This Mary Jo Foley announcement may well have the greatest impact of all time on Free/Libre Open Source Software...
The cynic in me wonders just how much Microsoft will change the protocol when they release MinWin. (I so much so wish for a level playing field and a sense of fair play.)
December 20th, 2007
After years of public disagreement over ensuring interoperability between their respective software, Microsoft and Samba have come to terms. And not surprisingly, each vendor is offering quite a different spin on the licensing agreement they unveiled on December 20.
It took an intermediary, the Protocol Freedom Information Foundation (PFIF) — a non-profit organization created by the Software Freedom Law Center — to hand off the Microsoft protocol documentation that Samba said it needed to make its Unix/Linux file/print sharing products work properly with Windows.
According to a press release issued December 20, Samba is paying Microsoft a one-time sum of 10,000 Euros, after which the PFIF will make available to the Samba Team, under non-disclosure, “the documentation needed for implementation of all of the workgroup server protocols covered by the European Union decision.” (The EU decision to which this refers is the Microsoft’s loss of its appeal to overturn the European Commission’s 2004 antitrust decision against the company.)
Not surprisingly, Samba and Microsoft had quite different spins on today’s news.