Microsoft Word Patch Intentionally Decreases Functionality
In response to a court order, Microsoft is issuing a “patch” that makes Word 2007 less useful.
The 2007 Microsoft Office OPK Master Kit Download, available on Microsoft’s OEM Partner Center, strips Word and other Office programs of custom XML editing capabilities. “The following patch is required for the United States,” Microsoft said in a message on the site.
The move comes after an appeals court on Tuesday ordered Microsoft to stop selling Microsoft Word 2007 and other Office 2007 products by Jan. 11 because the software infringes on a patent held by a Canadian company. […] The ruling means Microsoft can’t sell versions of Word that can open documents saved in the .XML, .DOCX, or .DOCM formats that contain custom XML. Those formats were at the heart of the patent dispute. DOCX is the default format for the most current version of Word, which is included in Microsoft Office 2007. Custom XML is used by businesses to link their corporate data to Word documents.
Now, I get that this (along with paying a $290 million fine) is something Microsoft has to do as punishment for violating a patent. But does anyone expect people to actually install a patch to make their software unable to do things it could do when purchased?