Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 13:22 UTC, submitted by jayson.knight
Microsoft "For the last year or so, one of the questions I've been asked again and again has been: "Can I use the new Office user interface in my own product?" On one hand, it's an immensely satisfying question to hear, because it means that others in the industry believe in the value of what we've built and see how the sound UI research we've done can benefit their own products. Creating the new user interface has been our team's passion for the last three years, and we love sharing the fruits of this hard work. On the other hand, the new Office user interface was a huge investment by Microsoft and the resulting intellectual property belongs to Microsoft."
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For those that can't be bothered to RTFA
by griffinme on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 15:01 UTC
griffinme
Member since:
2005-11-09

"Today, we're announcing a licensing program for the 2007 Microsoft Office system user interface which allows virtually anyone to obtain a royalty-free license to use the new Office UI....

There's no fee, you don't owe Microsoft any royalties, and the license is perpetual—meaning that the terms won't change....

In the guidelines you'll find REQUIRED sections and OPTIONAL sections. The REQUIRED sections are exactly that—sections that you must implement in order to stay within the letter of the license.

There's only one limitation: if you are building a program which directly competes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, or Access (the Microsoft applications with the new UI), you can't obtain the royalty-free license."

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