Feeds

Microsoft talks up interoperability

Day three: MS describes world where everything works

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

MS v EC Microsoft took the stand today to try and overturn the European Competition Commission’s decision to force it to improve server interoperability.

The commission case looked at three aspects - file, print, and user directory functions. Microsoft QC Mr Forrester told the court there were clear parallels between the previous two days looking at Media Player and the next two looking at interoperability. He said the commission had again failed to provide evidence of unhappy customers, and said the decision created an immense burden, and enormous fine, on Microsoft. He said although server issues involved more acronyms and technical explanations, at base it was a clear legal issue.

The court was told it took 210 people to create the documentation required by the commission. They reviewed 3.91m lines of code for directory and 4.3m for print. Today, we heard, 75 people are still working full-time on it.

Microsoft recruited retired engineers because much of the code was old. Creating the documentation took 35,000 hours, it is 12,650 pages long, and getting longer as the code is upgraded.

After a potted history of network directory services, Microsoft explained how creating trust relationships between machines running different operating systems allowed them to interoperate to the satisfaction of customers. We heard that most organisations have a mixed computing environment - either through choice of as a result of companies merging.

The court was shown how interoperability can be achieved in different ways. By using a common language or protocol like http; by installing software on one machine so it can talk to another - Novell software which allows a Windows machine to access Novell directory services; by using a translator such as Hummingbird; or by using Samba, which effectively disguises the identity of a non-Windows machine so it appears to be a Windows machine by using middleware.

The court heard that the commission's decision was based on an unduly narrow market definition, and that it failed to take account of its obligations under international law.

The CTO of Sapient told the court that problems relating to file, print, and user directory were so easily solved that it was usually done by an internal IT department rather than a specialist. He said solutions had been available in the past and were still available, and that the three had never influenced a technical decision by a customer in his experience.

The court was also treated to a demonstration of Centrify software that appeared to achieve just what the commission said was impossible. This relates to getting a non-Windows machine recognised by Active Directory.

Paul Moore, CTO at Centrify, demonstrated how to get a Linux machine recognised by the Active Service domain after a quick installation of software.

Centrify CEO Tom Kemp then explained the company had made the product in about a year and employed 35 people. To make it, they used publicly available Microsoft material, observed how a Windows machine behaves, and got some “snippets of code” from Microsoft.

Centrify’s product can put 60 operating systems within the Active Directory domain.

Court president Bo Vesterdorf got a laugh by suggesting it was shame Mr Kemp was not there to sell his software to the court. ®

The court reconvenes at 3pm to hear from the commission.

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.