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Microsoft loses Word case; Oracle-Sun to aim high; other news

Microsoft loses Word case appeal; Oracle-Sun to aim high on servers; VMware price cuts predicted

Microsoft loses patent appeal on Word

A U.S. Court of Appeals played Grinch to Microsoft's Whoville on Tuesday when it upheld a lower court's finding that the software giant infringed on i4i Inc. patents. At issue is a feature in Word 2007 that allows users to edit and display XML code. Microsoft must stop selling the infringing versions of Word 2007 and Office 2007 by Jan. 11. The company issued a two-fold response. It said it had readied a version of Word without the offending feature -- which it described as "little used" -- from versions of Office 2007 and Word 2007 that will be sold after Jan. 11. And, it may appeal. Copies of Office and Word sold before Jan. 11, 2010, are not affected by this suit, Microsoft said.

This ruling validated a verdict by a Texas jury in August 2009. Toronto-based i4i sued for $290 million.

Microsoft received some better legal news earlier in the month when it settled long-standing differences with European regulators over the inclusion of alternative browser entry points on the Windows screen. Microsoft agreed to include a "ballot box" to allow Windows users to choose either Microsoft's own Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari or Opera as their default browser.

Ellison: Sun servers will aim high

An Oracle-owned Sun Microsystems will leave commodity servers to the likes of Dell and HP while it focuses on high-end, higher margin boxes, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said last week. Ellison told analysts on Oracle's quarterly earnings call that his Sun will concentrate on large Sparc-based SMP machines and database and hardware "appliances" like Oracle Exadata. That pronouncement caused many to wonder if Oracle would dump Sun's lower-end X86 servers.

And, it looks like Oracle is getting closer to finally closing the Sun deal after reassuring European regulators that it will nurture and not neglect the MySQL database owned by Sun.

Predictions: VMware will slice prices, Citrix will drop XenServer

It's pretty clear that VMware will have to get aggressive on pricing to fend off Microsoft Hyper-V, but would Citrix Systems actually stop developing XenServer? SearchServerVirtualization.com's Alex Barrett predicts just that in her 2010 forecast. Hey, if you're going to make predictions, you might as well make them interesting.

Desktop virtualization options beyond the big three

When you think desktop virtualization options, you typically think VMware, Citrix or Microsoft. But there are options beyond the big three, including NComputing, Desktone and Quest Software that offer cheap and efficient alternatives, according to SearchDesktopVirtualization.com.

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