In a previous posting I've talked about adobe and their DNG (Digital Negative) format. I said at the time 'A few people were suspicious of Adobe's motives for DNG, but their licence "grants all individuals and organizations [the right] to make, have made, use, sell, import and distribute Compliant Implementations" '
Adobe's licence doesn't give away any patents and so on they might have but it guarantees they won't pursue a claim against someone who use their patented material to create something which implements the specification (if you use that same patented material to do something else, they can still get you).
After I posted about the VHD test drive programme I went over to see if John Howard had anything to say about it. He also had a pointer to news that VHD format had been opened up it's now covered by the Open Specification promise. I've explained that Microsoft employees aren't allowed interpret a Microsoft licence - since no-one would think we work for Adobe we can interpret their licenses :-) But I think it's a reasonable approximation to call this our equivalent of Adobe's licence for DNG. No doubt some cynics will say the same things about this as they did about Adobe and DNG
Bonus link the CTO of XenSource talks about why he thinks this is "profound".