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8/24/2004
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Microsoft Withdraws From Standards Group

It's leaving the U.N. Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business, saying its work is redundant.

Microsoft last week excused itself from participating in an international standards body, saying its work with the U.N. Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business was redundant with the company's efforts with the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO. "From our reviews we found we were doing the same standards work in both groups," a company spokesman says.

Microsoft will continue to work with the United Nations on other standards efforts, including the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe and its work to deploy the UNeDocs standard for trade documents. The U.N. standards organization is a sponsor of business-to-business standards such as EDI and E-Business XML (ebXML). In the end, Microsoft's accelerated push to increase the number of patents it holds won out over any desire to participate in the standards organization.

Microsoft said Monday it plans to file more than 3,000 patents in fiscal 2005, an increase over the more than 2,000 patents it plans to file this year. Though the company ranks about 30th among patent holders in the United States, Microsoft intends to move into the top 10.

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