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    Subject[ANNOUNCEMENT] Microsoft to GPL its source code
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    We have recently chosen to open up our source because it makes good business
    sense for us at this time. Here are some of the reasons:

    The availability of the source code and the right to modify it is very
    important. It enables us to tap into the unlimited programming resources
    available to tune and improve our software products.

    The right to redistribute modifications and improvements to the code, and to
    reuse other open source code, permits all the advantages due to the
    modifiability of the software to be shared by large communities, communities
    we learned that we need to embrace, under certain conditions.

    The point that differentiates open source software licences from our past
    licenses is modifiability. In substance, the fact that redistribution rights
    cannot be revoked, and that they are universal, is what attracts a
    substantial crowd of developers to work around open source software
    projects, and we welcome them.

    We have decided that we would like help to improve the quality of our
    products, and to improve their functionality. Which, once more, will cause
    more and more users give the product a try, and probably to use it
    regularly.

    Now this is only a temporary GPL. We have slightly modified our licenses to
    open the source for a limited time period. One the time period expires, all
    rights to the code, as well as deriviatives, revert back to Microsoft.

    William Gates

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