Microsoft pulls Office 2003 from MSDN due to i4i case

Microsoft has taken Office 2003 offline from its MSDN, TechNet, and Expression subscribers.

Company officials blamed the move on the recent court ruling related to a custom XML markup implementation in Word 2003 and Word 2007. All 36 languages of Office Professional Enterprise Edition 2003 are affected as subscribers based in the United States see their access cut on January 9.

Microsoft lost their appeal against the Microsoft Word i4i case, where Microsoft was caught using "custom XML" in their software. The court issued that Microsoft stop selling Microsoft Office 2007 with Word in it last month.

Microsoft has already prepared for this scenario, where they will now ship a new edition of Microsoft Office 2007 without the custom XML in Word. The injunction only applies to copies of Office 2007 with Word sold after January 11, 2010. Microsoft planned to release an altered version of Office 2007 before January 11, without the custom XML code. It's not yet clear whether this altered version is available yet.

Copies of Office 2007 sold before January 11, 2010 are not affected, and will still contain the custom XML code technology. Microsoft Office 2010 beta containing Word 2010 does not contain the custom XML code technology and will still be available for download.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson the company does not have a date for when the Office 2003 download restriction will be removed.

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18 Comments

Yeah, it wasn't bad for the time, but why would you go back to Office 2003 when 2010 is around the corner (And looks very impressive)?

Frazell Thomas said,
I won't be missing Office 2003 I can tell you that much.

Me either, but how will developers test their plugins with older versions? I guess they will not.

M_Lyons10 said,
Yeah, it wasn't bad for the time, but why would you go back to Office 2003 when 2010 is around the corner (And looks very impressive)?

Some people refuse to get with the times. Then again, I would expect these people to already own a hard copy of 2003.

Intelman said,
Me either, but how will developers test their plugins with older versions? I guess they will not.

Maybe they could install the Compatibility Pack? Not sure.

Compatibility pack works fine.

And FYI I stick with 2003 as it's a HELL of a lot easier to use, and as they clearly stated on there site, many functions in word 2003 do not have equilivent functions in word 07, how much more backwards can you get than to still buy word 07 after seeing that

n_K said,
Compatibility pack works fine.

And FYI I stick with 2003 as it's a HELL of a lot easier to use, and as they clearly stated on there site, many functions in word 2003 do not have equilivent functions in word 07, how much more backwards can you get than to still buy word 07 after seeing that

Must be a feature I never used or cared abour as I haven't ran into any of those missing features :P

KavazovAngel said,
Its down only for US customers, I think.

Nope. It's still available for US customers, too.

Maybe the people who already got it can't get it taken away? It's on my technet as well and I'm in the US.

...or maybe it only applies to new technet subscriptions.

just downloaded it from Technet....just in case they remove it from there too.... Office 2003 is the best version of Office to date imho

Only Office 2003 standard + Service Packs still on Technet. Noting that I noticed the feed listed new Office 2007 iso's being added probably replacing the old ones.

Custom XML always makes me lol.

The case was ruled on by people who haven't got a f***ing clue about the technology but heard the name MS and just went with the flow.

And you also have no clue about the case. The patent violation was pretty clear. And it wasn't over custom XML (which all kinds of applications have). It was over an implementation that maps custom XML elements to a documents structure.

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