In a CNET News.com report just last week, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said that the changes have been both "very interesting" and "dramatic" and that it "does seem to represent quite a change from Microsoft's previous approach over the years."
Commending the company for recent steps designed to make its documentation more accessible to open-source programmers, she said "I'm glad people aren't afraid to make changes when it's brought to their attention."
In fact, Microsoft's general manager Bill Hilf said that the Windows source code is "irrelevant for what people want" and is better off closed, according to the Reg Developer. In this video (YouTube) from Jean-Baptiste Su of Uberpulse.com, Bill said:
"They don't want source code, they want to write an application like we can write an application: they want to know how does Outlook talk to Exchange."
This actually makes complete sense. What developers want is the programming interfaces and communications protocols for popular Microsoft products. However, this does reveal Microsoft's earlier moves to offer licenses to the source code of the Windows server operating system as mere smoke screens.
Still, with Microsoft's recent pledge not to sue open-source developers for products that connect to Microsoft software, could a real wind of change be happening over at Redmond?
Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.