Microsoft's decision was not based on any perceived obligations tied to the GPLv2 license. For business reasons and for customers, we determined it was beneficial to release the drivers to the kernel community under the GPLv2 license through a process that involved working closely with Greg Kroah-Hartman, who helped us understand the community norms and licensing options surrounding the drivers.
If I'm reading the statement correctly, Microsoft disputes that the decision to release LIC under the GPLv2 was based on any obligations resulting from the use of GPLv2 components within the original LIC code available prior to July 20. Sam does state that Greg K-H helped Microsoft understand the "community norms and licensing options." Hence, the decision to release LIC under the GPLv2 was simply a business decision. It is possible that the business decision was influenced by what customers and "the community" would think if the questions about the LIC compliance with the GPLv2 came to light.
Having said that, I can't understand what value Micrsoft would see in keeping this code under a non-Linux-friendly license. By ensuring that this code makes it into the Linux kernel, Microsoft is making it much easier for customers to deploy Linux on Microsoft Windows 2008. I go back to my "this was a business decision" view.
What do you think?
Follow me on Twitter at: SavioRodrigues.
p.s.: I should state: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions."