Ina Fried reported that Microsoft was covenanting "not to sue over open source." This, unfortunately, is only half-true. Microsoft did agree not to sue open-source developers, but it had already promised that before. [NOTE: My memory was a little fuzzy on this. See below.] It also said it would provide access to its IP to commercial open-source companies at fair rates, which is also not news.
In other words, there is no some news in Microsoft's announcement as it pertains to patents and open source. None. Or very little.
UPDATED: What I failed to mention was that Microsoft's original pledge was more constrained to developers in the OpenSUSE.org community and to "non-compensated developers." In other words, developers too poor to worry about. :-)
So, the fact that Microsoft is now opening up to any open-source development and non-commercial distribution is important, though not significantly more than it originally promised. It's still designed to limit non-commercial distribution, which is effectively what the original proposal called for. I understand Microsoft's stance on this. I just wish that it would change it.… Read more