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Office 2007 UI Licensing - how it works

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Telerik Admin asked on 01 Dec 2006, 09:19 AM

telerik’s CTO, Hristo Kosev, states the following in one of his recent blogs (r.a.d.controls for WinForms SP1 released):  

Perhaps some of you may know, in order to offer Office 2007 UIs, component vendors need to pass Microsoft approval and obtain a license that allows ISVs to ship products with the Office 2007 UI. Fortunately for telerik customers, we are one of the very first component vendors to obtain rights to use the proper interfaces in telerik Windows Forms and ASP.NET controls.

We already got several requests for more information on this statement, so we decided to post the needed information in our Forums and clear any confusion that may arise.

Microsoft will be licensing their new Office 2007 UI to all customers who plan to use any part of the Office 2007 design and/or user interface in Windows applications. telerik provides one control which mimics the Office 2007 UI closely and this is r.a.d.ribbonbar. There is also the r.a.d.dropdown button which provides similar functionality to 2007’s Application Menu. Microsoft's decision to license the 2007 UI directly impacts both telerik, as a WinForms software vendor, and our customers, who will be using these controls.

The Office 2007 UI licensing was announced by Microsoft officially about a week ago. Here are some relevant links which should be able to address most of your questions:

As noted in the PressPass announcement, telerik is one of the early adopters of the program and indeed, we are one of the few licensed partners for the Office 2007 UI program at this time. We even helped shape the license agreement that Microsoft will soon offer on their site.

The early adopter license we have obtained entitles us to develop components that have the Office 2007 UI, but it does not allow us to pass this license to our customers. In other words, if you are developing applications which use Office 2007 UI (regardless if it includes our controls or not) you still have to register with Microsoft. I know this might sound cumbersome but as far as we know Microsoft have a number of pending patents for this UI and have decided to protect their IP more strictly. The license is free of royalty and charge.

The Office UI Licensing program provides licensees the rights to make their licensed products look and behave like Office 2007. Licensees will receive design guidelines that they will reference in the creation of their own applications. The Office 2007 UI license covers the user interface and visual appearance of all programs included in Office 2007, namely Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint. These include, but are not restricted to the Application Menu, Ribbon, Tabs, Groups, Galleries, Mini Toolbar, Controls, Ribbon Resizing, etc. Further information will be provided to you in the guidelines. Unfortunately, we cannot share these guidelines with you before the official announcement.

According to Microsoft, the application process will take just a few clicks and the License agreement itself will be not more than a couple of pages long. If you want to apply for the program you will need to go to Microsoft's Office UI Licensing page (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa973809.aspx) as soon as the license becomes public.

In case you have questions about the program, there is an email at the bottom of Office UI Licensing page you can write to.

We have already changed our License agreement to reflect our position on the Office 2007 licensing:  

This license grants you no rights to the "2007 Microsoft Office System User Interface". For appropriate license, please, contact Microsoft directly.

We will also provide the above links to all parties interested.


Best regards,
Vassil Petev
Client Service Director

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