November 10, 2009 9:32 AM PST
Microsoft pulls Windows 7 download tool
by Ina Fried
Microsoft has halted distribution of its Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool after questions were raised as to whether the software utility makes improper use of open-source code. The tool is designed to help owners of Windows XP-based Netbooks get Windows 7 onto their machines. (Credit: Microsoft)
Microsoft has halted distribution of a tool aimed at making it easier to put Windows 7
on Netbooks amid allegations that the utility makes improper use of open-source code.
The software maker said on Tuesday that it has pulled down the Windows USB/DVD Tool while it investigates the issue, which was raised last week
by Windows blogger Rafael Rivera on his Within Windows blog
In his blog post, Rivera said Microsoft appears to use code from a tool called ImageMaster
that is licensed under the GPLv2 open-source license. The General Public License, like other open-source licenses, allows code to be freely used by others, but has its own set of terms and conditions, such as sharing any modifications made to the code.
Microsoft confirmed it has launched a review of the matter and taken the utility off its online Microsoft Store until that inquiry has been completed.
"Microsoft is looking into this issue and is taking down the (Windows 7 updating) tool from the Microsoft Store site until its review is complete," the company said in a statement. "We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience."