Software

Microsoft's Robotics Initiative Arrives

Posted 20 Jun 2006 at 16:37 UTC by steve Share This

We've reported Microsoft's attempts to proprietize the robotics market in the past, including the defunct .net CPU module for robots. Last year, we reported on the first rumors of their latest attempt. Today at the 2006 RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition, Microsoft revealed the details of their new campaign. Their plan is to offer a proprietary robotics package called Robotics Studio to users at no charge (initially), tempting them to switch away from the Open Source and Free Software tools that dominate the market. They've created several tools including a proprietary robot simulator and control package which sounds similar to the popular Free Software package Player/Stage. Their development tools are designed to lock the user into Microsoft's .NET programming languages (e.g. JScript, C#, Visual Basic) and MS Windows XP. For more details on the system architecture, see the programming model document and Robotics Studio Runtime introduction. A technical preview of their tools can be found in a new Robot Magazine article. Still want more? Try the Seattle PI article or the ZD Net article.

For those who may be curious about what rights you're signing away by downloading and using this new MS software, I've reproduced the full text of the EULA below. This license is not available on their website and can only be seen once you've downloaded the 25MB file and started the install. I extracted the files on a Linux box under Wine.


MICROSOFT PRE-RELEASE SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS
MICROSOFT ROBOTICS STUDIO DEVELOPMENT KIT (SDK) VERSION 1.0


These license terms are an agreement between Microsoft Corporation (or based on where you live, one of its affiliates) and you. Please read them. They apply to the pre-release software named above, which includes the media on which you received it, if any. The terms also apply to any Microsoft updates, supplements, documentation, Internet-based services, and support services for this software, unless other terms accompany those items. If so, those terms apply. BY USING THE SOFTWARE, YOU ACCEPT THESE TERMS. IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THEM, DO NOT USE THE SOFTWARE. If you comply with these license terms, you have the rights below. 1. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS. One (1) individual user may install one copy of the software on a personal computer and may install and up to five (5) copies of the software runtime files ("Runtime Files") on robot-based devices on your premises, to design, develop and test your programs for use with the software. You may not test the software in a live operating environment unless Microsoft permits you to do so under another agreement. For purposes of this license grant, the software will include the prior versions of the software, provided, however, that any terms and conditions for use that were included with such prior version(s) shall not apply and are replaced with the terms and conditions of this Agreement, and this Agreement, and such prior versions may be used for the sole purpose of transitioning from the previous version to the version of software with which this Agreement is provided. Third Party Programs. The software may contain third party programs. The license terms, if any, with those programs apply to your use of them. 2. RIGHT TO USE. Runtime Files. Runtime Files are only those defined in the included file RUNTIME.TXT. Runtime Files may only be used in object code form for internal use on your premises. Sample Code. You may use or modify the source code form of the code included in the Samples directory, but only for internal use on your own premises. Sample Code or derivative works may not be distributed or used in a live operating environment. 3. TERM. This Agreement shall terminate the earlier of October 15, 2006, or commercial release of the software, whichever is first, unless terminated by Microsoft in writing at any time, with or without cause. Upon termination, You shall cease use of the software. 4. PRE-RELEASE SOFTWARE. This software is a pre-release version. It may not work the way a final version of the software will. You acknowledge and agree that that you are fully aware of and accept the risk for any and all damages that may result due to failure of the software. We may change it for the final, commercial version. We also may not release a commercial version. 5. FEEDBACK. If you give feedback about the software to Microsoft, you give to Microsoft, without charge, the right to use, share and commercialize your feedback in any way and for any purpose. You also give to third parties, without charge, any patent rights needed for their products, technologies and services to use or interface with any specific parts of a Microsoft software or service that includes the feedback. You will not give feedback that is subject to a license that requires Microsoft to license its software or documentation to third parties because we include your feedback in them. These rights survive this agreement. 6. Scope of License. The software is licensed, not sold. This agreement only gives you some rights to use the software. Microsoft reserves all other rights. Unless applicable law gives you more rights despite this limitation, you may use the software only as expressly permitted in this agreement. In doing so, you must comply with any technical limitations in the software that only allow you to use it in certain ways. You may not disclose the results of any benchmark tests of the software to any third party without Microsoft's prior written approval; reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the software, except and only to the extent that applicable law expressly permits, despite this limitation; make more copies of the software than specified in this agreement or allowed by applicable law, despite this limitation; publish the software for others to copy; rent, lease or lend the software; transfer the software or this agreement to any third party; or use the software for commercial software hosting services. 7. Export Restrictions. The software is subject to United States export laws and regulations. You must comply with all domestic and international export laws and regulations that apply to the software. These laws include restrictions on destinations, end users and end use. For additional information, see . 8. SUPPORT SERVICES. Because this software is "as is," we may not provide support services for it. 9. Entire Agreement. This agreement, and the terms for supplements, updates, Internet-based services and support services that you use, are the entire agreement for the software and support services. 10. Applicable Law. a. United States. If you acquired the software in the United States, Washington state law governs the interpretation of this agreement and applies to claims for breach of it, regardless of conflict of laws principles. The laws of the state where you live govern all other claims, including claims under state consumer protection laws, unfair competition laws, and in tort. b. Outside the United States. If you acquired the software in any other country, the laws of that country apply. 11. Legal Effect. This agreement describes certain legal rights. You may have other rights under the laws of your country. You may also have rights with respect to the party from whom you acquired the software. This agreement does not change your rights under the laws of your country if the laws of your country do not permit it to do so. 12. Disclaimer of Warranty. The software is licensed "as-is." You bear the risk of using it. Microsoft AND ITS SUPPLIERS PROVIDE no express warranties, guarantees or conditions. You may have additional consumer rights under your local laws which this agreement cannot change. To the extent permitted under your local laws, Microsoft AND ITS SUPPLIERS exclude the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. 13. Limitation on and Exclusion of Remedies and Damages. You can recover from Microsoft and its suppliers only direct damages up to U.S. $5.00. You cannot recover any other damages, including consequential, lost profits, special, indirect or incidental damages. This limitation applies to anything related to the software, services, content (including code) on third party Internet sites, or third party programs; and claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty, guarantee or condition, strict liability, negligence, or other tort to the extent permitted by applicable law. It also applies even if Microsoft knew or should have known about the possibility of the damages. The above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you because your country may not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental, consequential or other damages. MICROSOFT PRE-RELEASE SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS MICROSOFT ROBOTICS STUDIO DEVELOPMENT KIT (SDK) VERSION 1.0 These license terms are an agreement between Microsoft Corporation (or based on where you live, one of its affiliates) and you. Please read them. They apply to the pre-release software named above, which includes the media on which you received it, if any. The terms also apply to any Microsoft updates, supplements, documentation, Internet-based services, and support services for this software, unless other terms accompany those items. If so, those terms apply. BY USING THE SOFTWARE, YOU ACCEPT THESE TERMS. IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THEM, DO NOT USE THE SOFTWARE. If you comply with these license terms, you have the rights below. 1. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS. One (1) individual user may install one copy of the software on a personal computer and may install and up to five (5) copies of the software runtime files ("Runtime Files") on robot-based devices on your premises, to design, develop and test your programs for use with the software. You may not test the software in a live operating environment unless Microsoft permits you to do so under another agreement. For purposes of this license grant, the software will include the prior versions of the software, provided, however, that any terms and conditions for use that were included with such prior version(s) shall not apply and are replaced with the terms and conditions of this Agreement, and this Agreement, and such prior versions may be used for the sole purpose of transitioning from the previous version to the version of software with which this Agreement is provided. Third Party Programs. The software may contain third party programs. The license terms, if any, with those programs apply to your use of them. 2. RIGHT TO USE. Runtime Files. Runtime Files are only those defined in the included file RUNTIME.TXT. Runtime Files may only be used in object code form for internal use on your premises. Sample Code. You may use or modify the source code form of the code included in the Samples directory, but only for internal use on your own premises. Sample Code or derivative works may not be distributed or used in a live operating environment. 3. TERM. This Agreement shall terminate the earlier of October 15, 2006, or commercial release of the software, whichever is first, unless terminated by Microsoft in writing at any time, with or without cause. Upon termination, You shall cease use of the software. 4. PRE-RELEASE SOFTWARE. This software is a pre-release version. It may not work the way a final version of the software will. You acknowledge and agree that that you are fully aware of and accept the risk for any and all damages that may result due to failure of the software. We may change it for the final, commercial version. We also may not release a commercial version. 5. FEEDBACK. If you give feedback about the software to Microsoft, you give to Microsoft, without charge, the right to use, share and commercialize your feedback in any way and for any purpose. You also give to third parties, without charge, any patent rights needed for their products, technologies and services to use or interface with any specific parts of a Microsoft software or service that includes the feedback. You will not give feedback that is subject to a license that requires Microsoft to license its software or documentation to third parties because we include your feedback in them. These rights survive this agreement. 6. Scope of License. The software is licensed, not sold. This agreement only gives you some rights to use the software. Microsoft reserves all other rights. Unless applicable law gives you more rights despite this limitation, you may use the software only as expressly permitted in this agreement. In doing so, you must comply with any technical limitations in the software that only allow you to use it in certain ways. You may not disclose the results of any benchmark tests of the software to any third party without Microsoft's prior written approval; reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the software, except and only to the extent that applicable law expressly permits, despite this limitation; make more copies of the software than specified in this agreement or allowed by applicable law, despite this limitation; publish the software for others to copy; rent, lease or lend the software; transfer the software or this agreement to any third party; or use the software for commercial software hosting services. 7. Export Restrictions. The software is subject to United States export laws and regulations. You must comply with all domestic and international export laws and regulations that apply to the software. These laws include restrictions on destinations, end users and end use. For additional information, see . 8. SUPPORT SERVICES. Because this software is "as is," we may not provide support services for it. 9. Entire Agreement. This agreement, and the terms for supplements, updates, Internet-based services and support services that you use, are the entire agreement for the software and support services. 10. Applicable Law. a. United States. If you acquired the software in the United States, Washington state law governs the interpretation of this agreement and applies to claims for breach of it, regardless of conflict of laws principles. The laws of the state where you live govern all other claims, including claims under state consumer protection laws, unfair competition laws, and in tort. b. Outside the United States. If you acquired the software in any other country, the laws of that country apply. 11. Legal Effect. This agreement describes certain legal rights. You may have other rights under the laws of your country. You may also have rights with respect to the party from whom you acquired the software. This agreement does not change your rights under the laws of your country if the laws of your country do not permit it to do so. 12. Disclaimer of Warranty. The software is licensed  eas-is.† You bear the risk of using it. Microsoft AND ITS SUPPLIERS PROVIDE no express warranties, guarantees or conditions. You may have additional consumer rights under your local laws which this agreement cannot change. To the extent permitted under your local laws, Microsoft AND ITS SUPPLIERS exclude the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. 13. Limitation on and Exclusion of Remedies and Damages. You can recover from Microsoft and its suppliers only direct damages up to U.S. $5.00. You cannot recover any other damages, including consequential, lost profits, special, indirect or incidental damages. This limitation applies to anything related to the software, services, content (including code) on third party Internet sites, or third party programs; and claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty, guarantee or condition, strict liability, negligence, or other tort to the extent permitted by applicable law. It also applies even if Microsoft knew or should have known about the possibility of the damages. The above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you because your country may not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental, consequential or other damages.

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