Posts Tagged ‘Smart IT’

Microsoft Open Up

Microsoft has promised to make sweeping changes to the way it designs and shares information about its products.
In a clear acknowledgment of the growing importance of open-source software Microsoft has promised to introduce a number of measures including:

* The publication of APIs for “all high-volume” products.

* Sharing 30,000 pages of documentation for Windows client and server protocols that were previously available only under a trade secret licence.

* Indicating which of its protocols are covered by patents, and promising not to sue open-source developers for development or non-commercial distribution of implementations of these protocols.

* The creation of new APIs for Word, Excel and PowerPoint to enable developers to plug-in additional document formats, and set these as their default format in Office 2007.

“These steps represent an important step and significant change in how we share information about our products and technologies,” cliams Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer in a pre-prepared statement.

“For the past 33 years, we have shared a lot of information with hundreds of thousands of partners around the world and helped build the industry, but today’s announcement represents a significant expansion toward even greater transparency.

“Our goal is to promote greater interoperability, opportunity and choice for customers and developers throughout the industry by making our products more open and by sharing even more information about our technologies.”

In a later conference call, Ballmer claimed Microsoft’s new philosophy is key to its survival. “Microsoft’s long-term success depends on delivering software that’s open, flexible and delivers choice,” he says.

However, Ballmer says the new approach won’t be a free-for-all. “We still have trade secrets we need to protect. In some ways you can say we’re opening up, in others we have valuable intellectual property assets that we need to protect.”

Microsoft’s general counsel, Brad Smith, admits the move is at least partially motivated by satisfying regulator concerns. “Microsoft is fully committed to making sure we’re in full compliance with EU law,” he says.

“We recognise people will assess us not by our words, but the actions we take to implement them. We’re not just issuing principles. At the same time the principles went up on the web, so did 30,000 pages of documentation. It’s a first step to implement these principles. Over the coming months we’ll be issuing many more thousands of pages of documentation.”

Source – PC Pro