The software giant will retain the right to include any commercially used modifications made by licensees of its Windows CE source code in future versions of that operating system.
Microsoft Corp. will retain the right to include any commercially used modifications made by licensees of its Windows CE source code in future versions of that operating system, company officials said Wednesday night.
As first reported by eWEEK, Craig Mundie, chief technology officer for advanced strategies and policy at Microsoft, announced Wednesday evening that Microsoft will, for the first time, give OEMs, vendors and systems integrators full access to Windows CEs source code as well as the rights to modify and ship the code commercially in CE-based devices.
Known as the Windows CE Shared Source Premium Licensing Program or CEP, the initiative builds on the existing Windows CE Shared Source Licensing Program, which allows developers, researchers, students and other interested parties to use the code for any noncommercial purpose.
While CEP licensees will have to pay Microsoft a royalty for every copy of the code that they ship, Mundie made it clear that any modifications they make to the Windows CE source code that are included in a shipping product will have to be sublicensed back to Microsoft, which will not be liable for any ongoing royalty payments for this technology, even if it is included in future Windows CE operating systems.
"As they make the decision [to make changes to the Windows CE source code that is included in a shipping product] and as these changes will be for mutual benefit, we will do the work to do the incorporation and downstream marketing and support, but there will be no recurring royalty that goes back to them," Mundie said.
If customers do not want to license back to Microsoft the enhancements and changes they make to their products and work, "they can do this work on a developable basis and integrate it with Windows CE. They just cant do it as a modification to the code weve given them," he said.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.
He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.
He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.
He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.
He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.
He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.
His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.
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