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Open Source Windows

Microsoft said Wednesday that it would license the source code for Microsoft Windows servers to satisfy European Commission demands in the European antitrust case.

Specifically, Microsoft is responding to an EC statement of objections from December complaining that Microsoft still hadn’t met EC requirements for publishing server protocols that would help competitive workgroup servers interoperate with Windows operating systems.

Although Microsoft issued its source code licensing statement publicly, EC officials said they hadn’t received an official reply yet to the statement of objections. The objections accompany a threat to fine Microsoft up to 2 million euros per day. Microsoft has until Feb. 15 to officially reply. The fines could be retroactive to Dec. 15.

It’ll be interesting to see if EC officials buy into Microsoft’s new plan. One thing is certain: Antitrust compliance demands are heating up on both sides of the Atlantic. Microsoft is getting some pressure from U.S. antitrust authorities, as well.

Help for Partners Planning Events
Planning an event is a big pain, but events can yield a big boost to a business. Since May 2004, Microsoft has offered a Web site to help Microsoft partners with event planning. At, the site offers tips, a media library and other resources. Some 2,700 partners have used the site to host 6,600 events. That sounds like heavy usage until you consider that Microsoft claims about 640,000 partners.

Microsoft is promoting the site pretty heavily this week, with e-mails to partners and a feature on Microsoft PressPass. The company has fleshed out some aspects of the events site to make it more useful, as well. A Partner Readiness Center walks partners through pre-event marketing to event presentation skills to post-event follow-up. Probably the most useful element is a Web-based event registration engine that Microsoft makes available for partners to use. In addition, Microsoft has added workflows to the registration engine that make it easier for partners to join with other partners in co-hosting events.

This seems like a useful site, well worth checking out. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has experiences with this partner event site, good or bad. Let me know at [email protected].

Here’s the PressPass feature.

‘Blackcomb’ Becomes ‘Vienna’
Forget “Blackcomb” -- that is if you’d ever really thought about “Blackcomb” in the first place. Microsoft acknowledged last week that the code name for the post-“Longhorn”/Vista version of Windows is no longer Blackcomb. Now it’s “Vienna.”

In any case, “Blackcomb/Vienna” is a long, long way off. First there’s Windows Vista, slated for later this year, followed by Windows “Longhorn” Server in 2007. Windows Vienna would presumably arrive years after that.

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More Service Pack Fun
When the deadline hit for this newsletter last week, Microsoft was being cagey about whether Windows XP Service Pack 3 was really coming in late 2007 or not. The caginess consisted of yanking the page containing the service pack roadmap from the Microsoft Product Lifecycle site. Shortly after the newsletter went out, the page came back online. The second half of 2007 is indeed the “preliminary” timeframe for Windows XP SP3.

Windows Server 2003 is on a faster track: Service Pack 2 for the server OS is slated for the second half of 2006, despite SP1 having come out after Windows XP SP2.

Click here to view Microsoft’s official schedule.

Stuart Johnston has more coverage on Windows XP SP3 here.

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 25, 2006


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