More Mature Microsoft
?"> 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?