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Microsoft Releases Linux Device Drivers As GPL 362

mjasay writes "Microsoft used to call the GPL 'anti-American.' Now, as Microsoft releases Hyper-V Linux Integration Components (LinuxIC) under the GPL (version 2), apparently Microsoft calls the GPL 'ally.' Of course, there was little chance the device drivers would be accepted into the Linux kernel base unless open source, but the news suggests a shift for Microsoft. It also reflects Microsoft's continued interest in undermining its virtualization competition through low prices, and may suggests concern that it must open up if it wants to fend off insurgent virtualization strategies from Red Hat (KVM), Novell (XEN), and others in the open-source camp. Microsoft said the move demonstrates its interest in using open source in three key areas: 1) Make its software development processes more efficient, 2) product evangelism, and 3) using open source to reduce marketing and sales costs or to try out new features that highlight parts of the platform customers haven't seen before."

Copyright and Patent Laws Hurt the Economy 597

Norsefire writes "Two economists at Washington University in St. Louis are claiming that copyright and patent laws are 'killing innovation' and 'hurting [the] economy.' Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine state they would like to see copyright law abolished completely as there are other protections available to the creators of 'intellectual property' (a term they describe as 'propaganda,' and of recent origin). They are calling on Congress to grant patents only where an invention has social value, where the patent would not stifle innovation, and where the absence of a patent would damage cost-effectiveness."

Microsoft Office 2007 to Support ODF - But Not OOXML 377

Andy Updegrove writes "About two hours ago, Microsoft announced that it will update Office 2007 to natively support ODF 1.1, but not to implement its own OOXML format. Not until Office 14 is released (no date given so far for that) will anyone be able to buy an OOXML ISO-compliant version. Why will Microsoft do this after so many years of refusal? Perhaps because the only way it can deliver a product to government customers that meets an ISO/IEC document format standard is by finally taking the plunge, and supporting 'that other format.' Still, many questions remain, such as when this upgrade will actually be released, how good a job it will do, and whether the API Microsoft has said it will make available to permit developers to supply 'save to ODF' default plugins will be supported by a patent non-assertion promise allowing implementations under the GPL (the upgrade supplied by Microsoft will not allow ODF as the default setting)."

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