Microsoft To Release Windows Source Code - InformationWeek

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1/25/2006
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Microsoft To Release Windows Source Code

To settle the European Union's antitrust allegations, Microsoft will license all of its Windows Server source code, according to published reports.

Microsoft on Wednesday announced it will license all of its Windows Server source code as a way of coming into compliance with the European Commission's ruling of March 2004, the Associated Press reports.

The company has made the decision voluntarily as a way of adressing all of the issues raised by the Commission's Statement of Objections made in December 2005, according to Brad Smith, Microsoft's senior vice president and general counsel.

"Today we are putting our most valuable intellectual property on the table so we can put technical compliance issues to rest and move forward with a serious discussion about the substance of this case," Smith said in a prepared statement. "The Windows source code is the ultimate documentation of Windows Server technologies. With this step, our goal is to resolve all questions about the sufficiency of our technical documentation."

Microsoft officials believe they are going beyond the European Commission's 2004 ruling and legal obligations to supply companies with the technical specifications of its proprietary communications protocols. They explain that a reference license to the Windows Server source code gives developers a precise description of all Windows protocol technologies.

"While we are confident that we are presently in full compliance with the decision, we wish to dispel any notion that Microsoft's technical documents are insufficient," Smith said.

Microsoft officials note that while they continue to contest the merits of the 2004 decision through the courts, today's announcement underscores the company's resolve to satisfy the Commission's compliance demands. The company plans to continue to prepare its response to the December Statement of Objections, which is now due on Feb. 15.

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