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Acrobat-killer Submitted to Standards Body 326

Flying Wallenda writes "Did Adobe make a tactical blunder when it complained to the European Union about Microsoft including support for its XML Paper Specification (XPS) in Windows Vista and Office 2007? Now that Microsoft has decided to submit its 'PDF killer' to a standards-setting organization, Adobe may be regretting its decision. 'Microsoft is looking again at its license in order to make it compatible with open source licenses, which means that the "covenant not to sue" will likely be extended to cover any intellectual property dispute stemming from the simple use or incorporation of XPS. The end result is that using XPS may be considerably more attractive for developers now that the EU has apparently expressed concerns over the license.'"

Microsoft Admonished by U.S. District Court Judge 178

An anonymous reader writes "The Seattle Times reports that the judge in the z4 'product activation' patent infringement case has increased the jury's original $115 million verdict against Microsoft by $25 million. Both Microsoft and Autodesk (another defendant) were admonished by the judge for misconduct. The judge wrote 'The Court concludes that Defendants attempted to bury the relevant 107 exhibits ... in a massive pile of decoys' and called one failure to disclose evidence 'an intentional attempt by Defendants to mislead z4 and this Court.'"

Sony UK Refused P2P Software Patent 126

blane.bramble writes "The Register reports that Sony cannot patent inventions in the UK that remove the anonymity of the peer-to-peer (P2P) user experience. Sony tried to patent a method of passing around user reviews of shared files, but the UK Patent Office rejected it, and then rejected it again on appeal. The article indicates the patents were rejected because the 'inventions' were not eligible for patenting. " From the article: "When a P2P user downloads a piece of content from another user's computer, be it a song or a game or a movie, he normally knows nothing about that user - or where that user obtained the content. Sony's proposal would change that experience. Sony describes a method for attaching a user history to content when it is shared among computers or other devices. When one user downloads a song, he can see who had it last and what he thought about it."

ABC Wants DVR Fast Forwarding Disabled 718

Anonymous CE Worker writes "The television network ABC is looking to develop technology that would disable the fast-forward button on DVRs, and allow commercials to run as intended on their channel." From the article: "Some research executives — even at networks with sales departments that acted differently — had argued before the upfront that ads viewed in fast-forward mode generated value for advertisers, since consumers were at least partly exposed to their messages. But Shaw said ABC was only interested in finding a way to receive compensation for un-skipped ads."

Microsoft to Support ODF via Plug-In 269

Apache4857 writes "It appears that Microsoft has finally caved. BetaNews is reporting that Microsoft is sponsoring an open source project to enable conversion between Open XML in Office 2007 and OpenDocument formats. The project, hosted on Sourceforge.net, made its initial release today. The Word 2007 conversion utility is expected to ship ship by the end of 2006, and similarly conversion utilities for Excel and PowerPoint are expected early next year." See the announcement in Brian Jones' blog (Jones is the Microsoft program manager responsible for Office file formats).

WGA Turning Off PCs in the Fall? 857

thesaint05 writes "We all know about Microsoft's WGA initiative that started last July. Most of us were troubled to learn that the WGA has been 'phoning home' to Microsoft at every boot. Well, get ready, because eventually Microsoft may be turning off copies of Windows without WGA installed. According to a Microsoft technician, 'in the fall, having the latest WGA will become mandatory and if its not installed, Windows will give a 30 day warning and when the 30 days is up and WGA isn't installed, Windows will stop working, so you might as well install WGA now.'" A new version of WGA was released on Tuesday and, at least for the time being, Windows users have the option of removing WGA from their systems.

MS Proposes JPEG Alternative 633

automatix writes "Microsoft's new competitor to the omnipresent JPEG format has been shown at WinHEC and is discussed on CNET. The Windows Media Photo format has many promises associated with it. The program manager is claiming 'We can do it in half the size of a JPEG file.'. While 'the philosophy has been that licensing should not be a restriction', it is interesting that the specification requires a click-through agreement to even read it."

Microsoft Customers Balk at Hard Sell 353

HangingChad writes "ComputerWorld is running an article about Microsoft's latest type of sales force scare tactic. Apparently Microsoft is using the new title of 'engagement manager' to attempt sales via intimidation. From the article: 'Indeed, according to Microsoft's Web site, the responsibility of someone with Lawless' title of "engagement manager" is to "perform as an integrated member of the account team, drive business development and closing of new services engagements in targeted accounts."'"

How Bill Gates Works 424

ZZeta writes "What's a day like for the richest man on Earth? In this Fortune interview, Bill Gates explains what he does on his average workday. Most interesting? He is not into some of Outlook's features, such as to-do lists and email notification. Also, he works with three monitors and is looking forward to buying a digital whiteboard next year." I was interested in how he gets his e-mail filtered. Hey Bill, if you read this, I'll totally put you on my e-mail whitelist!

Microsoft Says Recovery From Malware Becoming Impossible 631

An anonymous reader wrote to mention an eWeek Story about Microsoft's assertion that PCs may no longer be able to recover from the most aggressive Malware. From the article: "[Danseglio] cited a recent instance where an unnamed branch of the U.S. government struggled with malware infestations on more than 2,000 client machines. 'In that case, it was so severe that trying to recover was meaningless. They did not have an automated process to wipe and rebuild the systems, so it became a burden. They had to design a process real fast,'."

Microsoft Providing Virtual Server Free 401

liliafan writes "In an effort to gain a market majority over VMware Microsoft announced it is giving Virtual Server away for free, additionally they will provide customer support for Linux. In a related move VMware have opened their partition file format to the community, aggressive and suprising moves in the virtualisation market."

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten