Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bravo Microsoft

So I've spent a bit of time pouring over Microsoft's Interoperability announcement and I have to say I am impressed. It really looks like they're starting to get it, and I agree with them that it will be good for the industry, and it will also be good for Microsoft.

Here are a few excerpts that will be of particular interest to Open Source folks:
  • Microsoft is providing a covenant not to sue open source developers for development or non-commercial distribution of implementations of these protocols. These developers will be able to use the documentation for free to develop products. Companies that engage in commercial distribution of these protocol implementations will be able to obtain a patent license from Microsoft, as will enterprises that obtain these implementations from a distributor that does not have such a patent license.
  • Expanding industry outreach and dialogue. An ongoing dialogue with customers, developers and open source communities will be created through an online Interoperability Forum. In addition, a Document Interoperability Initiative will be launched to address data exchange between widely deployed formats.

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