Microsoft open specification promise

Matthias Kirschner mk at
Tue Dec 11 10:26:50 UTC 2012

Hi Mirko,

* Mirko Boehm <mirko at> [2012-12-06 14:04:04 +0100]:

> at the Microsoft presentation at the summit of newthinking I took a note
> to check the conditions under which the OData standard (the OASIS open
> data standard proposal, heavily industry influence) is licensed. Turns
> out it is the "Microsoft open specification promise" found here:
> Was there already an analysis of how these terms align with our
> understanding of what an open standard is? And if not, is this something
> where we should communicate actively?

Please also have a look at:

  Example #3: Microsoft's Open Specification Promise is not reliable
  legal coverage for complete interoperability

  MS-OOXML files generated by MS Office 2007 contain content that is
  implementation defined. This is a cause for concern because content
  not described in the proposed specification has an unclear status
  regarding coverage under the Microsoft Open Specification Promised
  (OSP). OSP coverage is limited to patents "that are necessary to
  implement only the required portions of the Covered Specification that
  are described in detail and not merely referenced in such
  Specification." 8

  The OSP states in the final sentence of paragraph two that "No other
  rights except those expressly stated in this promise shall be deemed
  granted, waived or received by implication, exhaustion, estoppel, or
  otherwise". 9 It appears reasonable to not rely on the OSP for content
  necessary to allow interoperability that is not described in detail or
  referenced in the proposed specification.

  This concern becomes more acute if the document is saved in other
  variations of the proposed specification format. For example, XLSM
  documents contain unspecified content as well as binary content. XLSB
  documents contain content stored using a method apparently not
  described in the proposed specification. XSLX documents with a
  password are also stored using a document container apparently not
  covered by the proposed specification. 

Also some information 


Matthias Kirschner - FSFE - Fellowship Coordinator, German Coordinator
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