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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Microsoft discloses

Microsoft today lifted the lid on 14,000 pages of sketchy versions of tech documentation for core software code. On show for the first time in public are underlying protocols for Office 2007, Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2007.

This is Microsoft's latest effort to satisfy anti-trust concerns of the European Union, which is possibly a tougher adversary for the company than Google.

In February, the firm made a surprise announcement in which it agreed to publish and provide free access to application programming interfaces (APIs) for its major software products.

At the time Microsoft said it also planned to free up protocols around its client and server software.

Now it has unleashed preliminary tech docs that reveal some of the inner-workings of its code via its Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) website. This is the first stage of the process.

Microsoft is to release details in three phases.

Between now and June it will garner feedback from the developer community. Then, at the end of June, Microsoft will publish the final versions of technical documentation – along with definitive patent licensing terms.

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