Microsoft to Share Source Code More Broadly
Selected Customers, ISVs and Academic Groups to Benefit
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Saturday, May 5, 2001 - Microsoft has outlined its Shared Source philosophy, which is aimed at helping customers and partners be successful through responsible source code access programs.
The company says this expansion of Microsoft's licensing model is in direct response to customers needs and its Shared Source strategy will be applied to everything from the Windows platform to the .NET technologies.
"Our Shared Source philosophy is a balanced approach that allows us to share source code with a broad group of customers, independent software vendors and academic groups, while maintaining the intellectual property needed to support a strong software business," says Geoff Lawrie, Managing Director at Microsoft New Zealand. "It is a framework of business value, technical innovation and licensing terms, covering a spectrum of accessibility that is manifest in the variety of source licensing programs offered by Microsoft."
The principles of the Shared Source Philosophy are:
* Helping customers and partners to be successful through source access programs
* Building the development community and offering them the tools to produce great software
* Improving the feedback process in order to create better products for Microsoft's customers and partners
* Maintaining the integrity of customer environments
* Increasing educational access in order to get the technology into the hands of universities worldwide, and to seed the future of a strong technology industry
* Protecting software intellectual property based on the firm belief that software offers value as the basis of a successful business. For several years Microsoft has been implementing its Shared Source Philosophy in a variety of ways -- providing access to Microsoft source code for academic institutions, enterprise customers, ISVs, OEMs and developers.
* Research Source Licensing: For nearly a decade Microsoft Research has licensed Windows source code to more than 100 academic institutions in 23 countries.
* Enterprise Source Licensing Program: Source code for Windows® 2000 and subsequent releases of Windows is available for licensing at no charge to over 1,000 enterprise customers in the United States. Today Microsoft announced a pilot program expanding the ESLP to 12 additional countries.
* ISV Source Licensing: Microsoft is developing a program for licensing Windows source code to top tier ISVs for development and support purposes.
* OEM Source Licensing: Windows source code has been licensed for years to leading OEMs to assist in the development and support of their consumer and server products.
* Windows CE® source code access: Microsoft is licensing Windows CE source code through Platform Builder 3.0 (generally available to all developers). It will be broadening and adding to the community support mechanisms through the Platform Builder Program. In the second half of this year academic site licenses will be offered for CE source code.
* Additionally, Microsoft has announced an expanded level of CE source access to, (i) leading silicon vendor partners via the Windows Embedded Strategic Silicon Alliance program, and (ii) leading system integrator partners via the Innovation Alliance Program.
* Sample code: Over the years Microsoft has made millions of lines of source code freely available to developers through resources such as SDKs, DDKs, and MSDN.
* The specifications for the .NET Framework have been submitted to the ECMA standards body, enabling others to implement and evolve this technology in a platform-independent manner so that it is can be rapidly and widely adopted on an industry-wide basis.
Shared Source Philosophy is based on Microsoft's Commercial Software business model, which protects intellectual property rights in software and ensures the continued vitality of an independent software sector that generates revenue - which will in turn sustain ongoing research and development. It provides product and source access without jeopardising the intellectual property rights of those who create or use the software.
Lawrie says Microsoft's Shared Source strategy is not the same as the Open Source Software business model.
"What we are doing will provide the positive benefits of source sharing such as the fostering of community, improved feedback and augmented debugging while protecting the integrity of our customer environments - which is our top priority," said Lawrie.
About Microsoft Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.
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