"I have always said that open source software developers must be able to take advantage of [the 2004 ruling]: now they can," the Commission's competition commissioner Neelie Kroes boasted in a press release.
The patent licensing offer however is worthless to commercial Linux vendors, claims a source who is familiar with the terms of the agreement who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The licence only covers the distributor who purchased the licence (Red Hat for instance) and its customers.
The Microsoft licence doesn't cover recipients further downstream – for instance if a Red Hat customer gives a copy of the software to a partner. Because Microsoft is limiting the licence to the vendor and its first customer, it runs foul with the GPL.

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