*
Quick Links|Home|Worldwide
Office Online*
Search Microsoft.com for:
Microsoft Office System Product Information *
|FAQ|Site Map|Office Worldwide

Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas Frequently Asked Questions

Published: November 17, 2003 | Updated: January 27, 2005

Find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas.


Q.What are the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas?
A.

The Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas are comprised of WordprocessingML (the schema for Microsoft Office Word 2003), SpreadsheetML (for Microsoft Office Excel 2003) and FormTemplate Schemas (for Microsoft Office InfoPathâ„¢ 2003). Download the schemas and documentation.

A preliminary draft of the documentation was available to developers for months through the Office 2003 product beta distribution process. As a result, a broad community of developers have had a chance to use the schema, evaluate them, and provide feedback. Their feedback has helped produce this final release of documentation. Microsoft is now making a final set of documentation available along with the new royalty-free license.

Q.How do I get a license?
A.

The license is available when you download the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas from the Microsoft Download Center.

Q.Who can obtain a license?
A.

The license is not restricted to particular individuals or entities. It is available for customers, governments, academics, hobbyists, and IT companies.

Q.How restrictive is your license?
A.

The license for the Office 2003 Editions XML Reference Schema is patterned on licenses for various XML standards efforts and allows for broad industry use.

Q.How much does the license cost?
A.

The license for the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas is being made available free of charge.

Q.How does this license relate to Microsoft's vision for Web services?
A.

This announcement builds on the XML Web Services Scenarios strategy announced at Forum 2000 and continues Microsoft's history of developing, supporting, and playing a key role in promoting XML, including our standards work in ECMA, the W3C, OASIS and other standards organizations.

Q.Are the licenses that Microsoft offers under the Open and Royalty-Free Office 2003 XML Reference Schema program perpetual in nature?
A.

Yes. The licenses for the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas are perpetual. There is no term limit on the licenses.

Q.Can the licenses for the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas be used by open source developers?
A.

Yes. Open source developers who wish to participate in a community development project can enter into the agreements and then work in a collaborative fashion on development of a program or programs.

Q.Can I distribute a program that can read and/or write files that support the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas in source code form?
A.

Yes. You can distribute your program in source code form. But, note that the patent and copyright provisions in the license for the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas require you to include a notice of attribution in your program.

Q.Can I distribute a licensed program under an open source software license?
A.

Yes. There are many open source licenses available in the developer community. One useful place to review the various licenses that have been approved by the open source community is at Open Source Initiative.

The terms and conditions of these licenses differ in material respects. We believe you can distribute your program under many open source software licenses so long as you include the notices described in the licenses for the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas. On the other hand, some open source licenses may include specific constraints or restrictions that might preclude development under the Office 2003 XML Reference Schema licenses.

We specifically set a goal to make the license for the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas compatible with a number of open source licenses, and we believe the license achieves that goal. Our desire is to make this technology available for use with open source software just as it is available for use with other types of software. Providers of open source software have the choice of more than 50 licenses put forth by the open source community, and Microsoft’s goal has been to create a license that works for many popular licenses. If an open source software provider believes a particular form of open source license is somehow in conflict with the license Microsoft is providing, then they have significant flexibility to choose other forms of open source licenses.

You should check with your legal counsel if you have questions about a particular open source software license.

Q.Are Microsoft's licenses for its Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas RAND?
A.

While there is no formal definition of RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory), we believe that all of the terms in our licenses for the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas are RAND. The patent license, including the defensive suspension clause and all other terms, are terms customarily found in standards-related patent licenses.

Q.Is Microsoft committed to making any future updates to the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas available under the same terms and conditions as the licenses offered on November 17, 2003?
A.

Yes. Microsoft is committed to making updates to the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas available under the same terms and conditions as the licenses offered on November 17, 2003. At the same time, Microsoft reserves the right to change its policy and/or the terms of the licenses with respect to future versions of Office.

Q.If Microsoft obtains a patent for the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas, does that in any way affect the royalty-free license?
A.

No, the license is unaffected. Under the patent license for the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas, Microsoft offers royalty-free rights both to its issued patents and patents that may be issued in the future.

Q.I have heard that Microsoft recently revised the patent license terms for the Office XML Reference Schemas. Why did Microsoft revise these license terms?
A.

Microsoft recently added some relatively minor clarifying language to the Office XML Reference Schema patent license terms. Microsoft became aware of the need for clarification as a result of feedback provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a Microsoft customer. Microsoft is pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Massachusetts on this issue and is grateful for its feedback, which enabled Microsoft to clarify the commitments it had undertaken in the original iteration of the license agreement. See what Jean Paoli, Senior Director and XML Architect had to say in his recent letter which explained the clarifications made to the royalty-free Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas License.

Q.What were the specific clarifications made to the Office XML Reference Schema license terms?
A.

The following items were clarified in the revision of the Office XML Reference Schema license terms:

As previously agreed and communicated to the EU, we are affirming that the license rights we are offering are perpetual.

We are clarifying some language, such as providing a full definition of "enabling technology" and confirming that our reference to patents includes continuations, continuations in part and reissues of patents.

We are acknowledging that end users who merely open and read government documents that are saved as Office XML files within software programs will not violate the license.

Q.I have been making use of the Office XML Reference Schemas under the original iteration of the license terms. Do I need to do anything to receive the benefits of the recent clarifications made to the license terms?
A.

No. If you have been making use of the Office XML Reference Schemas under the original iteration of the license terms, you will automatically receive the benefit of the recent clarifications without any further action required on your part.

Q.
A.

© 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use |Trademarks |Privacy Statement
Microsoft