"We are very eager to receive feedback from members of the developer community as they access this documentation over the next several weeks and months so we can use that feedback to improve our final documentation to be released in June," said Jean Paoli, Microsoft's general manager of interoperability and XML architecture.
While the documentation does not attract any fees, some protocols may rely on Microsoft patents. In those cases, "Microsoft will make available patent licenses on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms, at low royalty rates", according to company officials.
In addition, Microsoft's patent pledge for open source developers means they will not need a patent license to implement the protocols or for the noncommercial distribution of the resulting code.
Microsoft critics have previously suggested that the pledge has some loopholes that could negate the protection it appears to offer.
RECRUITMENT & RETENTION REPORT 2013HIRE OR FIRE? BUY OR BUILD
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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.