"Microsoft Corp. announced a sharp strategy shift in its
operating systems for consumers, and hinted it might take the
radical step of releasing the underlying programming code for its
long-awaited Windows 2000 operating system."
"Separately, Brian Valentine, the vice president in charge of
completing Windows 2000, said the company is "seriously
considering" publishing the source programming code of the "NT
kernel," the core of the software. Opening source code allows
programmers outside a company to help improve its technology."
"Though Microsoft may not follow through, even considering the
open-source idea is significant. The software giant has been
fiercely protective of its intellectual secrets and has scoffed at
use of the technique by others. Examples of open-source software
include the Linux operating system, which competes with Windows NT,
and Internet software being developed by America Online Inc.'s
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