Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Microsoft going OpenSource?

As you can see up to this point, Microsoft is dominating the software market with it's proprietary technology and products, such as Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. We also know that Microsoft is annoyed by the existence of OpenSource project, especially GNU/Linux that in the future they will overlap Microsoft dominance on the operating system and applications market.

Microsoft Office is one of the software that became main goal of Microsoft to dominate in the software market. It is used by many people around the world because of it is easy to learn and to use, a good looking style, and also comes with many new features on every updates. No wonder why Microsoft is trying to make this product is one of their main income. It is sell in more than US$500 each (for single licence i think).

But, do you believe that Microsoft is going to share Microsoft Office Software Code? Is that true? Yes.. It's true, but not for public, but rather to government as part of its efforts to make governments more confident in the security and compatibility of the world's largest software maker's products. The new initiative is an extension of Microsoft's Government Security Program, which allows the governments of more than 30 countries to examine most of Microsoft's underlying source code, or software blueprint for its flagship Windows operating system.

Microsoft launched an initiative a few years ago (January 2003) to share more of its software code (access to Windows and Windows CE source code) with other technology companies, and later expanded that to include governments. The license will cover the Office 2003 code for PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, Excel and the shared application code that creates a consistent user experience across the products and similar functionality—features such as draw, search, print and save. The source code for Office 2003 will be made available so that governments can conduct in-depth testing and examination to make sure that the document, spreadsheet, presentation and scheduling program works with other information technology systems.

These latest moves will now give governments and international organizations access to Office source code, the opportunity to collaborate with Microsoft experts, and access to any technical information they need for greater data interoperability, interchange, portability, ease of communication and archiving. They will also be able to visit the Redmond campus and talk directly with the office engineers, who would also do on-site visits in their home country.

Britain has already agreed to participate in the source-sharing program for Office, Microsoft said. The Government Shared Source License for Office will be available to more than 60 global governments and international organizations currently eligible to participate in the GSP.