Microsoft shares trade secrets of Windows, Office

A ComputerWorld Canada article by Shane Schick discusses the recent non-announcement by Microsoft claiming that it would open its specifications to competitors, including FLOSS. This is Microsoft's latest attempt to get off the radar of European regulators for their monopolistic behavior, and is sound and light with no substance.

While they claim they are opening interfaces to competitors, the fine print clearly uses the term "RAND" which is a term from hardware patent licensing meaning "Reasonable and non-discriminatory". This licensing model doesn't work for licensing intangibles given there are a wide variety of methods of production, distribution and funding which use zero marginal costs.

From the article:

Free or open source software cannot be licensed under reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) patents, McOrmond added, no matter how low the royalty rate is. "Microsoft could charge a billionth of a penny per copy, which would mean that proprietary software companies could sell up to a billion copies for a penny, but no FLOSS company could use the patented method at all," he said.