Feeds

Microsoft discloses 14,000 pages of coding secrets

Tech documentation for all

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft today lifted the lid on 14,000 pages of sketchy versions of tech documentation for core software code. On show for the first time in public are underlying protocols for Office 2007, Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2007.

This is Microsoft's latest effort to satisfy anti-trust concerns of the European Union, which is possibly a tougher adversary for the company than Google.

In February, the firm made a surprise announcement in which it agreed to publish and provide free access to application programming interfaces (APIs) for its major software products.

At the time Microsoft said it also planned to free up protocols around its client and server software.

Now it has unleashed preliminary tech docs that reveal some of the inner-workings of its code via its Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) website. This is the first stage of the process.

Microsoft is to release details in three phases.

Between now and June it will garner feedback from the developer community. Then, at the end of June, Microsoft will publish the final versions of technical documentation – along with definitive patent licensing terms.

The definitions will be crucial to third parties who want to play with Microsoft code. We shall find out soon enough if Redmond will let them play ball.

Tom Robertson, Microsoft’s interoperability and standards general manager, says today's moves are "another step toward putting our interoperability principles into action with the public availability of these protocol specifications".

It may also help the company head off some anti-trust concerns.

In January European regulators began two formal investigations against Microsoft for alleged market abuse.

One is a response to the complaint filed by the European Committee for Interoperable Systems alleging Redmond had refused to disclose interoperability information on a range of Microsoft products.

The EC is scrutinising several server products and Office Open XML (OOXML) on the grounds that the specification doesn't work with those of competitors. Just last week OOXML bagged enough votes to be passed as an international standard, much to the chagrin of open source fanciers around the globe.

The second investigation was sparked by a complaint from the Norwegian web browser company Opera, which alleged that the tying of Internet Explorer to its Windows operating system was anti-competitive.®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
(Not so) Instagram now: Time-shifting Hyperlapse iPhone tool unleashed
Photos app now able to shoot fast-moving videos
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned 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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.