Ribbon developers licence update

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A follow up on our story about the Corel patent case and the more confusing case of a developers licence to use the MS Office ribbon interface.

As we noted, the Microsoft page that explained the rules for using the Office interface were ‘retired’ even though they are still relevant.  Even more relevant since Corel lost it’s case against Microsoft on that subject.

It would be in Microsoft’s interests to make the legal position clear for developers of non-Office, non-competing products.  Expecting developers to dig into the detail of multiple and overlapping licences doesn’t encourage use of the interface.

We asked Microsoft, some specific questions:

  1. What are the current Office UI Licencing arrangements?
  2. The current, presumed, legal arrangements seem to only apply to developers using Microsoft’s own SDK’s for making a Ribbon.  What’s Microsoft’s position on other developer tools for making ribbon-like interfaces for Windows, Mac or even web pages?

Here is their response.  The links provided are updated from the ones on the ‘retired’ page.  The second question was ignored completely.

” Sharing the current developer frameworks that are licensed for creating a Ribbon UI, and they include:


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