The WordToys Playground
Thursday, December 23, 2004
What's wrong with the Microsoft Office Marketplace?
Somebody at Microsoft had a nice idea: create a site where third-party developers can promote their add-ons for Office. Then de Legal Guys stepped in, and killed it. As the maker of WordToys I thought I had a nice add-in for the Microsoft Office Marketplace. So I put the MOM logo on my site, and waited for a reply. The answer came two months (and 40,000 visits) later: Application Rejected. You want to know why? Because WordToys contains the word 'Word', which according to the "Microsoft Office System Referential Use Guidelines" is against the "Do Not Use Microsoft Names or Trademarks as Part of Your Name" rule. This means that any software that contains a Microsoft name or trademark (WordToys, WordWare, WordPipe, ExcelPipe, PowerPointPipe, Word to PFD Converter, ExcelEverywhere) will never make it to the MOM. A missed opportunity for many hard-working developers, and a missed opportunity for Microsoft. At least the Legal Guys have had some fun. They must have needed that after the debacle...

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