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Microsoft More Open

Microsoft has been on an openness kick of late for two reasons. One is of a legal nature; Microsoft's toughest legal foe is the European Union, which has been suing and fining the company for years. The U.S. government, though far less active under the Bush administration, is another thorn. And, lastly, Microsoft competitors have been suing over antitrust.

The other reason is the reality that open source exists and IT likes it.

Regardless of the reason, Microsoft is taking openness seriously. It struck a deal with Sun, whose former CEO, Scott McNealy, has more bad words for Redmond than an HBO late-night series. While the Sun deal has been a bit of a dud, the one that has bore real fruit is the Novell arrangement, where the companies offer mutual tech support and now have significant interoperability.

Microsoft is extending this activity to the rest of the open source world through its Interoperability Principles. The latest news is that Microsoft has formally released documentation for key protocols used in the latest versions of Exchange, SharePoint and Office. If you're a real glutton for this kind of stuff, there are now 50,000 pages worth of protocol specs. Now there's some fun summer reading.

Do you use Novell and Microsoft? Is the relationship as fruitful as I make it out to be? Set me straight at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on July 01, 2008 at 11:52 AM


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