Principles 10 through 12 deal with interoperability for users and say that Microsoft will make its communications protocols available for commercial release, the company will generally license patents on its operating system inventions, and the company is committed to supporting industry standards. Read more here about Microsofts offer to share Windows protocols."This is an important tool and an important step. We do not pretend that these principles answer every question for all time." Smith said Microsoft pledges to be "principled, transparent and accountable" in its development of Windows going forward. "Weve learned its important for Microsoft to be open and constructive in the design of Windows, and engage in an open dialogue with governments." Regarding the ongoing battle Microsoft is having with the European Union, Smith said he hopes these principles can help. Smith said in its legal wrangles over the years Microsoft learned the important of persistence, "not only in standing for what you think is right, but also persistence in keeping open dialogue." Smith said many of the companies Microsoft had legal battles with early on were companies they could not come to an agreement with "the first time." However, Microsoft kept the dialogue open and eventually came to terms with many of those companies and settled matters to all parties satisfaction. "I hope we can do that here," Smith said, referring to the EU situation. Meanwhile, Smith said "Microsoft will honor the principle of net neutrality We are committed to the principle. The Internet is a very special asset for the world, and anybody can access anything anywhere. " Also, while the new principles address the Windows desktop, Smith said Microsoft may make another pass with additional guiding principles for Windows server and for Windows security. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Moreover, "the principles do not supplant the continued application of antitrust law," Smith said.