16 October 2006

Be Asked, and Ye Shall Receive

Here's an interesting Ars Technica story about Microsoft being forced to do the right thing - and benefitting from it - with its rival to PDF, called XPS:

Microsoft had previously indicated that its XPS technology would be licensed "royalty-free" to developers, and the company also promised a so-called "covenant not to sue" provision for businesses working on XPS print support, scanning technologies, and certain graphics display technologies.

However, at the behest of the EU, Microsoft is now taking matters a step further. A company spokesperson told Ars Technica that Microsoft "agreed to submit our new fixed-layout document format—the XML Paper Specification—to a standards-setting organization, and to revise the licensing terms on which the specification is made available to other software developers."

Microsoft is looking again at its license in order to make it compatible with open source licenses, which means that the "covenant not to sue" will likely be extended to cover any intellectual property dispute stemming from the simple use or incorporation of XPS. The end result is that using XPS may be considerably more attractive for developers now that the EU has apparently expressed concerns over the license.

The moral: open up, and you reap the benefits.

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