Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
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This is the basis that my team work on. The VBA compatibility functionality is just an extension of existing MS Office interoperability work. I suspect that the poster is a pre-gratuity equine dental examiner looking for custom. I mean, even the premise that VBA (a simple Basic) is in some way revolutionary, innovative or novel is rather a stretch. The nice piece this was based on, and is rather more interesting is OpenOffice.org Calc adds support for Excel VBA. Of course, if you like Deja-Vu you might want to read this after the Sun announcement in which the heebie-jeebies are going at them instead.
Q4. With this agreement, will Novell include Microsoft patented code in its contributions to the open source community?
No. Novell will not change its development practices as a result of this agreement. It has always been our policy in all development, open source and proprietary, to stay away from code that infringes another's patents, and we will continue to develop software using these standard practices. If any of our code is found to infringe someone else's patents, we will try to find prior technology to invalidate the patents, rework the code to design around the infringement, or as a last resort remove the functionality.
Novell is committed to protecting, preserving and promoting freedom for free and open source software.
Sun & Java - Microsoft licensed Java, news.com writes:
The germ of the suit began when Microsoft took out a Java license in 1996. Sun contended that Microsoft quickly began to run afoul of the licensing terms and filed the initial lawsuit in October 1997.
So here we see Microsoft making a really stupid move, signing an agreement they couldn't keep, and probably didn't need, and what was the end game ? they got to buy themselves out of it for $20million, got a load of injunctions slapped on them, had to retro-fix their product etc.
Lindows vs. Microsoft - the Wikipedia article is quite illuminating:
As part of this licensing settlement, Microsoft paid an estimated $24 million cash (for a case that Microsoft itself brought), and Lindows transferred the Lindows trademark to Microsoft and changed their name to Linspire.
And now of course, we all know the Windows & Office trademarks are indefensible, one rumour I heard had it that the settlement itself was intended to be secret, but SEC regulations mandated disclosure & this was missed by the MS lawyers.
Unfortunately the myth of MS infallibility is rather useful to them in a market where leadership is critical, and can move the market.