"Less than a week after it discovered that parts of its Windows
2000 and NT source code were leaked to the Internet, Microsoft
officials are now finding that a kind of grassroots peer review of
its code is sprouting among programmers and the merely curious from
all points of the globe.
"The Redmond, Wash., creator of the Windows operating system is
legendary for the tight rein it has held over source code to the
operating system that runs on 9 out of 10 computers in the world.
Only in recent years, goaded in part by an anti-trust settlement
with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2001, has the company
extended some of its code outside academia and made it available
for use by independent software vendors (ISVs). The program, called
Shared Source Initiative (SSI), has garnered more than 3,000
development partners in the past three years, according to
"Some programmers contacted by internetnews.com say many in
their community are wary of even looking at the code in order to
avoid inflaming intellectual property issues over software
copyrights -- in a software industry already inflamed over
copyright amid the SCO Group's intellectual property challenge of
parts of the Linux kernel..."