Microsoft to regulators: 'OK, we'll let competitors see some Windows code. So chill!'

Microsoft will disclose some of the inner workings of Windows to competitors, in a bid to satisfy regulators both in the US and Europe. While the move may be a "bold stroke," as MS chief lawyer Brad Smith said yesterday, it's certainly not the open sourcing of Windows.

Microsoft will disclose some of the inner workings of Windows to competitors, in a bid to satisfy regulators both in the US and Europe, the International Herald Tribune reports.  While the move may be a "bold stroke," as MS chief lawyer Brad Smith said yesterday, it's certainly  not the open sourcing  of Windows, as Smith also emphasized.

Mr. Smith also signaled a shift in the Microsoft business model, calling the decision "quite a substantial step, quite a significant change, from the steps we have made in the past."

Speaking at a news conference in Brussels, Mr. Smith said the move should enable the company to avoid daily fines of up to 2 million euros, or nearly $2.5 million, that the European Union threatened to impose.

He said Microsoft's disclosure of parts of the 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."

Smith said that Redmond is certainly maintaining a lock on the most proprietary parts of Windows, and that competitors would get access to the souce code but not  be able to copy it. "We're not open-sourcing Windows," Smith said.

Open source advocates agreed.

"It actually seems more likely Microsoft will eventually try to shut down competition by making claims of copyright infringement," Joachim Jakobs of the Free Software Foundation Europe said by e-mail.


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