Feeds

Microsoft stakes IP claims on OpenGL

From the We Told You So dept.

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

In January we revealed that Microsoft had acquired a chunk of SGI's graphics portfolio. At the time we mused if the Beast had a plan to scupper OpenGL.

This was taking paranoia too far, wise heads told us.

But in the minutes of the OpenGL developer meeting, it's clear that Microsoft has staked an IP claim on portions of the OpenGL spec, and it's willing to license it's patents on RAND terms.

"Microsoft believes they have patent rights relating to the ARB_vertex_program extension. They did not contribute to the extension, but are trying to be upfront about it. They're offering to license their IP under reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms; will license rights to the extent necessary, provided a reciprocal license is granted to MS. Granted on 1:1 basis for OpenGL 1.3, 1.4, and earlier versions. Contact Dave Aronson for more specifics ... Microsoft does believe they have IP claims against fragment shaders, too."

This gives the first public indication that hardware manufacturers are beginning to rub up against Microsoft's patent portfolio. Whether the Beast's goal is to kill OpenGL with kindness, or simply to let the GPU manufacturers know who's da boss, we don't know. The wording is misleadingly benign: non-discriminatory licenses are only non-discriminatory until there's some discrimination.

And right now it's too early to say. All we can see is the shark's fin.

But we'll be keeping our eyes on two patents filed by SGI - which created OpenGL - particularly this one and this one. If we discover that these have been assigned to Microsoft, it may be time to leave the beach entirely.

Any views from Linux developers or OpenGL developers on non-Microsoft platforms? ®

Related Stories

SGI transfers 3D graphics patents to MS
Microsoft's SGI 3D patents trickling back to Redmond

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.