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ZDNet: Microsoft vs. DOJ: It's all in the APIs

Jun 05, 2000, 18:26 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lisa M. Bowman, Mary Jo Foley)

[ Thanks to George Mitchell for this link. ]

"Application programming interfaces are a geeky nugget of technology, but whoever controls them controls the tech world -- a fact Microsoft and the DOJ know all too well."

"As both sides in the Microsoft Corp. antitrust trial rush to paint their perspective of the software giant's future -- niggling over handfuls of words and phrases throughout a flurry of last-minute legal documents -- their filings are spotlighting a geeky nugget of technology that for years has spelled dominance for Microsoft: the API."

"APIs, or application programming interfaces, are hooks in software that allow applications to work with the operating system. They've been compared with an electrical socket, which allows outside products (in this case, applications) to plug into the electrical system (in this case, Windows).

"Control of the APIs themselves, or control over who gets them, has been crucial to Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) because the company has been able to ensure that its applications work better with the operating system than any other applications -- and that non-Microsoft applications makers get access to Windows technology later, if at all."

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