Feeds

Microsoft discloses 14,000 pages of coding secrets

Tech documentation for all

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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.®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.