Microsoft open policy faces scrutiny


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Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, decided it was time to make peace.

That's one reason, according to Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's deputy general counsel and vice president of intellectual property and licensing, that the company began opening up to the rest of the software industry following the U.S. antitrust case. "He set out ... to start opening doors and mending fences with a number of key industry partners," Gutierrez said in an interview.

That desire to make peace was the spark that, combined with some other factors like enterprise use of multiple vendors, ultimately led to the cross-licensing deal with Novell and the launch of Microsoft's interoperability principles earlier this year, he said. The principles describe a greater commitment by Microsoft to support industry standards, promote data portability, and open up connections for interoperability with other software. The company initially published more than 30,000 pages of documentation for Windows client and server protocols that were previously only available for license.

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