AfterDawn: Tech news

HP, Dell back Microsoft in patent fight

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 28 Aug 2009 2:14 User comments (36)

HP, Dell back Microsoft in patent fight Earlier this month, software giant Microsoft was shocked when they lost a patent dispute to i4i and were told that the word processing application Word would be blocked from sales starting in October.
Microsoft has appealed the decision and today has gotten some backup support from the large computer manufacturers (and big Microsoft customers) HP and Dell.

The companies asked the judge in the case to reconsider the injunction, or at least delay it by 120 days.

"The District Court's injunction of Microsoft Word will have an impact far beyond Microsoft,"
said the Dell and HP brief. "Microsoft Word is ubiquitous among word processing software and is included on [redacted] computers sold by Dell."

The full statement also mapped out how Dell would be hurt severely monetarily and would be forced to "restructure its products."

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36 user comments

128.8.2009 4:01

...So rather than switching to a faster, easier, more reliable, free suite such as OpenOffice, Dell & HP are going to bat for microsoft so that they can work together to screw customers out of money.

""The District Court's injunction of Microsoft Word will have an impact far beyond Microsoft," said the Dell and HP brief. "Microsoft Word is ubiquitous among word processing software and is included on [redacted] computers sold by Dell." "
-Any time you force someone to stop selling something, it will affect the retailers as well. This is just common sense, when Heroin was made illigal, many snake oil salesmen went out of business.

228.8.2009 8:04

Quote:
The full statement also mapped out how Dell............would be forced to "restructure its products."
Well, it looks like they have a plan and are ready to go. Get to it Dell and HP!

328.8.2009 10:09

Quote:
"Microsoft Word is ubiquitous among word processing software and is included on [redacted] computers sold by Dell."
They [Dell] also left out the parts about the enormous profit margin they have on this ubiquitous (a.k.a. monopolistic) product. Give me OpenOffice, or the old WordPerfect.

428.8.2009 11:15

Well you have to remember, every OEM image on a Dell or HP includes a whole 60 day free trial of Office!!! With the option to purchase a full license...

528.8.2009 14:51

Why does this matter? No matter what happens no matter what the result of the case Microsoft will win. Microsoft always win they have enough money to wee on anyone regardless of the situation. If it's discovered that the entire code for Vista is in fact Mario Kart 64 all M$ would do is buy Nintendo then pay everyone off down to the person that decided what colour Mario's hat should be.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Aug 2009 @ 14:52

628.8.2009 16:06

Originally posted by keith1993:
Why does this matter? No matter what happens no matter what the result of the case Microsoft will win. Microsoft always win they have enough money to wee on anyone regardless of the situation. If it's discovered that the entire code for Vista is in fact Mario Kart 64 all M$ would do is buy Nintendo then pay everyone off down to the person that decided what colour Mario's hat should be.
we all know vista is based off of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002. Vista like a 747 is slow, old, cant take a hard turn, must use 4 oversize quad engines to operate efficiently and is full of screaming windows users.

XP is like and F-4 phantom its not the fastest but dammit i can do a barrel roll.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Aug 2009 @ 16:14

728.8.2009 18:04

Originally posted by keith1993:
Why does this matter? No matter what happens no matter what the result of the case Microsoft will win. Microsoft always win they have enough money to wee on anyone regardless of the situation. If it's discovered that the entire code for Vista is in fact Mario Kart 64 all M$ would do is buy Nintendo then pay everyone off down to the person that decided what colour Mario's hat should be.

keith1993,
Traditionally, that's what M$ always did! This time the law is 100% on i4i's side. If they do sell, it will be at 141's price, not what M$ wants to give them! I doubt very much that they will sell! All HP and Dell have done is made that even more of a certainty. They are doing nothing more than trying to get the Court to OK M$ stealing i4i's property! The Courts will never go for it! It will be either pay up for M$, HP, Dell and others, or stop using i4i's property! It's not within the power of the Courts to invalidate 141's patents and take away all rights, and then turn around and award those rights to M$. That's essentially what M$, HP and Dell are asking for, and it's not going to happen! It's i4i's Patent, and M$ and many others are using it without permission or compensation! Even Bill Gates friendship with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, isn't going to change that!

This is also not a case where M$ can drag things out till i4i runs out of money, as i4i bears no financial burden at all. All it's cost them is the fee to file the complaint, and the Attorney's fees for the paperwork. The Court has already investigated and determined that M$ is not entitled to use it, so anyone doing so is in violation of the law! The burden of proof and the expense is on M$, and they don't have a leg to stand on! Bringing HP and Dell into it was a mistake on M$'s part. All it does is demonstrate just how widespread and flagrant this patent rights violation is! Wouldn't you love to be in i4i's shoes? LOL!!

828.8.2009 23:14

theonejrs may have something there... My first reaction to the news that MS is requesting help from some of their big PC assembling buddies was similar. Who cares if HP and Dell don't like it? It doesn't change right from wrong. All it does is prove MS is trying to flex its muscles. It is all in very poor taste if you ask me. I agree it was a mistake. Or, maybe they are trying for some government sympathy by crying, "We're too big to fail!"

928.8.2009 23:22

its a big deal to alot of businesses, every place i've been to they have word suite. sure free is good for the home segment,majority of the business segments wants nothing to do with it.

there is even a certification for word. wouldn't look good going to clerical/record keeping school for a year only to find out your certification for word means nothing anymore.

1028.8.2009 23:32

Originally posted by DXR88:
its a big deal to alot of businesses, every place i've been to they have word suite. sure free is good for the home segment,majority of the business segments wants nothing to do with it.

there is even a certification for word. wouldn't look good going to clerical/record keeping school for a year only to find out your certification for word means nothing anymore.
Acualy, many businesses have switched to openoffice recently, due to the newer Office07 files not working with Office03, and the extremely high price of Office07. It is very hard to justify spending hundreds per computer on new software & training just so you can read files someone sent with an email...it's a recession. Openoffice looks and acts almost identicaly to Office03, so the learning curve is much less severe.

1128.8.2009 23:57

Let me see if I understand.
If you download a few dollars worth of songs you get $1.9 million fine.
If you steal something worth millions...........
......AND JUSTICE FOR ALL?

1229.8.2009 0:08

Quote:
Originally posted by DXR88:
its a big deal to alot of businesses, every place i've been to they have word suite. sure free is good for the home segment,majority of the business segments wants nothing to do with it.

there is even a certification for word. wouldn't look good going to clerical/record keeping school for a year only to find out your certification for word means nothing anymore.
Acualy, many businesses have switched to openoffice recently, due to the newer Office07 files not working with Office03, and the extremely high price of Office07. It is very hard to justify spending hundreds per computer on new software & training just so you can read files someone sent with an email...it's a recession. Openoffice looks and acts almost identicaly to Office03, so the learning curve is much less severe.
However, the US Government uses office 2007, I don't want to know how much we paid to have all of our systems upgraded. I know we will not be switching to open office.

1329.8.2009 0:09

Originally posted by jcraig03:
Let me see if I understand.
If you download a few dollars worth of songs you get $1.9 million fine.
If you steal something worth millions...........
......AND JUSTICE FOR ALL?
Welcome to America, land of the free....if you can afford it.

1429.8.2009 0:53

Quote:
Originally posted by DXR88:
its a big deal to alot of businesses, every place i've been to they have word suite. sure free is good for the home segment,majority of the business segments wants nothing to do with it.

there is even a certification for word. wouldn't look good going to clerical/record keeping school for a year only to find out your certification for word means nothing anymore.
Acualy, many businesses have switched to openoffice recently, due to the newer Office07 files not working with Office03, and the extremely high price of Office07. It is very hard to justify spending hundreds per computer on new software & training just so you can read files someone sent with an email...it's a recession. Openoffice looks and acts almost identicaly to Office03, so the learning curve is much less severe.

KillerBug,
I can't for the life of me understand businesses changing to Open Office! There's just too much incompatibility between it and Office XP. I had to re-install Office XP because Open Office would not open a lot of my files!

1529.8.2009 1:51

If i4i is publicly traded all M$ would have to do is buy up the stock and do what Oracle does...take over.

1629.8.2009 2:09

Originally posted by theonejrs:
Quote:
Originally posted by DXR88:
its a big deal to alot of businesses, every place i've been to they have word suite. sure free is good for the home segment,majority of the business segments wants nothing to do with it.

there is even a certification for word. wouldn't look good going to clerical/record keeping school for a year only to find out your certification for word means nothing anymore.
Acualy, many businesses have switched to openoffice recently, due to the newer Office07 files not working with Office03, and the extremely high price of Office07. It is very hard to justify spending hundreds per computer on new software & training just so you can read files someone sent with an email...it's a recession. Openoffice looks and acts almost identicaly to Office03, so the learning curve is much less severe.

KillerBug,
I can't for the life of me understand businesses changing to Open Office! There's just too much incompatibility between it and Office XP. I had to re-install Office XP because Open Office would not open a lot of my files!

This is the first I've heard about such incompatabilities. From my experience, office 2003 files open better in openoffice than they do in Office 2007. Plus, most companies that are in this boat are not uninstalling office 2003, they are just adding openoffice to open the newer file formats...and the users slowly switch off of Office 2003 as they get to know the faster, more efficient, and more accurate results generated by OpenOffice.

"However, the US Government uses office 2007, I don't want to know how much we paid to have all of our systems upgraded. I know we will not be switching to open office."

It makes me feel sick to be a US citizen when the government does stuff like this. There are superior alternatives available for free...and there are more than enough people in the government that know this...but they still buy Office 2007 so a few non-elected officials will get kick-backs and bribes from microsoft. If some more bribes had been passed around back in the early part of the last century, Heroin would still be legal.


1729.8.2009 2:34

Originally posted by 20TONS:
If i4i is publicly traded all M$ would have to do is buy up the stock and do what Oracle does...take over.

20TONS,
That's the real beauty of it all! David has Conquered Goliath! The Patent is owned by a small Private Canadian Company that's not even listed on the Stock Exchange, and they'll still get to negotiate with M$ after M$ coughs up 330 Million Dollars, awarded by the Court! 290 Million USD, plus another 40 Million USD in Punitive damages when the Court discovered that M$ willfully infringed on the patent! I don't give M$ much chance in trying to get the verdict changed! Not with that much guilt already admitted!
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-inv...article1251606/

This has been in the Court system for more than two years, and now finally M$ has been caught doing what they have always done and gotten away with in the past. This time it wasn't a company it could so easily crush! I guess that Bill Gates will have to face the reality that his money can't buy everything, perhaps for the first time!

Let's hear it for the "Little Guy"! My hats off to him!

1829.8.2009 2:41

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by theonejrs:
Quote:
Originally posted by DXR88:
its a big deal to alot of businesses, every place i've been to they have word suite. sure free is good for the home segment,majority of the business segments wants nothing to do with it.

there is even a certification for word. wouldn't look good going to clerical/record keeping school for a year only to find out your certification for word means nothing anymore.
Acualy, many businesses have switched to openoffice recently, due to the newer Office07 files not working with Office03, and the extremely high price of Office07. It is very hard to justify spending hundreds per computer on new software & training just so you can read files someone sent with an email...it's a recession. Openoffice looks and acts almost identicaly to Office03, so the learning curve is much less severe.

KillerBug,
I can't for the life of me understand businesses changing to Open Office! There's just too much incompatibility between it and Office XP. I had to re-install Office XP because Open Office would not open a lot of my files!

This is the first I've heard about such incompatabilities. From my experience, office 2003 files open better in openoffice than they do in Office 2007. Plus, most companies that are in this boat are not uninstalling office 2003, they are just adding openoffice to open the newer file formats...and the users slowly switch off of Office 2003 as they get to know the faster, more efficient, and more accurate results generated by OpenOffice.

"However, the US Government uses office 2007, I don't want to know how much we paid to have all of our systems upgraded. I know we will not be switching to open office."

It makes me feel sick to be a US citizen when the government does stuff like this. There are superior alternatives available for free...and there are more than enough people in the government that know this...but they still buy Office 2007 so a few non-elected officials will get kick-backs and bribes from microsoft. If some more bribes had been passed around back in the early part of the last century, Heroin would still be legal.

KillerBug,
The problem I ran into was in data received in Rich Text Format, which seems to be a favorite in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. I couldn't open any of them with Open Office. I re-installed Office XP and it reads the text, NP!

GigaByte 990FXA-UD5 - AMD FX-8320 @4.0GHz @1.312v - Corsair H-60 liquid CPU Cooler - 4x4 GB GSkill RipJaws DDR3/1866 Cas8, 8-9-9-24 - Corsair 400-R Case - OCZ FATAL1TY 550 watt Modular PSU - Intel 330 120GB SATA III SSD - WD Black 500GB SATA III - WD black 1 TB Sata III - WD Black 500GB SATA II - 2 Asus DRW-24B1ST DVD-Burner - Sony 420W 5.1 PL-II Suround Sound - GigaByte GTX550/1GB 970 Mhz Video - Asus VE247H 23.6" HDMI 1080p Monitor


1929.8.2009 2:55

MS office 07 is a buggy hell some places have stopped supporting it and went back to office 03. 0-o

2029.8.2009 4:32

theonejrs
I was intrigued by you saying you could not open RTF docs. in Openoffice. I have just tried, and they opened at once. I save small docs. in MS Notepad in RTF. One I opened was an HTML page saved in RTF. I use Openoffice 3.0, but I know previous editions have done the same. As it happens, I'm in Scotland.

2129.8.2009 5:35

Originally posted by jinnek45:
theonejrs
I was intrigued by you saying you could not open RTF docs. in Openoffice. I have just tried, and they opened at once. I save small docs. in MS Notepad in RTF. One I opened was an HTML page saved in RTF. I use Openoffice 3.0, but I know previous editions have done the same. As it happens, I'm in Scotland.

jinnek45,
These were all Genealogy information in RTF format and not a one would open. I got a message telling me that it didn't know how to handle this file, or something to that effect. I put in OpenOffice from the program files, but it wouldn't open the file. By everything I understand, it should have opened with the Word Processor part of Open office. I did a little hunting around and my Office XP is version 10! After installing it, it opened every file!

I know nothing about Open Office personally, as this is on my friends computer. He asked me because he couldn't figure it out. I failed to get it to work, so I installed my Office on his computer, and then they all opened fine! I also have Enterprise as well, which I assume is 2007. I'm personally much more comfortable with the older version. I've been using Office in one form or another since version 4.2, around 92-93!

2229.8.2009 10:56

all M$ had to do was keep with the .doc format... but noooo they had to change it... good job buddy! next, linux foundation will be suing you for infringement on something. lol!

2329.8.2009 17:25

M$ COULD have done something before and could settle it now. However, like sooooo many of these piggy corporations that is no fun for them. They want to get away with murder because they have been contributing so much mony to re-election campains for decades. That is the only way they get their rocks off, is to get away with murder. HP and Dell are want to be piggie corps so they will do what they can. Or maybe they just don't want to get off their f*cking asses. I would not buy from them, unless the deal was too good to pass up.

2430.8.2009 1:34

I wonder why HP/Compaq Dell should get involved at all in this litigation.

When Novell sells copies of Suse the PC builders want and get redemption fro any kind of liability arising out of it. Did HP/Compaq Dell buy Win + Office combos without any? How sad !

2530.8.2009 2:29

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-inv...article1251606/

Let's hear it for the "Little Guy"! My hats off to him!


theonejrs
Thanks for the good read. I'll be watching this one closely. I hope M$ lose their appeal and have to pay up and remove it as ordered. Screw Dell & HP as they knew what they were getting into dealing with M$.

2630.8.2009 4:59

Originally posted by 20TONS:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/investment-ideas/features/vox/i4i-won-a-huge-legal-victory-but-at-what-cost/article1251606/

Let's hear it for the "Little Guy"! My hats off to him!
theonejrs
Thanks for the good read. I'll be watching this one closely. I hope M$ lose their appeal and have to pay up and remove it as ordered. Screw Dell & HP as they knew what they were getting into dealing with M$.

20TONS,
You're welcome. BTW! I don't think that the next court will even hear the appeal! The evidence against M$ is just too overwhelming. I just don't see any way that M$ could ever present a defense that would convince the court to hear the case! Everything from the last two courts would have to be thrown out. 40 Million USD in Punitive damages speaks volumes for how this court felt about M$ defense. Punitive damages are not usually awarded in this type of case! You have to really piss off the court to earn those!

Somewhere Bill Gates is wandering around muttering, "Lose!! We Never lose"! A Slight adjustment to his Ego-Mania is in order! ROFL!! This has been like watching a great Chess match!

2730.8.2009 7:55

from a computer sellers point of view, 9 out of 10 customers ask if office is included with laptop/desktop. the only reason is they have been bainwashed that it has to be there. weather it is 90 day or 30 day trial it has to be there. if it is not there, they have to have it or they will not buy.

one other thing. dell and hp are big players, but what about the other oem builders? acer, asus, lenovo, sony, gateway etc. most if not all bulers have it, but only 2 pipe up to help.

2830.8.2009 16:09

I'm not really sure in what way anyone thinks OpenOffice is a better alternative than Office 2007 aside from the price. It's actually less user-friendly. It doesn't offer grammar suggestions. The equation editor is AWFUL (not relevant to most people, but I use it sometimes). So unless we're talking about the bang you get for your buck, I really do think Office 2007 is better... and nicer looking. I hate relatively ugly stuff on my machine. Find someone with a copy of Office 2007 that can be installed on 3 machines and have yourself a nice day. If not, then enjoy Open Office. There's nothing wrong with it if you don't feel like shelling out the money...I'm just saying that Word is (and now that I think about it Excel is) obviously better than the OpenOffice alternatives in terms of functionality and the user-interface.

P.S. If anyone knows of any particularly wonderful OpenOffice feature or awful Office 2007 (specifically Word, PowerPoint, or Excel) flaw that I missed or whatever then please comment so I can be enlightened. I'm willing to have an open mind about this. :)

-Kyle

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Aug 2009 @ 16:10

2930.8.2009 23:13

"from a computer sellers point of view, 9 out of 10 customers ask if office is included with laptop/desktop. the only reason is they have been bainwashed that it has to be there. weather it is 90 day or 30 day trial it has to be there. if it is not there, they have to have it or they will not buy. "

This is why it would be so wonderful for microsoft not to be able to sell it for a while. When brainwashed people ask for office, the salesperson will be forced to tell them that office is no longer available, but that openoffice is still around, and free.

3030.8.2009 23:49

Originally posted by KillerBug:
"from a computer sellers point of view, 9 out of 10 customers ask if office is included with laptop/desktop. the only reason is they have been bainwashed that it has to be there. weather it is 90 day or 30 day trial it has to be there. if it is not there, they have to have it or they will not buy. "

This is why it would be so wonderful for microsoft not to be able to sell it for a while. When brainwashed people ask for office, the salesperson will be forced to tell them that office is no longer available, but that openoffice is still around, and free.

KillerBug,
That would be great, but I don't think in the long run it would be very good for the economy, as it would affect every OEM Windows Installer, not to mention every Recovery Disk, as they would have to be replaced too! So far this year according to http://www.peterrussell.dreamhosters.com/Odds/WorldClock.php there have been over 55 Million computers produced worldwide. Even if it was only in North America, the number of new Recovery CDs needed, would be staggering! It's a simple case of Micro$oft, HP and Dell "Deserve" it, but the people don't, and they're the ones who will pay in the end!

3131.8.2009 0:26

well at least it only effects word releases with the custom xml.

i4i may win, but the pirates are the real winners here.

3231.8.2009 21:04

Who the hell uses docx format files anyway for most Word documents? I've never received one or sent one.

Microsoft is in the wrong (again), but got exposed in the courts this time. No amount of crying from HP and Dell changes the facts of the case.

3331.8.2009 21:20

Honestly, I haven't seen a whole lot of DOCX around. I use it for my own stuff, but if I'm sending it to other people I sometimes convert it to DOC or PDF because not enough people have either Office 2007 or the 2007 office viewer and even if they do, why even try to inconvenience people?

341.9.2009 1:26

Does Microsoft have an original idea anymore???

351.9.2009 6:53

Originally posted by borhan9:
Does Microsoft have an original idea anymore???

borhan9,
I think a better question would be, "did they ever have an original idea"? Most of the first GUI for windows was stolen from Digital Research, who developed it. It was turned down by Micro$oft, who then came up with their own GUI, which just happened to contain a fair amount of Digital Research's source code! Imagine that!

361.9.2009 10:18

The only 2 original ideas M$ have ever had were incorporating a new era of robber baron tactics to a software company and the use of stock options to attract the best of the best.

Gates realized public opinion killed the robber barons of old. He fostered several brilliant PR companies. Very early they developed the persona of M$ being the source of all breaking computing knowledge. I remember reading an article where the author was in disbelief how the media believed M$ was so much more knowledgeable and capable than IBM. He just could get over the attitudes. Because the media was being influenced by several PR compaines they believed what they heard. He said at that time if M$ could project such an image, even though false, there is no stopping them. He was just so right! The IBM officials believe the press more than they did their own staff and caved in.

Gates is the greatest robber baron of all time! THAT is his originality. It doesn’t matter what you are selling as long as you have the best marketing strategy.

M$ hired many key persons with huge stock options. They had all the incentive they needed to average 60+hr weeks. M$ spawened several billionairs and hundreds of millionairs. He also proved young techies in dirty T-shirts pulling all nighters living on delivered free pizza and free Coke could blow away the suits. IBM created the persona that programmers needed to work in a 3 piece suits wiith garters were the only programmers to be considered serious. M$ destroyed that persona.

Thank you M$!

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