After Microsoft's unsuccessful appeal last month, a federal court upheld an injunction barring the sale of Word 2007 due to an alleged patent violation. Microsoft said at the time it would have new, non-infringing versions of Word and Office ready in time for the January 11 deadline. How did that work out? Not all that well, according to ComputerWorld.
"As of midday today," ComputerWorld wrote yesterday afternoon, "the only edition available from the Microsoft Store was Office Ultimate 2007, a $670 'full-version' suite." Things haven't returned to normal quite yet. Looking at Office suites on the Microsoft Store right now, we see that only digital downloads of Office 2007 Home and Student, Professional, and Ultimate are available for Windows. Mac users can get both physical and digital copies of Office 2008, however.
ComputerWorld quotes Microsoft as saying Office availability will return to normal "soon after Jan. 11." For the time being, folks seeking Office Standard 2007 or upgrade versions of the suite will have to bide their time—or hunt them down through other avenues. Newegg, for one, still carries a healthy number of Office 2007 retail packages, including upgrades.
As we told you last month, this latest legal clash centers on a patent covering a "method and apparatus for structured document difference string extraction." i4i, which filed the patent, claims Microsoft Word 2007's ability to open files with "custom XML" specifically violates it.