Microsoft Announces Their Initiative to Be More Open

February 21st, 2008 at 12:00 am

Microsoft is hopping on the bandwagon of interoperability, open source and data portability.  those three things pretty much mean one thing anyway. 

"REDMOND, Wash. – Microsoft Corp. today announced a set of broad-reaching changes to its technology and business practices to increase the openness of its products and drive greater interoperability, opportunity and choice for developers, partners, customers and competitors.

Specifically, Microsoft is implementing four new interoperability principles and corresponding actions across its high-volume business products: (1) ensuring open connections; (2) promoting data portability; (3) enhancing support for industry standards; and (4) fostering more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open source communities."

What does this mean?  Well, the Microsoft we all knew that always klept developers out of the loop, that always opted for proprietary rights to all their technology, that always charged a buck for any data we might have on their system, is now going to change.

It’s like the class snob suddenly being your bestfriend.

For reasons that Microsoft believes will be helpful to them as well as users, they will be joining the bandwagon of "openness" and most probably the DataPortability work group.

Moreover, APIs to Microsoft products will now be available for free.  This means that especially with the web products and backend systems Microsoft has, the web will be a much more pleasant place where developers and users can create solutions on their own.

“The principles and actions announced today by Microsoft are a very significant expansion of its efforts to promote interoperability,” said Manfred Wangler, vice president, Corporate Research and Technology, Software and Engineering, Siemens. “While Microsoft has made considerable progress on interoperability over the past several years, including working with us on the Interoperability Executive Customer Council, today’s news take Microsoft’s interoperability commitment to a whole new level.”