Can the world survive without the latest version of Word? Microsoft thinks not. Facing an injunction of sales of the Office flagship over a patent violation, Microsoft asked to stay the injuction while it appeals a $290 million verdict that found it violated i4i's patents, PC World reports.
"Microsoft and its distributors face the imminent possibility of a massive disruption in their sales. If left undisturbed, the district court's injunction will inflict irreparable harm on Microsoft by potentially keeping the centerpiece of its product line out of the market for months," the firm's lawyers added. "The injunction would block not only the distribution of Word, but also of the entire Office suite, which contains Word and other popular programs."
Would that means a huge break for Google and its free, online Docs and Apps offerings? eWeek thinks so:
The Word ban would level the word processing playing field for technology providers trying to muscle in on Microsoft's market. It means Google, Zoho and fellow SAAS (software as a service) conspirators looking for word processing market share would finally have a way in.
But in reality, would it be a total disaster if the stay were not lifted?
Barry Negrin, a partner with the New York firm Pryor Cashman LLP who has practiced patent and trademark law for 17 years, agreed with i4i, saying that Microsoft should be able to work around the injunction with an "easy technical" fix. "All Microsoft has to do is disable the custom XML feature, which should be pretty easy to do, then give that a different SKU number from what's been sold so it's easy to distinguish the two versions," said Negrin said in an interview on Friday.
So, it this mostion just FUD?