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Microsoft's Open Course

Microsoft's decision to change course on IE 8 comes less than two weeks after Redmond had announced it was opening access to key APIs and communication protocols.

That move, which seems designed in part to clear regulatory hurdles and to woo developers to Microsoft platforms, follows similar changes in other areas. In January, for example, Microsoft released source code libraries for .NET Framework 3.5. And the company continues to work to get its XML-based Office file formats approved as an ISO standard. You can read more about this long-running drama here.

While all these moves are steps in the right direction for developers working with Microsoft tools and technologies, none are designed to change the way Microsoft fundamentally does business. The Steve Ballmer money quote from the RDN article about Microsoft's new API policies says it all:

"We will continue to view that as valuable intellectual property in all forms, and we will monetize from all users of that, not all developers, but for all users of that patented technology, all commercial developers and all commercial users of that patented technology."

You can't fault Redmond for trying to turn a buck. Do you think Microsoft is going about it the right way? Could it do more, and if so, what steps should come next? E-mail me at [email protected].

Posted by Michael Desmond on 03/04/2008 at 1:15 PM


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