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Microsoft Re-Releases WUDT Under GPLv2 License

  • December 11, 2009
  • By Stuart J. Johnston
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After first pulling a Windows 7 download tool that inadvertently contained improperly licensed open-source code from its online store a few weeks ago, Microsoft said Thursday it has fixed the problem.

The so-called Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (WUDT) is back online and is now duly licensed under conditions required by the open source license.

"I am very pleased to announce that Microsoft today released the Open Sourced Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool under the GPLv2 [Gnu Public License version 2]," Peter Galli, open source community manager for Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) platform strategy group, said in a post on the company's Port 25 blog.

As before, WUDT is now available for free download from Microsoft's online store. Additionally, the project itself -- source code and binaries -- is now hosted on CodePlex.com, Microsoft's open source software project hosting repository, Galli's post said.

The ruckus surrounding WUDT erupted in early November when Rafael Rivera Jr. wrote on his blog Within Windows that some of the code in the tool looked suspiciously like code from an open source product governed by GPLv2.

Microsoft almost immediately removed the tool from its sites and apologized for actions it said were taken by a third-party developer who had improperly included GPLv2 licensed code in with proprietary Microsoft code.

What WUDT is for

WUDT was designed to make it easier for users to download Windows 7 to either a flash drive or a DVD -- a convenient method, for instance, of installing the new operating system on devices such as netbooks that have no optical drives.

At the time, Microsoft said it would bring WUDT in line with the GPLv2 licensing terms in short order. That turned out to take longer than expected, but the tool is back online and the licensing is now clear, Galli said.

The updated WUDT, though, requires a few more steps than the original, including installing the .NET Framework, Windows IMAPI (Image Mastering Application Programming Interface), and Bootsect.exe which is a part of Windows 7. Microsoft has posted Instructions on how to perform the installation.




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