Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Microsoft Office 2007 UI Licensing "Open Source"

With all the recent talk about patents, infringement and licensing, some of the critics should step back and take a look at the licensing terms for Microsoft Office 2007. The guidelines are incorporated in a mere 120 page (gulp) document. However, there is a preview available for download as well as video on Chanel 9. Both links are available in Jensen Harris' blog writeup, "Licensing the 2007 Microsoft Office User Interface"

The long and the short of it, however, is that developers can use the Office 2007 UI (user interface) in open source projects as long as they meet the license terms. Not only that, the UI can be used on any platform.

As stated by Jensen Harris in "Licensing the 2007 Microsoft Office User Interface"

"There's only one limitation: if you are building a program which directly competes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, or Access (the Microsoft applications with the new UI), you can't obtain the royalty-free license."

Considering the high cost of development, I think this is both very fair and generous of Microsoft.

References provided by Jensen Harris:

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