The Register: MS may be forced to give away Explorer source code

“The government intends to ask that Microsoft be forced to
license the source code to Internet Explorer as part of its
proposed remedies package, according to a story in today’s Wall
Street Journal.
Microsoft would be forced to offer
royalty-free licences on demand, allowing rivals to make their own
modifications and improvements, and effectively crowbarring open
Windows to the outside world.”

“The upside for Microsoft here is that it seems that the DoJ and
the states have just about reached a consensus that the company
shouldn’t be broken up, but dishing out IE to all and sundry is
just going to be one part of a wide range of proposed measures, and
in total these are likely to be significantly harsher than the
offers the government made in the settlement talks.”

“As the integration of Internet Explorer into Windows, and
Microsoft’s motives for doing so, were central to the court case
there’s a certain balance to the notion of making Microsoft give
away the source as well as the product. It also has the virtue of
nodding in the direction of an open source solution without getting
too complex, and without doing it for the whole of Windows.”