Microsoft Released 14,000 Additional Protocol Information Pages

by Todd Ogasawara

Microsoft released another 14,000 pages of protocol documentation for Microsoft Office, Office Server, and Exchange Server (2007 versions). This brings the total documentation pages released up to 44,000 (and, no, I have not actually counted this to verify it :-). The documentation is in what they call preliminary form. I'm not quite sure what that means (not fact checked? incomplete?).

You can find their general principles statement at...

Interoperability Principles - Open Connections, Standards Support, Data Portability

The key line/point to note and ponder is:

5. Open Source Compatibility. Microsoft will covenant not to sue open source developers for development and non-commercial distribution of implementations of these Open Protocols.

The MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) protocols documentation is found at...

MSDN: Open Protocol Specifications


luke hartman
2008-04-08 11:30:11
This just looks wrong. It's upsetting enough that the format was ratified, and now the promised inter-operatibility isn't sue-safe. It will be interesting to see what M$ does with this and how widespread the 'standard' is adopted.
2008-04-11 12:31:17
the title of principle 1, section 5 contains a typo. it should read "open source INcompatibility".

the very first criteria of the "open source definition" (, "free redistribution", requires both free & paid distribution. since microsoft is not allowing implementations based on their protocol docs to be distributed for pay, their documentation license is not compatible with open source.

pretty clear; not much to ponder.