Monday, June 28, 2004

Microsoft Takes Another Step Toward More 'Open' Licensing

From Microsoft Watch:

As part of its official launch of Windows CE 5.0 on Monday, Microsoft announced that, for the first time, all CE source code licensees will be allowed to ship so-called "derivative works" based on the CE 5.0 code....

Microsoft officials said by the time Windows CE 5.0 is delivered to OEMs late this summer, all licensors will be able to "maintain ownership of their derivative code and will not be obligated to share modifications with Microsoft, partners or competitors."

If Microsoft's licensing terms sound somewhat familiar, they should. They are akin to the "Copyleft" licensing terms popularized by members of the open-source community.

Actually, this is a long way from copyleft, but certainly a big step for Microsoft and an indication that Richard Stallman may be winning. Technoflak will be watching this one closely.

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