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9/13/2006
03:32 PM
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Microsoft Won't Enforce Patents On Web Services Spec

The company's Open Specification Promise covers nearly three dozen Web services specifications that contain Microsoft-contributed technology. Microsoft says developers using the technology don't need to sign anything or even reference Microsoft.

Microsoft has promised not to enforce patents for technology in Web services specifications, which are used in connecting applications in service-oriented architectures and other forms of standards-based distributed computing.

The company's Open Specification Promise covers nearly three dozen Web services specifications that contain Microsoft-contributed technology. The company's promise targets developers and customers working with commercial or open-source software.

"It was a simple, clear way, after looking at many different licensing approaches, to reassure a broad audience of developers and customers that the specifications could be used for free, easily, now and forever," the company said in posting the promise Tuesday.

To help promote widespread adoption of Web services, which play an important part in how Microsoft ties its software to its own products and other applications, Microsoft said no one needs to sign or even reference anything in using the technology.

"Anyone is free to implement the specifications as they wish, and do not need to make mention of or reference to Microsoft," the company said.

The Microsoft promise does not apply to work that goes beyond the scope of the covered specification.

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