Not true, judges also need to follow the law, and in contract law the main rule is the "Parol Evidence Rule".
It basically boils down to this: If the written words of a contract are enough to come to a conclusion, but one party gives testimony in court that their intention was different, then the judge is not allowed to use the testimony and has to follow the written words in a ruling. Even if the judge might feel that both parties understood the intention, he/she cannot follow the verbal testimony.
Example: Microsoft gives testimony in court that they meant that the promise was not a contract that's enforceable, then the judge is still not allowed to rule this, because the legal definition of the word "contract" is
Bilateral and Unilateral Contracts The exchange of mutual, reciprocal promises between entities that entails the performance of an act, or forbearance from the performance of an act, with respect to each party, is a Bilateral Contract. A bilateral contract is sometimes called a two-sided contract because of the two promises that constitute it. The promise that one party makes constitutes sufficient consideration for the promise made by the other.
note the specific mention of the word "promise" here.
So due to the parol evidence rule, a jude would not be allowed to rule that the promise is not an contract in this case.
Other example: Microsoft testifies that it had the intention the contract was terminated retroactively. However because the legal definition of the word "termination" is
The termination or cancellation of a contract signifies the process whereby an end is put to whatever remains to be performed thereunder. It differs from Rescission, which refers to the restoration of the parties to the positions they occupied prior to the contract.
So due to the parol evidence rule the judge is not allowed to grant a retroactive termination, because the correct legal wording for that would be "rescission" or "retroactive termination" and neither was used in Microsofts promise.
For whomever wonders what the exact definition of the parol evidence rule is: http://legal-diction.../parol+evidence+rule
It seems to me that Microsoft took great care in the wording of their promise to make sure they can enforce it in court. I have this feeling because of the way how the promise is set up: its a promise between Microsoft and you personally, and you personally will not be involved in a patent case against them. And if you are the promise will terminate. All of this points to the promise not being valid as soon as you are standing in front of a judge, by which time the judge will ask Microsoft if they have a counter claim. I speculate that they wanted to give a feeling of security to the open source community, which is why they didn't retroactively terminate the promise. With the amount of patents Microsoft holds, that's not really needed anyway.
Microsoft could not have pulled their pants down much lower in my opinion, but if you still like to think that Microsoft has some evil intentions with this patent grant, then, like with any contract, you're of course allowed to not accept it. If you're a programmer however, you're most likely still infringing one of those many thousands of patent and intellectual property rights they own.