Microsoft banned from selling Word

So, Microsoft has, once again, been in trouble with the courts. This time it’s in the USA.

In their latest skirmish, they have been found guilty of infringing patents (oh, the irony!) relating to XML in their flagship programme Word™.

As the BBC News website says,

XML is used in recent versions of Microsoft’s word-processer (sic.) Word.

Texas district court judge Leonard Davis also filed an injunction preventing Microsoft from selling Word.

M$ has also been ordered to pay over $290m.

Although the ban on selling Word applies only to the US, folks everywhere might like to try an alternative: OpenOffice, which is free (both as in speech and as in beer!). OpenOffice is

an Open Source project. It is sponsored by Sun Microsystems, which is the primary contributor of code to the Project. Over 450,000 people from nearly every curve of the globe have joined this Project with the idea of creating the best possible office suite that all can use. They do so under the auspices of “open source.”

“Open source” means that you can contribute to make the product (and Project) better by joining the community (italics mine – see

Now that’s quite a contrast to our friends from Redmond.

(We’ve been using OpenOffice since version 1; the most recent public version at the time of writing is 3.1.)