Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

a couple of ms-related news items

I had seen this when it came out but since I was in no-blog-mindset I didn't note it. Then today I saw that Grant had linked to it and ...

I'm talking about this article on Microsoft's newly obtained patent on IM. Quote:

Microsoft has won a patent for an instant messaging feature that notifies users when the person they are communicating with is typing a message.

The patent encompasses a feature that's not only on Microsoft's IM products but also on those of its rivals America Online and Yahoo. The patent was granted on Tuesday.

Isn't it weird that someone at the patent office would think that something like this is a non-obvious, never-done-before invention? Have these people actually used computers before? The article also mentions AOL/ICQ's patent, on which I wrote last year, in particular in this entry where I did a deeper search for prior art on that patent. It was interesting to revisit that in the context of this new patent as well.

Another MS news item that I found interesting was this one:

Web developers want to light a fire under Microsoft to get better standards support in the company's Internet Explorer browser, but they can't seem to spark a flame.

Gripes have mounted recently over support in IE 6 for Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), a Web standard increasingly important to design professionals. Web developers and makers of Web authoring tools say the software giant has allowed CSS bugs to linger for years, undermining technology that promises to significantly cut corporate Web site design costs.

Seeking to goad Microsoft into action, digital document giant Adobe Systems last week unveiled a deal to bolster support for CSS in its GoLive Web authoring tool with technology from tiny Web browser maker Opera Software, whose chief technology officer first proposed CSS nine years ago. Opera maintains an active role in developing CSS through the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

But standards advocates said it was unclear whether Adobe's action could prod Microsoft into better CSS support, given the lack of browser competition.

It was "unclear [whether Microsoft could be prodded]", said standard advocates. They have a penchant for understatement, it seems. :)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on October 10 2003 at 1:44 AM

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