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‘Microsoft uses GPLv2 for plug-in linking collaboration tools’

Microsoft continued its GPLv2 theme for the week, announcing a plug-in that integrates its Live@edu collaboration tools with the open source course management system Moodle.

The Microsoft Live Services Plug-in for Moodle is a free download that adds e-mail, calendar, instant messaging and search to the Moodle platform. The plug-in is PHP based and is open source code under the GPLv2 license.

Microsoft kicked off its week with a blockbuster announcement that it is donating device driver code to the Linux kernel under the GPLv2 license, which the company has criticized in the past.

Moodle, which is also licensed under GPLv2, is designed for online course work and its open source modular design invites add-ons to the platform. The software claims more than 30 million users around the world.

The Live@edu plug-in gives Moodle users Outlook Live for e-mail, Office Live Workspace for sharing documents and collaborating, Windows Live Messenger for IM, and Windows Live SkyDrive for 25GB of online data storage space. It also supports Microsoft's Bing search engine.

There is an option to integrate with Windows Live ID for single sign-on to Moodle and the Live@edu applications.

L. Michael Golden, corporate vice president for the education product group at Microsoft, said the company “listened to education IT leaders and licensed the technology in a way that is consistent with the practices of the Moodle community — under the GPLv2 license.”

The plug-in requires Moodle 1.9.x. Microsoft warns that it has not been thoroughly tested with Moodle 1.8.x or earlier and has not been tested or integrated with development builds of Moodle 2.0.

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