"...in an unprecedented move, during the past six months
Microsoft has made available to "hundreds" of its larger customers
copies of its closely guarded Windows source code, said Doug
Miller, group product manager with Microsoft's Windows .Net server
marketing group. "Our goal is to make this (source code) available
to many hundreds of customers," Miller said during an interview at
the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo trade show in New York this
"While Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has suggested over the past
two years that the company is interested in making the Windows
source code more freely available, there has been little evidence
that Microsoft actually is interested in doing so--until now.
"Microsoft is so security-conscious about letting the Windows
source slip into anyone's hands" that a move to liberalize its
source availability among customers is surprising, said Summit
Strategies analyst Dwight Davis."
"Microsoft is not going so far as to allow its customers to
tamper with the Windows source, Miller emphasized. ... "We
don't want to be in the situation that Linux is in, where there are
more than 140 different distributions, leading to serious
fragmentation," Miller said. ... "Only a very small number of
our customers want source code," Miller said, "but we've gotten a
lot more aggressive in the past six months" about providing
Microsoft's largest customers with source code if they express an
interest in having it."
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