Microsoft: Open specification promise is true

Microsoft has struck out at the Software Freedom Law Centre's (SFLC) claims that its Open Specification Promise is not as open as it should be.  The SFLC published a legal analysis of Microsoft's Open Specification Promise (OSP), a document written to give developers the green light to make open source products based on specifications written […]

Microsoft has struck out at the Software Freedom Law Centre's (SFLC) claims that its Open Specification Promise is not as open as it should be. 

The SFLC published a legal analysis of Microsoft's Open Specification Promise (OSP), a document written to give developers the green light to make open source products based on specifications written by Microsoft.

One of the SFLC's conclusions was that Microsoft's patent protections only apply to current versions of the specifications and doesn't guarantee the protections will apply to future releases.

Microsoft said, however, its new interoperability principles operate across its high-volume products: Windows Vista (including the .NET Framework), Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Office 2007, Exchange Server 2007 and Office SharePoint Server "as well as future versions".

"Under this announcement, Microsoft is committing to make available ALL of the APIs in all of its high-volume products that are used by other Microsoft products, and to make them available for free on the Web through MSDN [Microsoft's developer network]," the spokesperson said.

"This means that developers will be assured that they have the same APIs available to them that Microsoft's other products use. Microsoft will follow this principle on an ongoing basis by incorporating this requirement into its product release cycles," the spokesperson continued.

Another problem with the Open Specification Promise, according to the SLFC, is that it is not consistent with the General Public License (GPL), which requires that any derived works also be open.

Microsoft product manager Gerry Knowlton responded to the allegations in his blog.

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Microsoft, OSP, Specification, Patent, Open-Source, Open Source, Interoperability