Microsoft to Disclose Source Code

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News: Microsoft to Disclose Source Code

  1. Microsoft to Disclose Source Code (14 messages)

    In a bid to stifle criticism from EU regulators that have already hit the software giant with stiff fines, Microsoft has announced that it would license a small amount of its secret source code to comply with last years EU antitrust ruling.

    Speaking in Brussels on Wednesday (Jan 25, 2006), Brad Smith, chief counsel for Microsoft stated that this disclosure of parts of source code "addresses in a single stroke any lingering question anyone may have about whether developers will have access to the most accurate and complete technical information they need." This announcement appears to be in response to a public statement by an EU executive Neelie Kroes earlier this year that they intended to levy a fine of 2 million euros (~2.4 million USD) per day unless Microsoft came into compliance with an earlier ruling by January 25th. In that ruling (March 2004), the EU commission ruled that Microsoft had violated antitrust laws and imposed a 497 million Euro fine (~500 million USD).

    The announcement comes as after the EU announced that a full case would be heard before the Court of First Instance (2nd highest court in the EU) in Luxembourg on April 24-28. This is an unusually long time for the court to set aside for any case. Mr. Smith commented that this was evidence that Apple’s resurgence in the market place combined with the number of new digital devices proves that the market is more competitive then the EU originally concluded. In response the EU commission has stated that only it and not Microsoft can conclude it Microsoft is in compliance with it’s rulings.

    Not surprisingly, response from the open source community is filled with skepticism. According to Reuters one lawyer representing open source developers has stated that "this offer of was no interest to its clients". Joachim Jakobs of the Free Software Foundation of Europe stated in an email to the NY Times that "it actually seems more likely that Microsoft will eventually try to shut down competition by making claims of copyright infringement”.

    Threaded Messages (14)

  2. I can't wait![ Go to top ]

    This would make the world's best toilet paper!
  3. I can't wait![ Go to top ]

    This would make the world's best toilet paper!
    Nah, that would be a security risk. May have bugs in it.
  4. I can't wait![ Go to top ]

    This would make the world's best toilet paper!
    Nah, that would be a security risk. May have bugs in it.

    What do you mean, may? ;)

    Now now, there would still be some value to it because it can serve as a good "antipatterns" example.. what not to do..
  5. I can't wait![ Go to top ]

    How can you use those toilet papers which are full of (security) holes?
  6. How exactly is this related to Java Middleware? If Slashdot and TSS merged, I must have missed that. Or news are not moderated any more?

    weird
  7. How exactly is this related to Java Middleware? If Slashdot and TSS merged, I must have missed that. Or news are not moderated any more?weird

    Thanks for the question. If you look in the upper left hand corner you will see the slogan "Your Enterprise Java Community". Certianly Microsoft has a not so insignificant impact on what happens in the enterprise and this is a not so insignificant situation.

    I anticipated the "toilet" jokes and though disappointed that they are here am tolerant of them. However I was more interested in what impact this case may have on us all as developers. Now the Grand Duche du Luxembourg may seem far away but I believe that their decisions may have some interesting trickle-down effects. For one thing it starts to nibble away at the open vs. closed arguements that many have been using. There are other "feel-good" effects that involve investments. I feel-good about investing in Java because my investment can't be trampled upon as it regularly has been by Microsoft. With no more possibilities for dirty tricks like (urban legend?) putting in special code to crash Netscape will people be more willing to invest in MS technology?

    So I think that this is a step that will have some future impact on the enterprise and IMHO it is something that is worth a few cycles of our time to ponder.

    Cheers,
    Kirk
  8. How exactly is this related to Java Middleware? If Slashdot and TSS merged, I must have missed that. Or news are not moderated any more?weird
    Thanks for the question. If you look in the upper left hand corner you will see the slogan "Your Enterprise Java Community". Certianly Microsoft has a not so insignificant impact on what happens in the enterprise and this is a not so insignificant situation.I anticipated the "toilet" jokes and though disappointed that they are here am tolerant of them.
    With all due respect, not really a good argument. Microsoft has a share in the middleware, that's why http://www.theserverside.net exists, is not that the reason?

    tss.com is clearly Java-related.

    As for the OSS vs Proprietary issues - such discussions are usually hosted on slashdot, hence my surprise...

    cheers
  9. <img src="http://www.theserverside.com/skin/images/header_logotype.gif">

    Your Enterprise Java Community, huh?
  10. Poisoned Apple[ Go to top ]

    The article does not mention that the EU comission did not require Microsoft to lay open code but to specify certain communication protocols they use. Microsoft laying open some of its code is some kind of poisoned apple: it makes people in America believe that the EU forces an American company to lay open its code (which is likely to succeed, because the media in America is really bad) and as already mentioned it bears the danger of facing claims of copyright infringement when using that code.

    Needless to say that the responsible EU commissioner has already stated that in laying open those protocols Microsoft so far has still not complied sufficiently, which this article didn't mention (again, American media is really bad).

    All in all a smart move from Microsoft in handing over a poisoned apple and waiting to see what happens while still not complying with the EU requirements. And one reason more to chose software from other companies than Microsoft. At least for me.

    Regards, Oliver
  11. Excellent[ Go to top ]

    When do I get this?
    Kiran
    sanskrit-quote.blogspot.com
  12. sheer bulk[ Go to top ]

    Back in the mid-90s I worked for a firm that had a Windows source license. The source for NT 4.0 was four gigabytes, delivered on six CDs. There was one subdirectory and one build script per .EXE or .DLL: roughly ten thousand buildables. We were given obviously expurgated documentation, barely adequate to figure out the build process. A full build took 20 hours on a dual Pentium 90. Some of the code, especially the older code, was quite good; some (e.g. the Network Control Panel, written in C++) was among the most obfuscated code I've ever seen. Probably the overall bulk of the code has since grown by a further factor of three or four. Overall I don't think anybody would find it very useful to just have this enormous mass of stuff dumped in their lap, and Microsoft has no incentive to provide good navigational aids to actually make it useful. I wonder how much money the EU is prepared to invest in reverse engineering.

    Parenthetically, the assembly-language files in the deepest layer of the kernel, dated 1989 and signed by David Cutler himself, have module-header comments that say "This is the 32-bit version of OS/2".
  13. fascist eurpean press[ Go to top ]

    The article does not mention that the EU comission did not require Microsoft to lay open code but to specify certain communication protocols they use. Microsoft laying open some of its code is some kind of poisoned apple: it makes people in America believe that the EU forces an American company to lay open its code (which is likely to succeed, because the media in America is really bad) and as already mentioned it bears the danger of facing claims of copyright infringement when using that code.

    Needless to say that the responsible EU commissioner has already stated that in laying open those protocols Microsoft so far has still not complied sufficiently, which this article didn't mention (again, American media is really bad).

    why would you trust the fascist european press over the american press?
  14. fascist eurpean press[ Go to top ]

    why would you trust the fascist european press over the american press?
    True. I don't get the mindset that profit is a bad thing. Or that private property is a bad thing. MS owns the code; whether they wrote it or bought it they own it. They shouldn't be forced to give it away. Many European (and, alas, US) officials don't respect private property. They do so at their and their "subjects" peril, however. Eventually markets suffer.
  15. fascist eurpean press[ Go to top ]

    MS owns the code; whether they wrote it or bought it they own it. They shouldn't be forced to give it away.

    actually they are not required to give away any piece of code - that's just how the US press is probably presenting the situation
    Many European (and, alas, US) officials don't respect private property... Eventually markets suffer.

    so the monopol does not hurt the market, huh?