back to article Microsoft bares all - play by play

8:32 - So, here we are early in the morning in California, waiting for Microsoft's top brass to divulge all the meat on their Openness Festival. The Great Beast of the Pacific Northwest has finally capitulated and agreed to free its APIs for developers. In addition, Microsoft will publish most of its major protocol data and …


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  1. Jared Earle


    Only the GPL was referred to as Cancer. Microsoft like open sauce they can steal, like BSD's TCP stack, FTP app, etc.

    Mine's the grey Holland Esq.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    As an American...

    I'd like to say thank you to the EU. They finally had the balls to do what the US has not! Let's see how well MS cooperates.

  3. Robert Grant

    Where's the open source?

    Seriously, I don't see it. Surely this is just MS now behaving normally.

  4. Karl


    The vote is coming up in ISO again, now, isn't it?

    I wonder if this announcement's tree-hugging hippie crap goodwill feeling will last long enough for that, without them having to actually put any documentation up (because "it takes some time to organise and review everything for public consumption") before the vote?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    same old

    Wasnt the story that 'years ago' when companies had m$ forced to reveal some other 'inner workings' , at first m$ fought it.

    However in the long term it was very very very good for m$ , because there own teams suffered with the lack of information. So documenting everything for others actually helped m$ against it's competitors.

    Years later, developing using m$ is just so much better than any other systems due to it's staggeringly good documentation.

  6. amanfromMars Silver badge

    More info please.

    "Ballmer should have stopped there but went on to say something about Microsoft being "on the receiving end" of some standards work instead of leading it."

    Sounds interesting.

  7. JK
    Thumb Up

    Thanks, Seconded...

    I'd like to second Brent's thanks to the EU. I'm not a Microsoft hater, but I do get tired of Big Business making/breaking all the rules in the US.

  8. Mark Carmichael

    riding words bareback

    Long after details of MicroSoft's file format releases have faded,

    I'll be cherishing the turn of phrase "puke in a gibbon", which as

    far as the Internet is concerned originated here.

  9. Paul

    Open? Data lifetime?

    "Microsoft has been pretty open for years"

    For very small values of "open".

    "We have learned that documents and data have lifetimes that span well beyond the lifetimes of any applications used to produce them."

    No shit. I knew that already back when Windows was still at version 1. I still have some old data laying around on my hard drive that I originally created on a 48k Spectrum, for God's sake. Some of it is even vaguely important to me, enough so that it's been migrated through another half dozen computers running an assortment of operating systems, and got converted into something readable on the newer systems when that became possible.

    What took Microsoft so long to figure out this blazingly obvious fact?

    "All in all, it's funny to see how slowly a company like Microsoft moves."

    Nothing new here though. Microsoft have a long history of nearly missing the boat on new developments, only to throw vast reserves of man-hours and money into playing catch-up. Last time it was the Internet that caught them fiddling with their todgers. This time, apparently, it's interoperability with the competition.

  10. tempemeaty

    So the Carlyle Partners have freed up MS to play the good?

    Now that SCO has new backing by the Carlyle Partners in the battle to lay claims to Linux code it frees Microsoft up so they can stop playing the point man for control of everything on your computers. Good cop bad cop routine. Old stuff really so don't let your guard down just yet.

  11. Adair Silver badge

    What I want to know is...

    what does 'puke in a gibbon' mean?

  12. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo

    Story... Crap

    Comments... Good, sometimes in cases like these reading the comments is much better than the boring story above.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    First we publish

    the Blista APIs then just as the new third party products start hitting the street we release a new and improved version called XV.... to be called "15" by the techie fanbois.... which accidentally requires a brand new set of APIs....

    My first question is:

    Will it contain the best bits of ExPee with the best bits of Blista (if there are any)


    Can we look forward to blue screens with "go faster" ribbons and bows????

    My second question is:

    When will all the intelligent "mice" realise that they have been running flat out on a treadmill for years and years and years and years and got absolutely NOWHERE....

    Perhaps its a generation thing... threadmills seem to very fashionable just now... and I always wondered what people think about when they are slogging their guts out going nowhere.... or perhaps it just goes to prove that IT is completely detached from reality and that there really is no intelligent life force down here..

    Dr Her We Goagain

    Professor of Disinformation Technology

    Paris Hilton University


  14. P. Lee


    The cost of the documentation should be part of the production of the software, not an additional cost MS graciously incurred to please the EU.

    This is technical spec type documentation, not "How to use Excel," right?

    In that case, it should have been almost complete before the code was written. Surely no respectable company writes code and goes back and does the spec afterwards! ;)

    That'll be the snorkel jacket please!

  15. Guy Fawkes

    Open to interpretation?

    "Microsoft will publish most of its major protocol data and license the protocols at a reasonable fee."

    In the past, when talking about monies coming into the Corporate coffers (as opposed to those flowing out), Microsoft has always defined "reasonable fee" as "easily afforded by a national budget. Like that of Kuwait, Dubai, or Switzerland, for example"

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm maybe just maybe?

    Perhaps a standard has been set already?

    One set by customers that spent their hard earned dosh on an Office system that did what they wanted and was reasonably ok? A standard set by customers rather than bureaucrats, publicly funded people with access to public funds, ... It was one that had to compete with other office applications and won in a darwinian sense.

    Maybe that was the danger? People picking and choosing standards when everyone else was elsewhere?

  17. Adam White

    RE: Hmmm maybe just maybe?

    Yes, you're right. Office 97 compatibility has been a thorn in Microsoft's side for a long time now.

  18. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Wait and see

    I expect MS to be about as open as it's Office of Compliance has been agreeable with the DoJ.

    In other words, lots of PR, lots of seminars about what will be coming shortly, and no hard data of significance.

    Hopefully, I'll be proven wrong. But to some extent, I think not.

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