Microsoft has unveiled plans to consolidate the licensing terms for its Shared Source initiative under three templates. The aim of the move is to reduce complexity and provide developers with more predictable terms for viewing Microsoft's code.

The three new licences are called the Microsoft Permissive License (Ms-PL), the Community License (Ms-CL) and the Reference License (Ms-RL). There will also be limited versions of the Permissive and Community licenses (Ms-LPL and Ms-LCL), Microsoft said. The company also released eight new Starter Kits for Visual Studio 2005, aimed at developers, under the new Permissive License.