Microsoft's own format breakage

by Greg Lehey
Last update: $Date: 2008/08/13 23:44:36 $

The following message is shown on a standard 80x25 xterm screen by mutt, exactly as I received it from Microsoft. It illustrates some of the points I have been making.

First page of message

This shows the headers expanded. There are a number of points to notice:

The following text is mainly uninteresting, but Microsoft's reproduction agreement requires that I include everything.

Second page of message

Third page of message

The long line in the middle of the page is 575 characters long.

Fourth page of message

Fifth page of message

Sixth page of message

Seventh page of message

Of course, I never registered with Microsoft. I once left a message on one of their web pages reporting severe problems with “Outlook”'s formatting (and never got a reply), so I assume that's what they mean.

The shouted disclaimer on the second half of the screen is interesting. It looks very much like part of the Berkeley License (which also shouts), but includes an extra clause AND FREEDOM FROM INFRINGEMENT. In view of the litigation current against Microsoft at the time this message was written, I find this noteworthy.

Last page of message

It's interesting that they write all text must be copied without modification. I suppose they would implicitly allow reformatting to make it legible, but that's not what I wanted to do here.

I copied all pages of this document, exactly as required, but I couldn't find a Microsoft copyright notice in there. I replied to Microsoft asking for advice, but after three months I no longer expect a reply. I suspect that this was an omission on their part.