More Mature Microsoft

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-12-03 Print this article Print

?"> Phelps, who has been with Microsoft for just six months, agreed to take his current position after Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates told Phelps that he believes Microsoft is at an inflection point in its history. The company is maturing and needs to interface with the broader world differently than it has in the past, Gates said. Phelps said he was convinced that with Microsofts huge annual research and development spending, it could open up its technologies and intellectual property on a broad basis under a transparent, reasonable, open approach.
That approach will hopefully create a different Microsoft over time and also change the relationships toward Microsoft, he said.
"We have been getting more requests for our IP and decided to figure out a way to honor those requests by licensing our portfolio under clear, commercially reasonable terms that will hopefully see our technologies pushed out into the larger technology ecosystem," he said. Kaefer said the hope is to streamline the existing IP stuff under one framework, making it easier for customers and partners to approach Microsoft for licenses by having one group in charge with a central Web site. On the royalty-free side, Microsoft will continue to reiterate commitments in that regard, particularly to ISVs and toward standards. Microsoft also will expand bona fide academic institutions access to its patent portfolio, giving them access to 100 percent of patents for non-commercial academic research. Next page: Is antitrust settlement behind Microsofts moves?

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.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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