The move is Microsoft’s latest step since some bright Microsoftee realized the company could move the control point off trade secrets and back to patents and perhaps save itself some aggravation with the European Commission, while impressing its US regulator with its newfound openness.
Microsoft posted 30,000 pages of protocol documentation when it memorialized its “interoperability principles.”
Microsoft says the documentation covers protocols between SharePoint Server 2007 and Office client applications; between SharePoint Server 2007 and other Microsoft servers; between Exchange Server 2007 and Office Outlook and Office 2007 client apps and other Microsoft servers.
It expects open source developers, ISVs and enterprise developers to use the stuff royalty-free.
The final documentation is due in June and Microsoft says it’s looking for developer feedback before then. It is also supposed to have the final patent licensing terms ready in June for any widgetry covered by patent.
It is supposed to publish a list of the protocols covered by patents and identified the patents or patent applications.
It says that open source developers, “whether commercial or non-commercial, will not need a patent license for the development of implementations of these protocols or for the non-commercial distribution of these implementations.”
Microsoft is promising more disclosures.