Microsoft Stresses Interoperability, Openness

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It’s not every day that Steve Ballmer, Ray Ozzie, Bob Muglia, and Brad Smith talk about interoperability.  That’s what they did today, however, and below are some quick notes from the conference call.  Jason Lee Miller was also on the line.

Steve Ballmer begins, "Today, Microsoft is describing a set of fairly broad changes to our technology and business practices . . . .  We’re implementing 4 new interoperability principles that will apply to our high-volume products."

This involves "committing to ensure open connections," "committing to promote data portability," committing to support standards to support interoperability, and "committing to fostering a more open engagement with industry as well as the open source software community."

Ballmer then announces that Microsoft is publishing over 30,000 pages of documentation immediately, and further documentation will become available in the coming weeks and months (including protocol documentation for Office).  He wants to "promote more interoperability between Microsoft software and open source software."

Ray Ozzie echoes some of the same steps, while talking about enabling true interoperability with other popular products.  Bob Muglia then talks about important moments in Microsoft’s history in which it worked with the open source community.

Brad Smith focuses on the way in which so many things will become royalty-free, and trade secret licenses will often no longer be necessary.  He says this will result in a"changed legal landscape for Microsoft," and that today’s announcement is an "important step in a positive direction."

A Sanford Bernstein representative asks if this will have any broader effect on Microsoft’s opinions on intellectual property, and if there will be any retroactive effect.  To quickly sum up Brad Smith’s response: No, but "we are carving out a portion of our patent rights and providing a covenant to open source distributors."

The AP’s Jessica Mintz asks Microsoft’s gathering to address the skepticism that today’s announcement is sure to create.  Brad Smith calls the process a "continuing evolution" for the entire industry, but points to the fact that his company is not just issuing principles – it released the 30,000 pages.

Brier Dudley of the Seattle Times asks why Microsoft didn’t do this sooner, and why Microsoft didn’t do this on its own (as opposed to under pressure from various European entities).  Steve Ballmer responds, "These principles are being taken on our own accord," and concludes that this "should be a good thing in the long run for our shareholders."

Microsoft Stresses Interoperability, Openness
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  • Guest


             Atleast Microsoft is kidding. On the day that they kill antivirus that runs on vista, and Novells interoperability suite, what would the point be if the simply STRESS on a point.

    M$$$$$$$$ does not care for its paying customers. All it want is the cash. As you know the Service pack 1 for MS keeps crashing VISTA. As people have reported, they want to use XP insted.


    Consider this : Why would DELL want to sign up as VERY LARGE RESELLER for XP in the 2008 ?


    Go for MAC or better still LINUX.



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