As reported by Sam and Christian, and covered in a bit more detail by Richard Turner, Microsoft has released its Open Specification Promise (OPS): Microsoft promises not to assert any necessary claims (whatever that means) against anyone making, using, selling or offering and so on an implementation of the various WS-* protocols that Microsoft has collaborated on.

On one side, this is great for us consumers and for implementors and vendors as well, and shows Microsoft Commitment to the standarization and community efforts [1]. Kudos for that.

One thing I don't understand, though: If Microsoft wrote the OPS page (well, someone at Microsoft did), and I'm guessing the MS Lawyers looked very closely at what the OPS would do and mean, then why the heck can't Microsoft say right away how the OPS relates/will-work-with GPL-licensed implementations of the Covered Specifications (another nifty legal term!)? (What's with the "Because the General Public License (GPL) is not universally interpreted the same way by everyone, we can’t give anyone a legal opinion about how our language relates to the GPL or other OSS licenses" thingie?)

[1] Mark Nottingham raises some issues on it, though.

Tomas Restrepo

Software developer located in Colombia. Sr. PFE at Microsoft.