Dec. 3 — Microsoft said Wednesday that it will follow the lead of other technology businesses and start to allow companies to license a broader array of its technology than it has in the past. The move represents the company’s broadest effort to date to allow others to gain access to the company’s intellectual property portfolio.

MICROSOFT ALSO ANNOUNCED specific programs to license its ClearType font display technology and its File Allocation Table (FAT) file system. Microsoft said Lexar Media is licensing the FAT file system technology and that Agfa Monotype is licensing ClearType. (MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)
On a conference call, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said the company has been getting requests from other companies to both clarify and expand its licensing effort. As a result, Smith said Microsoft is offering a broad program to license its technology on clear, “commercially reasonable” terms.