After reading this article from the BBC, I think that most PC users will be forgiven a wry smirk of satisfaction. Following years of "Genuine Advantage Tools" (read: "Anti-Piracy Software") that can make getting the latest updates difficult if you don't install them, and moreover the corporation filing lawsuits to prevent circumvention of the Tool, Microsoft have themselves been contravening the intellectual prop erty of a Canadian firm, i4i, who filed the patent for the increasingly popularExtensible Markup Language (XML).
Given that the "Genuine Advantage Tool" is widely criticised as being spyware (with other lawsuits filed to give it that classification), the more beleagured Microsoft users may be forgiven for crowing about this latest turn of events.
XML is widely used in Microsoft products and especially the latest version of the Microsoft Word package. In fact, the ruling against Mircosoft has banned to distribution of the latest Microsoft Word software in the United States (including trying to import it).
Obviously, Microsoft will appeal the situation (they suggest that the patent filed by i4i is invalid) but, after the European ruling against Microsoft for distribution of Internet Explorer, this is yet another blow for Microsoft's software empire. With a gradual shift towards online technology (where Google are clearly dominant) and OpenSource (where Linux, Firefox and OpenOffice are providing free and increasingly workable alternatives to Windows, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office respectively), are we witnessing an end to Microsoft's dominance in the Desktop Computing market?