Microsoft released XPS under a royalty-free patent license called the Community Promise for XPS ,   allowing users to create implementations of the specification that read, write and render XPS files as long as they included a notice within the source that technologies implemented may be encumbered by patents held by Microsoft. Microsoft also required that organizations "engaged in the business of developing (i) scanners that output XPS Documents; (ii) printers that consume XPS Documents to produce hard-copy output; or (iii) print driver or raster image software products or components thereof that convert XPS Documents for the purpose of producing hard-copy output, [...] will not sue Microsoft or any of its licensees under the XML Paper Specification or customers for infringement of any XML Paper Specification Derived Patents (as defined below) on account of any manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale, importation or other disposition or promotion of any XML Paper Specification implementations." The specification itself was released under a royalty-free copyright license, allowing its free distribution. 
As an alternative to the PDF, Microsoft introduced an electronic paper format – XPS for creating and sharing documents. The format allows you to save and publish content in an easily viewable form. An XML Specification Paper (XPS) document can be created in any program you can print from, using a XPS Document Writer. The Microsoft XPS Document Writer (MXDW) is a print-to-file driver that enables a Windows application to create XML Paper Specification (XPS) document files on versions of Windows starting with Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2). In short, it allows you to create .xps files in any program that has a print option. Once the XPS document is created and saved in XPS format, you cannot edit its contents.