Well not quite but Microsoft will begin releasing hundreds of segments of proprietary computer code from the Windows operating system to governments, academic researchers and major customers. This move, of course, is not Microsoft's idea but a result of a long court battle which ended in a deal which forces Microsoft to release the Windows code.
The release project known internally as Phoenix, will be announced at Microsoft's third annual research summit.
Microsoft will be releasing about 400 such segments of computer code and internal operating rules. According to the company these can be used by outside software developers in order to write programs to run on Windows.
With these new (disclosures), software developers will have additional development choices in designing their Windows programs, Microsoft said in a statement.
Being the shrewd business giant that it is, Microsoft is claiming that the release of the code is a voluntary gift to the University community. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, with Microsoft releasing what is necessary to convince Universities that Windows can become an accessible platform for programmers. It is a well known fact that Windows are under threat in Universities from Linux, Windows main OS adversary.
As part of the disclosure, Microsoft are also releasing information about some of the goings-on at their advanced-research division. This is a large part of the company based in Redmond and at facilities in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Cambridge in the UK. Information about how Universities can apply to Microsoft for research grants, will also be made available. Microsoft spent USD 4.5 million last year sponsoring university projects.
There's no doubt that the strength of the commercial software industry really comes because of the great work that goes on in the universities, said MS Chairman Bill Gates. And so we're getting smarter about how we can work together all the time.