A couple of days back, I had posted about a media alert, where Microsoft was going to make some important announcement. It was about the set of broad-reaching changes, Microsoft announced to its technology and business practices to increase the openness of its products and drive greater interoperability. The steps taken were an important step and significant change in how Microsoft share information about its products and technologies.
Microsoft is implementing four new interoperability principles and corresponding actions across its high-volume business products:
(1) ensuring open connections;
(2) promoting data portability;
(3) enhancing support for industry standards; and
(4) fostering more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open source communities.
These are far reaching steps and now it is more open to interconnecting with other non-MS systems. Following this announcement, 30,000 pages of documentation for Windows client and server protocols that were previously available only under a trade secret license were published on the MSDN Web site. The interoperability principles will apply to Windows Vista, including the .NET Framework, Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Office 2007, Exchange Server 2007 and Office SharePoint Server 2007.
Open source developers can access these protocols for free for development and non-commercial distribution, while Microsoft will license related patents on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, at low royalty rates for commercial purpose.
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