EU forces Microsoft to cage open source patent dogs

Microsoft's compliance with the 2004 EU anti-trust ruling offering some good news to open source developers and users.

The agreement will make it much easier for commercial and especially open source providers to create products that work with Microsoft products. As a result, Microsoft will no longer be able force itself upon new markets by offering a level of integration that isn't available from competing vendors.

Under terms of the ruling, Microsoft will publish an irrevocable pledge not to assert any patents it may have over the interoperability information against non-commercial open source software development projects.

Commercial projects will be able to safeguard themselves against interoperability patent claims at a reduced royalty fee of 0.4 per cent of revenues. Microsoft had initially demanded a 5.95 per cent royalty rate.