One of the most surprising articles I read today was this Betanews piece.
Microsoft adds OOXML to its promise not to sue
By Scott M. Fulton, III, BetaNews
February 15, 2008, 12:26 PM
You need to know that betanews is a kind of inofficial Microsoft press agency.
Microsoft moved today to place its Office Open XML document formats under its Open Specification Promise (OSP).
praises Betanews the vendor. Thus, the Betanews article implies an important aspect: Before today OOXML was not covered by the Open Specification Promise (OSP) contrary to other statements.
It was pointed out before that the OSP has an unclear scope, is not sub-licensable (=probably GPL incompatible) and is of questionable validity in legal systems of nations other than the United States. Microsoft does everything it can to contribute to market confidence:
"We leave it to those implementing these technologies to understand the legal environments in which they operate. This includes people operating in a GPL environment."
The news we expected today from Microsoft was the public release of the Office binary specification under the OSP instead of the convenant not to sue. Public would mean that you don't need to individually request for it anymore. At least they announced it for today. We will keep you updated.