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CNET News.com/Meta Group: Commentary: Microsoft co-opts open source approach

Mar 09, 2001, 07:31 (31 Talkback[s])

"In a major extension of corporate policy, Microsoft has quietly started a program to provide selected large enterprise customers with copies of the source code for Windows 2000 (Professional, Server, Advanced Server and Data Center), Windows XP (released betas) and all related service packs."

"The standard agreement, which resembles those under which IBM has traditionally made source code of its operating systems available, allows customers to consult the Windows source code when debugging their own applications and to better integrate Windows with individual corporate environments."

"However, the agreement does not allow customers to modify or customize the code, and Microsoft anticipates that problems or bugs that customers may find in Windows will be reported to Microsoft for resolution through normal support channels...."

"We believe this is an important change in Microsoft policy. It may be the first step toward a new software development, distribution and business model similar to open source and designed to support the Internet-based environment of Microsoft's .Net platform."

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