A Texas Judge on Tuesday ordered Microsoft to stop "selling or importing to the United States any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX, or .DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML." The injunction is the result of a complaint filed by Toronto-based i4i alleging Microsoft of violating its 1998 patent (No. 5,787,449) on a method for reading XML.
"We are disappointed by the court's ruling," Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kutz said in a statement. "We believe the evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid. We will appeal the verdict."
The Judge also ordered Microsoft pay i4i $240 million in damages plus court costs and interest. All tallied, the fine is estimated to be more than $290 million.
As it currently stands, the ruling, which applies to Word 2003 and Word 2007, takes effect in 60 days.
Google is launching an all-out offensive against Microsoft and its Microsoft Office software suite with a new ad campaign called "Going Google." In addition to being spattered all over the web, the new ads will also appear on billboards on four major U.S. highways that will give a new message about Google Apps everyday for a month. Said highways include the 101 in San Francisco, the West Side Hwy in New York, the Ike in Chicago, and Mass Pike in Boston.
The strategically placed ads, which will target IT managers stuck in traffic jams, will focus on how and why some 3,000 organizations are signing up to use Google Apps each day. According to Google, more than 1.75 million businesses, schools, and organizations have joined to use the various combinations of Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and other Google Apps.
Google's new ad campaign represents the latest in an ongoing war between the search giant and Microsoft. Google recently announced the development of its Chrome OS, while Microsoft recently announced a deal to take over Yahoo's search business.
OpenOffice.org has made available version 3.1 of its OpenOffice software suite, marking the first major release in the 3.0 series. Several new features have been added to just about every aspect of the open-source office program, making this a must-have update if you roll free with your productivity apps.
As a whole, the 3.1 update sports an improved screen appearance, as it now uses anti-aliasing to smooth out any rough edges. Dragging is made easier by trading in the dotted outline for a shadow of the object you're trying to move. Other non program-specific enhancements include improved file locking to prevent others from overwriting a file, and support for overlining text.
Just a handful of the many program-specific changes:
Carry out a conversation through Comments by selecting 'Reply' (Writer)
Better grammar checker integration (Writer)
Rename sheets with a double-click (Calc)
Significant performance improvements (Calc)
Font size buttons (Impress)
You can view a full list of changes here and download the 3.1 update here.
You've tweaked everything else on your PC, so how about your mouse? That's right. The trusty input device that sits to the side of your keyboard needs some love too, but how many of you have thought to install applications that benefit the common features you use your mouse for? Eh? I must admit, I never considered much to tweak about the mouse's functionality. You scroll the cursor to what you want to check out and give it a click. It's a two-step process. Rinse, wash, repeat. What else could you possibly do with a mouse?
Spoiler: a lot.
I've found five amazing freeware and open-source applications that help you turbo-charge your ability to interact with your PC. Give these a whirl, and you'll increase your productivity, reduce your stress, and be just that much cooler than your peers who are stuck in the Stone Age of mouse operations. Take your final act as a generic mouse user: scroll the cursor over to "Read More," click the link, and prepare yourself for greatness.
As it turns out, the rumors were true; Microsoft does plan on releasing its Office 2010 software suite in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors, says ArsTechnica, who received confirmation from a Microsoft spokesperson via an email exchange.
"Yes, Office will have two separate 32-bit and 64-bit versions," the spokesperson wrote. "Office 2010 will be the first to do this."
While the benefits of running Office natively in a 64-bit environment might not be particularly exciting, making the popular software suite available as such could help expedite 64-bit adoption among other vendors. Love it or hate it, this also means a certain debt of gratitude is owed to Vista, the first mainstream Windows OS to really push 64-bit onto the masses.
Appropriately enough, look for Office 2010 to be released sometime next year.
Having trouble staying productive at work or home? Tired of feeling like you're staring at the screen and accomplishing absolutely nothing? Want to speed up your file transfers? Protect your surfing habits? Synchronize your files across your PCs and Macs? These are all themes we're going to explore in this week's freeware and open-source software roundup. Were there an official title for this week's grab-bag of programs, it would be that: The Hodgepodge Edition. But when you drill down and consider what each program brings to the party, a picture starts to emerge. These applications are designed to enhance your productivity. We've explored this subject before, so feel free to check out our earlier recommendations for making the most of the time you spend at your PC.
Free up some space on your hard drive and get clicking--time's a-wasting!
You're busy. We're busy. Everybody's busy. Thankfully, busy people are also creative software developers. And we've tapped into their treasures to find you five awesome, "keep your life together" applications. Forever say goodbye to the yellow sticky notes adorning your computer display. These free programs will ensure that you never miss a critical appointment, important task, or billing date. More than that, we've selected a few applications that can even sync your life essentials across every platform you use, be it a cell phone, a work computer, et cetera.
Check out our full list of powerful personal productivity tools after the jump!
Most of the buzz surrounding Microsoft has to do with the company's next operating system, Windows 7, and what changes to expect over Vista. But a new OS isn't the only thing the software giant has been working on, as the next version of Office is receiving some attention as well.
At next week's Professional Developer Conference (PDC), Microsoft plans to talk about Office 14 (as the next version of Office has been code-named) with attendees, giving them a sneak peek at some of the features. Sure to be a highlight of the discussion is Office 14's ability to run in different modes, online or offline.
"We will rewrite Office to work in a browser," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in an interview with Britain's Computer Weekly.
But while attendees will get a first look at Office 14 - specifically, Office business applications and the software's Open XML file formats, according to the two listed sessions - it doesn't appear they'll be walking home with a copy, so don't fret if you won't be in attendance.
Economy got you down? No longer able to make those day-long trips to your local computer store of choice for all the latest and greatest software tools? Tired of paying top-dollar for programs that don't quite have the functionality you want? Well put away that wallet. We spent the past week showing you the best (and cheapest) software we've been able to find across different themes: graphics design, system optimization, games, and office/productivity, and have compiled our picks into this comprehensive list.