Open source community welcomes Microsoft patent pledge

Long-time Microsoft enemies are taking a positive stance on the vendor's latest pledge not to assert its patent portfolio against a group of 38 web services specifications and their implementations.

The Microsoft Open Specification Promise covers developers and distributors of proprietary and open source applications based on the standards, as well as upcoming web services standards in which Microsoft is participating.

Effectively it means that Microsoft will not charge licence fees or sue developers or distributors for potential patent infringement.

"This is a solid step of disarmament by a firm whose history was not built on sharing," Dan Ravicher, legal director for the Software Freedom Law Center, commented in a blog posting.