Rob Weir looks at the Microsoft UI license

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IBM’s Rob Weir dissects the new Microsoft Office 2007 license from his personal technical perspective in his blog entry “Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts.”

I’m still trying to get over that “we spent hundreds of millions of dollars” quote from yesterday.


  1. Bob, it’s awful similar to Lotus eSuite software –,eSuite
    For some examples, look at the redbook’s (not adobe readers) page 109, page 111.

    Looks like IBM should be contacting Microsoft as to why they think they have any rights to license concepts invented by Lotus 8 years ago..never mind shipping it in Office with a restrictive license.

    I don’t know the answer but it would be interesting to find out if any of the ribbon UI folks

    a) used to work for Lotus
    b) worked on the esuite product
    c) used that product or were aware of it

    Don’t you think?

    You owe it to your shareholders to be reimbursed for your R&D work on eSuite and to make sure that your company and clients aren’t held hostage to someone else’s license – for your prior art. As a shareholder I would be outraged if you put your company and it’s partners at a disadvantage by not protecting them from those taking your prior art.

    They’re license says you wouldn’t be able to use it in the productivity editors for example. Time to protect your clients and partners interests here..

  2. That is a very interesting question. I posted some images for comparison on my blog at if anybody wants to avoid loading and searching the PDF.

  3. Bob I should have added that I was originally alerted to this by the posting here..

    I pulled out some specific examples to make it easier for others to reference..that’s all.

  4. Guys, thanks very much for the pointer. We’ve passed on the info, but beyond that I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to comment.

  5. I mentioned the same thing over a year ago on my blog.

    I know a few ex eSuite colleagues did end up at Microsoft. Barry Briggs for example.

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