Microsoft announced this morning that it is adopting a new set of interoperability principles that it says will increase the company's openness and create new opportunities for developers.
According to Microsoft, the principles center around four goals:
- ensuring open connections;
- promoting data portability;
- enhancing support for industry standards; and
- fostering more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open source communities.
As part of the initiative, Microsoft will publicly release 30,000 pages of documentation formerly only available through Microsoft trade secret licenses, will document how it supports industry standards, will design new APIs for Office 2007 to allow for greater flexibility of document formats, and will provide what it claims are "reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, at low royalty rates" for licensing Microsoft-patented protocols.
The initiative applies to Windows Vista (including the .NET Framework), Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Office 2007, Exchange Server 2007, and Office SharePoint Server 2007.
For more information, see Microsoft's Interoperability Site.