Microsoft today announced their “Open Specifications Promise“, essentially a non-assertion covenant for a huge chunk of WS-* protocols. This OSP means (as fas as I can tell – and I am NOT a lawyer ;-)) that people can start implementing WS-* specifications without having to fear any action from Microsoft, as long as they do not sue Microsoft over these specs – duh!
This is quite good news for a number of reasons:
- All existing implementations of WS-* technology are safe from any legal harassment from Microsoft. Not that they would do this necessarily, but this covenant gives peace of mind.
- Since pretty much all security specs are out, OSIS and Higgins are now in a much better position to implement a WCS compatible InfoCard selector.
- The best thing about this is the fundamental mindshift at Microsoft. A couple of years ago this would have been unthinkable. Now it is real. This is really major change in the way Microsoft deals with the open source community. It can be hoped that this OSP is just the beginning of a much more open discussion with Microsoft.