Mr. Gifford strikes exactly the right arguments in an article he wrote about the way Microsoft does business. They try to get the upper hand by bending laws and legislation in a way that will disrupt the Open Source community eventually. The patent mr. Gifford describes is just foul play. The use an Open Protocol and try to patent it, so they can say "hey, see, we're doing better now, we're even using an Open Protocol!", while they still keep their customers in the same lock-in as they always have.
Don't take it, folks. Use OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office. And if you really want a commercial product, use StarOffice. And people think it's evangelism when other people tend to disagree with that large monopolist sigh