Everything You Know About Networking Just Changed
Opinion: Microsoft has been forced by the EU to open up its network protocols, allowing any open-source group or proprietary vendor to create Microsoft-compatible LAN servers and programs. Your upfront network server prices are going to crash throuI was sure that Microsoft would find some way to wiggle out of the European Union deal to reveal its trade secrets. At the very least, I thought the company would find a way to keep its intellectual property goodies away from open-source groups such as Samba. I was wrong. The Samba Group and the Software Freedom Law Center managed to get Microsoft to place all of its network protocols needed for programs to work with Windows Server into the hands of the open-source-friendly Protocol Freedom Information Foundation. This is enormous. This is easily the most significant change for local area networking this century.
I'm not exaggerating. Think about it. AD (Active Directory), CIFS (Common Internet File System), authentication protocols, management protocolsyou name it, if it's involved as Microsoft puts it on its Microsoft Work Group Server Protocol Program site, if it "enables the creation of server software that interoperates with Microsoft Windows server and desktop operating systems and other compatible software," it's in there. For the specific protocols that are covered, take a gander at the Microsoft/PFIF Agreement (PDF link) and prepare to be amazed.