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Microsoft Word update to skip the UK

Microsoft is stripping some XML functionality out of Word to avoid a court injunction on sales, but British buyers will not receive the amended software
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor on

An update to Microsoft Word that will remove some XML functionality will not be provided to British users, Microsoft has confirmed.

The update removes Word's ability to read custom XML elements in XML, DOCX and DOCM formats. Microsoft was forced to make the change after losing a court battle over a patent held by Canadian firm i4i. The court has placed an injunction on sales of the software with the infringing technology, to go into effect in January.

A Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet UK on Monday that the update is required only for buyers in the US. "The changes will not affect UK customers," said the spokesperson.

Microsoft released the update to computer manufacturers in December and is expected to include it in shrink-wrapped versions of Word from 11 January.

"This injunction applies only to copies of Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007 sold in the US on or after the injunction date of 11 January, 2010," said Kevin Kutz, Microsoft director of public affairs, in a company statement. "Copies of these products sold before this date are not affected."

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