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up for Microsofts Linux Support Coupons"> Microsoft and Novell also expanded their technical collaboration agreement, under which Microsoft will make available its UIA (User Interface Automation) specificationan advanced accessibility framework which simplifies the development of assistive technology products for people with one or more disabilities. Microsoft is also pledging to let anyone in the open-source and proprietary software communities use any of its patents necessary to implement the specification without fear of legal action.Will Microsoft buy the new Citrix? Click here to read more. Novell will develop an open-source, cross-platform adapter that will allow the UIA framework to work well with existing Linux accessibility projects and complements the investments made by IBM and others. The UIA solution will ensure interoperability of non-visual access to the next generation of software applications and will also enable UIA to interoperate with the Linux Accessibility Toolkit, which ships with SUSE Linux Enterprise, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Ubuntu Linux. Can Windows and open source learn to play nice? Click here to read more. Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, welcomed the moves. "These are examples of how industry can come together to tackle interoperability problems for the blind community, and we challenge the entire IT industry to continue to look for creative opportunities such as this to solve longstanding interoperability challenges and reduce development barriers to accessibility," he said. Janina Sajka, chair of the Open Accessibility Work Group in the Linux Foundation, said that adding more toolkits to the interoperability ecosystem was beneficial to the whole accessibility community. "We are always talking to customers about virtualization, and directory interoperability is an area where there has been much interest as there are many large Active Directory customers who are interested in leveraging that technology for access and authentication in their Linux environment," Novells Hastee said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
"We heard from customers that they wanted a framework that would allow accessibility to the products, irrelevant of what platform they were running. There is a growing need for accessible products worldwide and we are really pleased that we will deliver this framework, which really allows accessibility to innovations, regardless of whether you are on the Linux or Windows platform," Microsofts Hauser said.