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[DotGNU]Microsoft IP

From: Neil Cawse
Subject: [DotGNU]Microsoft IP
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 15:09:14 -0500

Microsoft is expected to announce significant changes to its intellectual property policies during a conference call on Wednesday.


The changes, aimed at fending off increasing competition from Linux and open source competitors, include handing over more APIs and protocols on a royalty free-basis to corporate customers and modifying licensing restrictions on a "broad array" of Microsoft technologies, including XML innovations and .NET technologies, sources familiar with the deal said.


The company will also introduce expanded usage rights on select software, a move that will significantly cut software costs for customers who will be able to deploy Microsoft technologies more freely than before, sources added.


The new policies are the "handiwork" of Microsoft's newly appointed IP chief Marshall Phelps, who came to Microsoft in August after a 28-year career with IBM.


His job, sources say, is to help Microsoft rationalize the company's licensing restrictions on APIS and software and extend usage rights to make it more competitive with Linux on the server, and to a lesser extent, on the desktop.


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