Microsoft to Offer Access to Source Code

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. macrumors bot

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2003
    #1

    [​IMG]

    Category: Microsoft
    Link: Microsoft to Offer Access to Source Code
    Description:: Microsoft said it would offer commercial rivals access to a "pretty significant" chunk of the source code governing communications between servers. The code is from its Windows workgroup server and its desktop operating systems.

    Posted on MacBytes.com
    Approved by Mudbug
     
  2. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    #2
    Will this increase the likelihood that hackers will get their hands on it, analyze it, and exploit weakness they uncover?
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    winmacguy

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2003
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #3
    What more that the existing weaknesses that they already know about? :rolleyes: :D
     
  4. macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #4

    90% of the flaws found in Windows and are exploited come from analizing Microsoft's Security Bulletins and patches Only occasionally do you get a real exploit that was discovered by a black hat and used. All of the worms that have come out over the last 5+ years have occurred AFTER Microsoft released a patch. Remember MS blaster that came out in September 2003/4? The patch for that worm was released in July of that same year. What worm writers are banking on is that Windows users won't update their OS in a timely manner. Frankly I don't update my computer more then once a year. Most security vulnerabilities are negated by putting the system on a non-direct connection to the internet; read: DHCP. Throwing a firewall up on my systems, and running Norton AV corp edition. Oh and not using IE, but that's a given.
    With the introduction of XP SP2 where your system has automatic downloads turned on, and a firewall enabled it becomes less worrisome since MS will nag you to death to install that patch, install that patch, install that patch, are you going to install that patch?, waiting for you to install that patch, why haven't you installed that patch?, you really should install that patch, damn it install that patch, we're doomed if you don't install that patch. Waiting for you to instal... *shoots the computer*
     
  5. macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #5
    Probably not since it's somewhat of a given that Microsoft is going to go through this code with a fine toothed comb before they release it. Also I wouldn't be at all surprised if each license has some sort of hash built into the code itself so Microsoft can backtrack where the code came from on the net and sue the crap out of them. It wouldn't be hard to stash 3 or 4 sets of numbers, in random spots, in a segment of code that consists of a few thousand lines.

    I still think this is a massive cop-out on Microsoft's part. Once again they are dragging their feet because they know if a company can assure that their software or OS can play well with Windows servers and workstations its going to be much more tempting to IT folks to try out. The only question I have is how does this Apply to Apple. No doubt they have an European division. Can they license this and use it globally? :confused:
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Bristol - England
    #6
    How does this affect Apple?

    What i would like to know is exactly why Microsoft is being made to release its source code? I know about competition laws etc, but why just microsoft. Does this mean that Apple will have to at some point release source code to its OS, or is that not required because it is built on DARWIN? Am a missing the point!?

    Any help would be appreciated on this!

    -ac2102
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    BenRoethig

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Dubuque, Iowa
    #7
    If this leads is something that communicate with directplay, it would be good for mac gamers. Other than that, I don't see this as much more than a slap on the wrist.
     
  8. macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #8
    This isn't about MS releasing source for their whole OS--just one specific area.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    #9
    This is about compatibility and stopping MS blocking measures to maintain interoperability. It doesn't really involve or affect Apple directly, while the article doesn't specify, I would think along the lines of Samba.

    A stable and public API might have cut it but that won't pull in licence fees and MS would need to offer some assurance that they are not going to build whole programmes using hidden functionality. In theory (at least) MS shouldn't be able to build better applications than anybody else through inside knowledge of the OS.

    Just as an example, suppose Apple had a monopoly in the OS market. They decide to release some photo management software called Aperture. In order to secure the dominance of this product, the Aperture development team ask the OS developers to secretly add Core Image to the operating system. Apple can pretty effectively lock others out of the market place with a massive performance boost in every image and video processing application they care to release.
    Of course competitors might try and take Apple to court over this behaviour and force Apple to release relevant parts of their source code so that everyone can compete on a fair footing. Translate that into Microsoft, networking, protocols, servers and interoperability.

    Probably something to do with leveraging their monopoly in certain ways :)
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    #10
    Exactly. Darwin is already open source, so anyone can check it out freely. And that's what defines the inner workings of the OS. No secrets there.

    The proprietary part in OS X is AFAIK mainly the user interface - probably not as critical if you wanna make OS X-compatible software.
     

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