Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Agrees to License Windows Source Code

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the say-ahh dept.

Microsoft 423

msbmsb writes "Stepping away from previous tradition, "Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday it will license its Windows source code to comply with a European Union antitrust ruling." But in an effort to stop the cloning of the OS, developers will still have to pay an unspecified amount for the code. This is an addition to the "12,000 pages of technical documents and 500 hours of free technical support" to those who purchase a license."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

FreeBSD is better than windows (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558734)

FreeBSD is better than windows

12000 Pages? (5, Funny)

unheard02 (949368) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558737)

Man, and all we get is clippy to help us out.

Docs dont matter that much. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14559034)

What matters more is if the software's in a buildabile form.


What would be most to a government is that they can audit the source code to make sure there are no back doors [seclists.org] and then build the software and either compare digital signatures with the distro or use the one they built themselves.


If Microsoft's providing a complete set of source code with the build environment, this might make it acceptable for government use. If not, it's just PR hype.


12000 pages saying "please trust us" is not enough.

Europe (-1, Flamebait)

tealover (187148) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558743)

Whenever they can't compete, they'll find a way within their system to thwart the competition. They are a sad lot. Thankfully Britain doesn't have the same mentality.

Re:Europe (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558808)

Whenever they can't compete, they'll find a way within their system to thwart the competition. They are a sad lot. Thankfully Britain doesn't have the same mentality.

I read that post three times over wondering what the hell Britain had to do with Microsoft's mentality regarding competition. Then I noticed the subject field said 'Europe'...

Re:Europe (-1, Flamebait)

NeedleSurfer (768029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558814)

Lol, what they are doing is effectively rendering innoperable a monopoly, nothing else, they actually succeed where the US failled, as usual, not surprising americans are jealous and will flood this news with witty comments.

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558818)

Britain (the UK) is actually a part of europe. There are in the EU also.

Re:Europe (0, Flamebait)

tealover (187148) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558874)

Britain rejects the EU's socialist bearings. That's why Britain's economy outshines all of Europe's.

Re:Europe (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14559097)

Are you well? I'm British, but I can't help but notice that Germany IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST EXPORTER OF MANUFACTURED GOODS. Bigger than the USA (world's largest economy), bigger than China (world's largest country), bigger than Japan. The fact that Germans make more stuff than Britain I can cope with (they're bigger than us, after all) but the fact that they beat both the US and Japan is amazing. Who gives a shit if Britain MIGHT have lower unemployment (can you trust the UK unemployment numbers???).

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14559159)

Can you link to _any_ materiale that shows that the British economy outshine the scandinavian/nordic countries? Those are actually the most socialist contries in Europe.

Re:Europe (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558913)

Kinda hard to compete when the company in question is a convicted monopoly abuser (both in the US as well as the EU) and the country in which they're incorporated won't do anything more than slap them on the wrist.

Yes, European publishers (as well as other American publishers) cannot compete with Windows, but it is not because they cannot make a better product.

Re:Europe (1)

Jussi K. Kojootti (646145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558978)

Yes, the all-powerful Mainland European Operating Systems Development Industry Association has obviously influenced the decision...

In other words, what are you smoking (and how is this insightful)?

Re:Europe (2, Funny)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559007)

Spoken like a true Brit. Those Europeans aren't like us Brits, we're fricking great at everything.

Can someone mod me as "insightful" as well please?

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14559080)

Spoken like a true Brit. Those Europeans aren't like us Brits, we're fricking great at everything.
 
Yup. And the only region in the world where England is better than Brazil when it comes to soccer.

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14559015)

Ahem, Britain is in Europe as far as I know...

the price? (0, Offtopic)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558747)

what is MS worth right now???

Re:the price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558955)

...checks pockets

I'll give you £4.75 and some lint for it.

Re:the price? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559009)

On the stock market: $282 billion [yahoo.com]

How much? (4, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558748)

But in an effort to stop the cloning of the OS, developers will still have to pay an unspecified amount for the code.

One Cajillion Dollars

Re:How much? (0)

evil agent (918566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558778)

Good thinking Joe, but I think a real number would be more effective.

Re:How much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558971)

a Brazilian dollars?

Re:How much? (1, Flamebait)

sperdich (942787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559013)

The question is, who would try to clone such an impossible to understand and bad developed SO???

Sergio

www.salvaneschi.com.ar

Re:How much? (2, Informative)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559112)

The question is, who would try to clone such an impossible to understand and bad developed SO [sic]???

These guys [reactos.org] would.

Wait... That seems... SLANTED??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558756)

"free technical support to those who purchase a license."

So thats what Microsoft calls free.... Free is what you get when you purchase somthing... AHH...

What does MS tech support cost (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558833)

For development questions i recall MS tech support being very expensive. I used it once and i think the question cost nearly $500 and the answer for all the money was a succinct "You can't do that".

Given a quantity discount the tech support hours that they provide must be at least $250 each, so that's $125k of "free" tech support. I doubt i'll be licensing their code any time soon.

Re:Wait... That seems... SLANTED??? (5, Funny)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559003)

You act like it's something new ... just watch any infomercial, or commercial for exercise/kitchen gadgets at 2am:

Have you ever wished you could figure out how to make your application work with Microsoft Windows?

Now you can!

How much would something like this be worth?

We don't know, either ... just send us a blank check, and ask for rush delivery!

Act now, and we'll throw in 12,000 pages of documentation*.

But wait, there's more ... we'll also throw in 500 hours** of FREE tech support!***

--
* some pages intentionally left blank
** no refund for time spent on hold
*** free tech support may incur phone charges on your part.
Offer not valid in countries we're not getting sued for unlawful business practices

Microsoft still doesn't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14559055)

It's not free as in beer that people want, but free as in speech that people seek. This is only real news if Microsoft license adds claus of freedom for licensee to do what they want with licensed IP. Until then, it's just a different spin on the same old.

Whoa (1, Funny)

MaynardJanKeymeulen (768541) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558759)

Does that mean that Microsoft competitors will be able to add MS(c)SecurityHoles(tm) in their products to ensure compability with all kinds of exploits?

Any idea on the price ? (1)

yogikoudou (806237) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558762)

From TFA: Software developers still will have to pay for the code

Does somebody have an idea about this price ?

Re:Any idea on the price ? (0, Redundant)

cpghost (719344) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558845)

Does somebody have an idea about this price ?

How much is MSFT currently worth?

Re:Any idea on the price ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558855)

Re:Any idea on the price ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14559089)

Estimating that they'd pay a suport deveoper about $65/hr and it comes w/ 500 hours, it's at the absolute lowest minimum: 35K .

Fork (1)

mtenhagen (450608) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558765)

How long will it take before this code hits the streets?
How long will it take before a fork is on the net?

This would also be really helpfull for wine and samba developers.

Re:Fork (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558790)

This would also be really helpfull for wine and samba developers.

This would also be a really easy way for MS to get those developers tossed into jail or fined to hell and back.

Re:Fork (1)

Coriander (826372) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558983)

Copying code and learning from it are very different things, and it'd be damn hard to prove the latter if done well.

How much ya wanna bet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558831)

...that the source code that MS supplies ain't exactly the same code as what was compiled to make the the shipping copies of the Windows executables?

The code's already out (2, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558897)

The code is already "out there" in the US government, some schools, and some corporations. And it hasn't hit the streets yet. I imagine few are afraid of the NDA. But they all probably fear that MS put something special in each copy of the code in order to track down the source of any leaks.

Re:Fork (1)

Xiaran (836924) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558966)

This would also be really helpfull for wine and samba developers.

Actually I think it would be wise for the wine and samba developers to never look at the code. It would certainly be part of the license that you could not work on competing products after viewing the source. I am pondering contributing to the classpath project, and they are pretty strict about havign their developers never view the source of the original java library.

Ive also seen, on site, the source code for the complete Windows CE 3.0 kernel many years ago. Had to sign a dohicky thing. We made modifications to the kernel and proposed MS make the change(we were trying to work with compaq to get a modified kernel for encryption stuff... long story short... MS said no). Just as an aside. if the person who wrote the database file system for CE 3.0 is readign this... I find your code virtually unreadable... it gave me a migrane. Oh and whoever wrote the encryption routine for writes to disk... there was a bug... that could result in null memory access.

What a bunch of crap... (0, Troll)

un.sined (946837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558774)

Why should any company be forced to reveal their trade secrets?

What next? Game developers will be forced to make their source code available to I can get a character editor to work 100% properly? Is Blizzard going to be forced to reveal their source code so that we can write a better version of Gear?

It would be really great... (1)

Moth7 (699815) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558822)

If Valve were forced to release the Steam source and leave it open to competent individuals who might actually be able to keep it running.

One can only dream.

Re:It would be really great... (1)

oldwarrior (463580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558875)

Then they would be out of business in a few months when overseas lowball sleezes come out with their own free versions of comparable games and engines.

Re:What a bunch of crap... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558856)

Because abusing a monopoly position violates the law. They are convicted criminals and Blizzard isn't.
Why should an robber be forced to give up his freedom and go to jail? Because he broke the law. Simple as that.

Indeed! What a bunch of crap... (2, Insightful)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559178)

Though Microsoft was defined as a monopoly in court, and it is certainly politic to tow that line here in Free Beer Land, clear vision reveals that people do have choice, there is still Apple, various Linux, and an assortment of BSDs. Irrational hyperbole can't change the facts. Question: If, as you say, Microsoft is a monopoly, are you than admitting that Linux and BSD are not viable operating systems? Of course that can't be true can it? We know in fact that Linux and BSD are viable operating systems.

Re:What a bunch of crap... (3, Insightful)

NeedleSurfer (768029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558894)

Because they are abusing a monoppoly, even simpler because they have a monopoly. Because this monopoly is gained and maintained trough the code they created, don't abuse of your monopoly and drastic measures won't have to be taken.

Re:What a bunch of crap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14559191)

If this were a European company, me thinks results of EU's antitrust would have been vastly different. Everyone knows this.

Re:What a bunch of crap... (5, Insightful)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558903)

They aren't forced to do anything. If they don't like the laws in Europe, they are free to trade elsewhere.

More likely though, they will lobby to change the laws because they don't want to lose one of their biggest markets.

Re:What a bunch of crap... (2, Insightful)

Pope (17780) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558932)

When one of those game developers is a 95% monopoly on home and office computers and their software comes pre-installed on all hardware with cost-prohibitive terms to the hardware manufacturers against installing a competitor's game software, then we'll have a look at the merits of a case against that game developer.

Name a game developer who... (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558942)

Name one game developer that has control over the vast majority of desktop computers. Can't? That's why they're not "forced" to reveal their trade secrets.

BTW, they're not being forced. They can stop offering their software in Europe.

Re:What a bunch of crap... (5, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558946)

"Why should any company be forced to reveal their trade secrets?"

Why should any murderer be forced to spend time in prison?

Answer: because they were convicted in a court of law (or, in Microsoft's case, courts) of comitting a crime and are now being punished.

"Is Blizzard going to be forced to reveal their source code so that we can write a better version of Gear?"

Hold off your whining until Blizzard is prosecuted for abusing monopoly powers.

Re:What a bunch of crap... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558956)

Why should any company be forced to reveal their trade secrets?

For the good of the market. Market freedom implies that new players can enter the market freely. When you are unable to enter the market at reasonable cost because a monopolist has used its power to lock you out, that's when the government is supposed to step in to lower market barriers, so the market remains free.

It's simple economics (any book on market forces covers this). Monopoly + raised market entry barriers = inefficient (non-free) market. This is good for the monopolist, but bad for the market (and by extension, bad for society). Corporations only exist as a tool to serve society. From the moment their actions start to hurt society they lose any privileges they may have.

Though, ofcourse, whether microsoft is an abusive monopolist is a point you can argue about.

because.. (1)

dotpavan (829804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559043)

the any company happens to be a monoply in this case

Re:What a bunch of crap... (1)

flooey (695860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559116)

Why should any company be forced to reveal their trade secrets?

What next? Game developers will be forced to make their source code available to I can get a character editor to work 100% properly? Is Blizzard going to be forced to reveal their source code so that we can write a better version of Gear?
An application is a bit different than an operating system. Operating systems perform a privileged and vital role on a computer, far beyond any application program. While a lack of compatibility with an application is completely reasonable, being unable to interact with one's operating system as one wishes is a whole other matter.

Re:What a bunch of crap... (1)

ProZachar (410739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559140)

While a lack of compatibility with an application is completely reasonable, being unable to interact with one's operating system as one wishes is a whole other matter

Seems that this is a problem that markets should solve, not governments.

Ok.... (4, Interesting)

Tragek (772040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558779)

I'll admit it, I'm shocked. However, I have to ask the question? What is this going to change?

Re:Ok.... (1)

Tragek (772040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558839)

(oh, and is this licencing europe only?)

Is this the beginning or end of windows? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558788)

Once this hits pirate land, are we in for more trouble than good?

I can speak to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558793)

Yet another reason to go with a Mac. The Mac, by using source code that stays private, is much more secure.

As Frankie Brooks says in the seminal book, "The Mythical Man Month" when the source code gets released it will increase the odds of new sxploits by Olog(n). I think that speaks for itself.

Frankly I think this whole zeitgeist of having access to the source code will turn and over time we'll go back to the days when code was kept private and we had less exploits.

Warmest regards,
--Jack Wagner

Hey, is this a new one? (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558991)

... That's a damn fine troll you got there. I imagine the anti-slash crowd will add it to the list pretty quick. To my mind, it's very nearly as good as the Christian Record Store Owner troll, so if it's not a cut'n'paste job I'm certain it soon will be...

(I only mod down _bad_ trolls. Or ones that copy trolls I've seen before. Trolling, when done well, is a valid artform, and a core part of geek culture, and is to be encouraged :)

Uh... I was gonna reply to that (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559016)

But I really don't have a clue of WhoTF Jack Wagner is, so I can't tell whether you're sarcastic or not :-/

Re:Uh... I was gonna reply to that (1)

Jack Wagner (444727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559110)

You must be a newbie. I've been a respected member of the Slashdot community for close to a decade now. As a long time developer and community leader it's unfortunate that I haven't had much time to post lately.

Warmest regards,
--Jack

Re:I can speak to this (1)

whirlibulf (911135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559021)

Linux's source code isn't private (as far as I know) -- isn't that secure?

Re:I can speak to this (2, Funny)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559155)

I can assure you that the Man Moth is no myth--he is very much a reality.

Should help Security (2, Interesting)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558794)

With the actual source and another pair of eyes looking at it, there should be more security fixes and hopefully a more secure OS.

Re:Should help Security (4, Funny)

dotgain (630123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558858)

Yeah, I can see it now. People flocking en masse to fix the holes, and pay for the privilege!

You would think so, but... (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559068)

You'd think so, wouldn't you? But the US government has had access to the code for years and we haven't seen much improvement. They do notify MS of at least some issues they find. The OS is probably more secure today because it. I guess things would be even worse if less people were looking at it.

Will it compile? (4, Interesting)

ptaff (165113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558795)

The question is will it be complete and compile? Don't they have to hide parts of Windows that are licensed from other companies?

Windows will still be distributed as binaries, having this source code does not give any guarantee about what's really running on your system.

Re:Will it compile? (1)

kawika (87069) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558878)

The question is will it be complete and compile?
Yes, with gcc.

Don't they have to hide parts of Windows that are licensed from other companies?
Yes, take $sys$network.h ... uh, where did it go?

Re:Will it compile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14559056)

It's not meant to compile, it's a piece of the sourcecode. It's meant to enable developers to interoperate easier and not have all that nasty hidden sourcecode of what you have no clue on what it's supposed to do.

Money Matters (2, Insightful)

UPZ (947916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558800)

I guess Europe is a market too big to ignore for Microsoft. Had Singapore govt asked for this, they'd simply have ignored it.

Europe didn't ask for it (1)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559067)

What Europe asked for, IIRC, was documentation. Microsoft has so far failed to produce any of a sufficient standard (i.e. that can be actually understood by a programmer), so they're apparently offering source code as a substitute. For a fee, of course.

Which version of windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558817)

If they publish XP but not Vista the usefulness will be limited. They also need to commit to release new versions as early as possible. It's not a lot of help for interface developers to know how the last version worked when MS has a long history of breaking backwards compatibility

Not sure of that... (4, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558844)

If they publish XP but not Vista the usefulness will be limited.

Ever been annoyed at having to keep a FAT32 neutral-zone on your dual boot system because nobody's yet worked out how to write to NTFS without wrecking everything?

That's the kind of thing this will hopefully lead to. It's all about interoperability. Unfortunately, knowing MS, the terms and conditions will be fricking deadly, and no open-source coder will so much as look at MS code for fear of contaminating themselves legally, so we shouldn't get too optimistic...

Unspecified amount? (4, Funny)

jpsowin (325530) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558828)

developers will still have to pay an unspecified amount for the code

That means it's either free, or will cost trillions of dollars. I vote for the latter.

DEVELOPER: I'd like to purchase your code, please.
MS: Sure, no problem! Sign here.
DEV: Wait, how much is this again?
MS: It's an unspecified amount.
DEV: Oh, okay, that's right. Here is my signature. My company will foot the bill.
MS: We will send the bill soon--it will take a few weeks to finish printing. Very good doing business with you, sir. You are an intelligent man. We are a small company.

How will a price render cloning impossible? (1)

NeedleSurfer (768029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558837)

This is a dumb arguments to justify putting a price on it, the real reason is to profit from a court decision. Do they imply people with money don't copy? We all know it's not true, quite the oppsite. Let's pretend it's true though, what will prevent a group of people to gather the money and then clone the OS?

Re:How will a price render cloning impossible? (2, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559024)

If you charge $2.5 million for the code license you can greatly reduce the number of buyers. With some deep buried taging you could even identify which buyer's code was leaked, and then sue them in to oblivion.

-Rick

Nothing new (5, Informative)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558859)

In the US Microsoft already offers their code to governments, schools, and some limited corporations. All sign NDAs of course. The only news is that it's now happening in Europe. So don't be all surprised people outside MS are seeing the code. This isn't anything new.

Re:Nothing new (1)

NocturnDragon (820237) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559190)

The only news is that it's now happening in Europe.
Weird.... I know the polytechnic of Turin in Italy had the source code of windows XP from microsoft. I remember my professor telling the class that it took them around a week to compile on a pretty old pentium 4. Either he was telling lies or there is something else that is not really clear here!

Good For Govt (1)

Linus Sixpack (709619) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558904)

The price, in money and terms, will be too high for businesses. What it will mean that foreign governements will have similar access to what the US already has. The government(s) can make custom backdoors etc.... with their own people. They can give them back to MS who compiles and distributes.

I wonder whose version of M$ I'll get in the future?

I wonder if it will cover 2003?

Already been done (sort of) (4, Interesting)

stikves (127823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558912)

Actually, Microsoft is already licensing the Windows source code. However the significance of the new event is, they will not be choosing the licensor (at least not as much as before).

For a list of microsoft shared source licencing programs look at http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/Li censing/default.mspx [microsoft.com] . You'll see that the top item [microsoft.com] mentions "access to Microsoft Windows® source code for internal development and support purpose". And as far as I know there are already many utility producers (Symantec, WinInternals, etc) that can access NTFS source codes.

Anyways do not keep your hopes too high. As you can see there are many shared source licenses (some are even like BSD), however Windows is not becoming "Open Source" soon.

Another great move by Microsoft (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558915)

Nicely played by Microsoft.

As usual - they're not giving what anyone asks for (afaik - noone actually wants to have to look at the internals of windows), they just want to get the documentation on the protocols used so that they can intercommunicate.

By offering to license Windows, Micrsofts "crown jewels", MS has done two nice things (for them).
1) They appear to be bending over backwards to meeting the EUs demands; and
2) They will manage to set any number of unreasonable licensing terms (both monetary and otherwise), to turn this into yet another profit center (and ensure that open-source can't use any of it...)

Imo, the EU should tell them that this is *not* what was asked for, and while it's nice and whatever, please just provide what you were asked for.
Otherwise please pass go, please pay $2million dollars.

Consequences (3, Insightful)

doublegauss (223543) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558922)

This will have no consequences whatsoever on piracy. Those people don't give a toss about source code, all they need is to copy the executables.


This will have consequences on projects like Wine, Samba or ReactOS because some legal mechanism will be in force so that you can't look at the Windows source and rewrite it, let alone cut-n-paste it. What those guys need to do is ensuring any development is clean-room. What I see as conceivable is that someone (the FSF for instance) pays for one licence and the devotes some effort into releasing documents which describe accurately the internals in plain language. Obviously, the people who do this job must not contribute any code to any project.

Nelly doesn't like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14558934)

It seems to me as if Nelly Kroes is not pleased by this action, because this doesn't help in any way but M$ to accuse open source developers that they have stolen the code.

Wahoo! (4, Funny)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558950)

Now I can learn how to create secure bugfree code from the masters.

Uh... right... so where's that documentation? (2, Interesting)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14558982)

So MS get ordered to hand over documentation for their protocols. They do so. It's crap and they're ordered to go back and do it properly.

So they respond with "figure it out yourself. After paying us some cash obviously."

Does anyone actually think this is an acceptable response?

Nothing new here (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559031)

Microsoft has licensed its source code in the past (think Citrix circa NT 3.51) to those who could meet their terms. Of course, Microsoft tried to "sweep the leg" on Citrix with NT4TSE; but Citrix, unlike so many others who have gone to bed with Microsoft, managed to survive.

Just remember about how Microsoft has *always* licensed their source code: under their terms. Sure Microsoft will license their source code. But you can bet the agreement(s) you must sign to license it will be lengthy, ambiguous where it benefits Microsoft and iron clad where it benefits Microsoft, giving only the bare minimum necessary to pacify the EU, and most definitely not free [gnu.org] .

sweet (3, Funny)

Tachikoma (878191) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559039)

i hope it gets leaked on the web.
that way i can cut-and-paste it into a Obfuscated code [wikipedia.org] contest!

Opening Windows... (1, Interesting)

americamatrix (658742) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559045)

I honestly do not believe a company should be forced to opening up secrets to competitors. Does this mean the competitors will open their source code up, so Microsoft can see theirs too? Seems like a fair deal to me. If Microsoft does open the source...I would be willing to bet there would be a plague of new exploits found...which is both good and bad. Good in the sense they will be patched w00t! Bad in the sense...until they are patched, its going to be a hell of time for us IT Admins :( To put this into perspective...Coca Cola has their own secret formula to making Coke, does that mean they will have to open their formula up to Pepsi? Just some food for thought...

SUCK IT LUNIX WEENIES!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14559050)

Microsoft is all about competition. And since the Lunix corporation has lowered the bar with their substandard loss leader product, Microsoft is going to step in and take charge. If the developer geeks are crying out for the source code for an OS, well there it is. MS is answering the call of it's customers. So why the fee vs. Lunix corporation's free OS? Three words: "You get what you pay for". If it's free, then you know it's going to suck. If it costs something, then you know it has to be good. It's as simple as that. Something those Lunix company tech weenies don't grasp (other than their own rods). When you pay to get the Window code from Microsoft, you can be assumed that you're getting a quality product and the fact that they throw in FREE support instead of the PAY support like you have to deal with from the Lunix corporation is a bonus courtesy of Bill Gates. Kill the penguin. Support Microsoft. Support Windows OS. Oh, and get a haircut and a job dirty hippies.

O_o (2, Funny)

SaidinUnleashed (797936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559078)

Did I just see a pig fly by overhead?

Antitrust = Antifreedom (1)

TonyXL (33244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559083)

Just something to think about, whatever side you're on.

The straw that breaks the camels back! (0, Troll)

scruffylooking (920176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559092)

This is a happy day for M$ opponents! Why? This will multiply the exploits in Windows by a hundredfold and nobody will be able to use their crap OS. Linux and Mac will be happy to service the hundreds of millions of people looking for an OS that works! Hurray!

Pricetag? (1)

Back Slider 1969 (909883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559115)

I'm assuming $1 mill, somewhere around that area.

which tracker first (1)

wesw02 (846056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559127)

I'm taking bets on which torrent tracker this source code will be up on first.

In my opinion this could turn out really good, or more likely, really really bad for microsoft. Possiblely making the OS easier to exploit, does anyone agree with that?

Re:which tracker first (1)

Jonnty (910561) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559167)

Have you even HEARD of free software?

found (1)

dotpavan (829804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559137)

.. in the source code:

//..Damn! I am paid per hour, so I guess let me make up more statements, who
//..cares if it is a program statement or comment statement, anyways, who the
//..heck would read it? and btw the new receptionist is damn hot,
//..reminder: ask her out

{
oblig code
}

//..lala lalala

MS has already licensed the code to universities (2, Informative)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559177)

This isn't a big deal.
Microsoft has already licensed Windows source code to over 100 universities, listed here:
http://research.microsoft.com/collaboration/univer sity/ntsrclicensees.aspx [microsoft.com]

More details:
http://research.microsoft.com/collaboration/univer sity/NTSrcLicInfo.aspx [microsoft.com]

this shouldn't actually work (2, Insightful)

mAIsE (548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559182)

They have been asked to document their protocols such that their competitors (mostly open source) can compete. Licensing their server software is much like asking a politician one question and them answering the question they wanted you to ask. Of course the open source vendors can not sign the NDAs this will require. and Microsoft can't seem to get their shit together to document their protocols, probably their biggest problem behind the scenes.

I will be personally surprised if this is accepted or even an appropriate response to the council.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?