The Register: MS sends in lawyers to stop 'open' SOAP info getting outMay 26, 2000, 13:57 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Lettice)
"A phone call from a Microsoft lawyer earlier this month provided some more signposts as to how Microsoft intends to implement/embrace 'open' industry standards. Jason Bishop, who'd been involved in development of SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) in his previous job as a contractor at Microsoft, was due to give a talk to the Seattle area Java-XML SIG, but immediately prior to his presentation he took the call, and was reminded that he was still covered by NDA."
"In an email to SIG members after the meeting SIG chair Dennis Sosnoski said that Bishop had to "severely edit his presentation at the last minute," following the lawyer's call, and expressed some bafflement: " I was puzzled to hear about this, since I couldn't imagine (1) what he'd have been talking about that would be proprietary or (2) why the most innovative legal staff in the industry would be so concerned to make sure he didn't spill anything. I was even more surprised when several Microsoft SOAP people, apparently including a lawyer, then showed up at our meeting (none of them having any interest whatsoever in Java, as far as I could tell). Jason was unable to tell me anything, of course, but the amount of concern from M$ got my interest."
"Sosnoski has his own theories about the matter, and in the wake of Microsoft's battle with Slashdot over the Kerberos spec, they're pretty plausible. "My bet," he says, "is that SOAP is actually the core of NGWS [Next Generation Windows Services]. This would make sense - SOAP is basically Visual Basic calls wrapped in XML, and it's been well understood at Microsoft for some time that to get Bill Gates behind a project it just takes some connection with his crowning technical achievement (Basic, that is)."