New Windows Phone 7 Terms of Service Bans GPL Open Source Software (And Themselves in the Process!)

Justin Kerr

Microsoft’s controversial decision to ban certain types of open source software had the company defending itself last week from both from the blogging community, and embarrassingly enough, their own internal legal department who was forced to admit they would have to kick themselves out to be in compliance with the new marketplace rules.

According to Simon Phipps from Computerworld, Microsoft’s own Reciprocal License, and its Public License both appear violate the new terms of service, and have forced the company to back pedal on the issue as quickly as they can without falling over. Microsoft officials have said they are “reconsidering the policy”, but had in-fact done this on purpose. It’s hard to imagine why they would have “done this on purpose”, but I seem to remember saying that once after falling down a flight of stairs. In my defense however I was somewhat delirious from cracking my head on each step as I rolled down, so I’m not sure what their excuse is going to be.

Its likely Microsoft’s legal team is working on a way to alter the terms of service to allow its own License’s, but still forbid GPL. It’s not the victory open source advocates were hoping for, but at least they get to watch Microsoft wipe egg off their logo.

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