company's site.

Users who bought or licensed Word before January 10 do not have to apply the patch.

The patch turns an existing copy of Word 2007 into the twin of what Microsoft is required to market after Sunday.

With the patch's availability, copies of Office 2007 and Word 2007 already on store shelves may be salable, assuming Microsoft gets the word out to those customers that they need to apply the fix.

"You must install this update if you are instructed by Microsoft in a separate communication," Microsoft said in the support document, hinting that it will do just that.

Microsoft assured customers that applying the patch would not affect Office Word content controls, the Office Open XML (OOXML) formats that Word 2007 supports or the Custom XML markup data stored within older Word formats from the Word 97-Word 2003 eras.

In May 2009, a Texas jury said Microsoft violated i4i's patent, and ordered it to pay i4i nearly $300m in damages. The federal judge overseeing the lawsuit issued his injunction on August 11.

The case has attracted interest primarily because of that injunction, which originally was set to take effect October 10, 2009.

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