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  • Microsoft making Windows Source Code Available to Developers.

    Not quite an open source agreement but developers will be able to obtain the Windows source code from Microsoft. This is so the company can comply with rulings set out by an EU anti-trust filing.

    Microsoft has refused to license the source code in the past. Software developers still will have to pay for the code, which open source advocates will not be allowed to "publish for free," Smith cautioned. The company had "just started to provide this information on both sides on the Atlantic" and regulators "want to see all the details," Smith added.
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/indust...-msft-eu_x.htm
    Translations provided by Google.

    Wayne Luke
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  • #2
    So all of Windows' source code will be viewable to developers? You know its going to be leaked out...

    So what does this mean for the average joe?

    What does this offer developers now that it did not before?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by BamaStangGuy
      So all of Windows' source code will be viewable to developers? You know its going to be leaked out...

      So what does this mean for the average joe?

      What does this offer developers now that it did not before?
      If I recall correctly, a substantial portion of the Windows NT Server code was leaked a while ago.

      Impact? Not much. Who really wants to compile their own copy of Windows anyways?

      The code is complicated, oftentimes messy and disorganized, and is way beyond comprehension and making use of by a single person or any small groups of people.

      Largely, the usefulness of releasing the code is for security audits. It's great to have a copy of the software's source in front of you when you're testing a system for vulnerabilities. Also comes in handy when you're trying to program something as integrated into Windows as let's say... Internet Explorer. And finally, it ensures that Microsoft doesn't get sued by SCO for stealing their code.
      :)

      Comment


      • #4
        Let's watch as spyware hits a new level!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bema Jinn
          Let's watch as spyware hits a new level!
          I heard that Windows XP has millions of lines.
          Who's going to look for a hole with code that intimidating?

          Comment


          • #6
            If one knew the code in and out, "looking" would be an understatement. Scanning for bits of code or potential areas that you could break through probably wouldn't be an issue. While most people are "script kiddies" and small time hackers, if you want to call them that, I am sure scanning the source of something and finding a potential area to exploit probably wouldn't be that hard for those with such knowledge.

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            • #7
              Have you seen how Windows' code is organized? It's definitively not a task for a small handful of users.

              To take a piece of the Windows code and analyze it to a sufficient extent as to develop an exploit would require a significant amount of hard-core coders trained not only in programming, but computer security as well.
              :)

              Comment


              • #8
                It would be a good thing for a professional developer to look at any source code and find exploits. It's much better than someone prodding and probing for obscure exploits which are likely to be found by a small handful of people - perhaps spammers, virus writters or malware authors. An ethical professional developer isn't likely to break the law/EULA by viewing source code which he shouldn't.

                Personally I believe that the title of the article doesn't reflect well - it's a way to perhaps keep the EU happy with the anti-trust settlement - and its also a great piece of marketing to help reduce the number of Microsoft customers that might be considering switching to Open Source software. Now they can say "But look! Microsoft have opened their source code!"

                On another note, it has been said many times that viewing Microsoft source code can make you unemployable in the future. The potential for having your new employer sued by Microsoft because an ex-developer may have given away trade secrets or used inside knowledge restricted by an NDA is huge and not something most companies want to deal with.

                And Microsoft will never be sued by SCO since they would run out of money before they got MS to court. Their cash, patent portfolio and counter-suing abilities are second only to maybe IBM.
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                • #9
                  and regardless of all of that...here's a little tech-tit-bit for you nerds...

                  Where did IBM get it's name from?
                  Answer : the HAL9000 computer from the film : 2001 A space odyssey

                  (Take "IBM" and move each letter up one in the alphabet)

                  IBM9000 : "Dave...my mind is going!"
                  (cheap ram for yas)



                  -M

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by minx
                    and regardless of all of that...here's a little tech-tit-bit for you nerds...

                    Where did IBM get it's name from?
                    Answer : the HAL9000 computer from the film : 2001 A space odyssey

                    (Take "IBM" and move each letter up one in the alphabet)

                    IBM9000 : "Dave...my mind is going!"
                    (cheap ram for yas)



                    -M
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAL_9000
                    Some versions state that the name HAL was derived by a one letter shift (see Caesar cipher) from the name IBM, although this has been denied by both Arthur C. Clarke and his fictional character Dr. Chandra, who states that "by now, any idiot should know that HAL stands for Heuristic ALgorithmic" (2010).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And by doing this to appease the EU, the EU doesn't feel this meet the antitrust settlement.

                      So...What in the world does the EU want anyway? It wants visual source access to the code and that's what they got...and they say that's not enough? BAH!
                      ManagerJosh, Owner of 4 XenForo Licenses, 1 vBulletin Legacy License, 1 Internet Brands Suite License
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                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Martz
                        And Microsoft will never be sued by SCO since they would run out of money before they got MS to court. Their cash, patent portfolio and counter-suing abilities are second only to maybe IBM.
                        Oh man. You know I was joking about the SCO part, right?
                        :)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DirectPixel
                          Oh man. You know I was joking about the SCO part, right?
                          Nope, but lets not do it here right? We're at it already in the Gates thread.

                          ManagerJosh: The EU wants interoperability - not source code. They want other companies to be able to compete in the IT market - not just Microsoft. Simple as that, and thats why it is an Anti-Trust settlement. They have been found guilty of making it intentionally difficult to interoperate by essentially what are representatives of all of the goverments in Europe. This isn't a small inconsiquencial state of the US - Europe has a collective purchasing power of over $12.18 trillion, and if Microsoft do not comply there are serious consequences for their profits.

                          If there wasn't interoperability, we wouldn't be online/using the Internet at all in the way we do now.

                          There are also serious problems for EU business if MS were to pull out of the EU market, but that essentially is the point - that a business, never mind a group of countries, should be dependant on a single business or vendor.
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                          • #14
                            From what I've gathered, Interoperability is something that can be very loosely defined here. The EU uses the term so broadly, it can virtually ask for everything.

                            Imagine if EU went after Google forcing it to divulge it's secret algorthiums for searching. Or forcing Apple Computers to make all its computer hardware compatible for its Apple Platform. Or making Apple open up iTunes/iPod so that other people can sell stuff there or use music files like WMA on there.

                            I stand back here and I think this case was a sham. The merits the EU brought for are very week. Moreover, this is a key fundamental example of a blatent disregard for intellectual property rights.
                            ManagerJosh, Owner of 4 XenForo Licenses, 1 vBulletin Legacy License, 1 Internet Brands Suite License
                            Director, WorldSims.org | Gaming Hosting Administrator, SimGames.net, Urban Online Entertainment

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Google nor Apple are convicted monopolists. If either of these companies were monopolies and abused their position they would face similar penalties. IBM was the same in the 80's - and Microsoft was also convicted in the US of the very same things that the EU wanted (documented interoperability and seperation of IE) but managed to get off more lightly.

                              Interoperability means protocols, methods and rules of communication between systems.

                              The EU didn't want source code, but Microsoft decided it will licence it to developers under their terms that they choose, for a variable price. This does not provide free interoperability based on documented standards - this is selling the blue prints for interoperability to only those who can afford it.

                              Microsoft Web site regarding EU ruling: their opinion of the EU ruling. 2 sections, 1 of them titled "Development and Distribution Agreements" which is not what the EU wanted from them - MS are dodging the ruling

                              EU Web site:[2][Samba Comment] Microsoft must meet 2 very specific (not loosely) defined requirements 1 of which within 120 days (from March 2004, and still ongoing). The other is the Reduced Media Edition of Windows XP which they have provided.
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