Be careful what you ask for...

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Fun story from Red Herring:
Microsoft: Too Much, Too Late?
Analyst says after eight years of squabble with the EU over documentation, the software giant is frustrated.

Software analysts called Microsoft�s surprising announcement on Wednesday, that it will provide its source code to rivals, little more than eye candy that would be almost useless to licensees of the Redmond giant�s protocols.

David Mitchell, software practice leader for Ovum, a consulting firm based in the United Kingdom, said that providing a developer, who is looking to build products that interoperate with Windows servers, with over 100 million lines of source code is overwhelming.

"I know of few developers on the planet who can digest that volume of source code even if it�s exceptionally well structured and clean," said Mr. Mitchell. "This could be Microsoft�s sense of frustration showing."

"Microsoft has provided the European Commission with between 12,000 and 13,000 pages of documentation and the Commission keeps asking for more," he added. "So this is Microsoft throwing up its hands and saying 'Take the source code. There is no more documentation.'"
And some of the back story:
Microsoft and the commission have been engaged in an antitrust battle since 1998. In 2004, the commission ruled that the Redmond software giant infringed on EC Treaty rules by leveraging its near-monopoly status in the PC software market (see Microsoft Faces Stiff EC Fines).

As part of its penalty, Microsoft was required to provide documents that act as a kind of reference guide for connection protocols between Microsoft�s servers and non-Windows applications.

The commission has ruled that the documentation provided by Microsoft was insufficient to enable its rivals to implement Windows Server communications protocols successfully, and has threatened to fine the company $2.36 million per day. Microsoft has an appeal of the original commission ruling scheduled for April 24.

Microsoft said on Wednesday that because its best efforts have met with the commission�s rejection, it will license the source code for its Windows Server software, on which the documentation is based, to its rivals.
What a bunch of whiners... MSFT has been bending over backwards to satisfy the EU and the EU keeps changing the rules and asking for more. Most Windows development books run 500-700 pages. This pretty much covers the key aspects of Windows server design. There are already a number of open source Linux products that successfully compete against MSFT Server products. For the EU to be dissatisfied with 12,000 pages shows that it doesn't know what it needs to be asking for. And that it should be buying some basic Windows programming books. Think about this for a moment, it is in MSFT's own interest for people who write applications to know the internals of Windows. For MSFT to finally throw up their hands and say fine -- here is the full source code, go figure it out yourself is what the EU should have expected to happen. They were already being given everything they needed, they just kept asking for more. Serves them right... Heh...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on January 29, 2006 2:54 PM.

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