Page Two

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-09-19 Print this article Print

Last November, Microsoft made a royalty-free license for the Microsoft Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas and accompanying documentation widely available. XML Reference Schemas licensees benefit from more readily available data identification within documents, ease of report generation and document assembly from existing content, and extraction of existing data for automated processing, Matusow said. This, along with adding the Office 2003 source code to the GSP, were "integral to Microsofts efforts to address data exchange and integration needs of governments throughout the world," he said. Microsofts Shared Source Initiative was first reported by eWEEK in March 2001, and the Redmond, Wash., software titan has been expanding it since then. Microsoft also gives its Most Valued Professionals (MVPs) access to the source code for the Windows operating system.
It recently expanded that program to allow all the MVPs within the Microsoft platforms community and living within the 27 eligible countries worldwide to access Windows source code at no cost.
The source code provided under that program covers Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and future versions of Windows operating systems, including all released versions, service packs, betas and subsequent releases. Asked if Microsoft intended to offer access to the Office source code to its MVPs and partners going forward, Matusow said that while there was no plan to do that at this time, "we are always open to hearing from our MVPs and partners as to what they need and to work with them around this." Earlier this year, Microsoft also released the source code for its Windows Template Library under the open-source Common Public License and posted it on SourceForge, the open-source code repository. The Windows Template Library is a library for developing Windows applications and user interface components. It also extends the Active Template Library and provides a set of classes for controls, dialogs, frame windows, GDI objects and more. That move followed Microsofts decision the month before to make available on SourceForge an internally developed product called the Windows Installer XML. Microsoft has been losing many high-profile customers to Linux—many of them governments and governmental agencies and departments. The governments of Britain, Brazil, Japan, Israel, South Korea, China, South Africa and Russia are also all exploring open-source alternatives to Microsoft, while federal agencies in Germany, France and China are already using or considering open-source desktops, applications and productivity suites. Microsoft has also admitted it is facing growing pressure from open-source software across every segment of its business: Its a competitive threat that could have significant consequences for its financial future going forward, the software maker said in its latest 10-K filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month. Microsoft also made specific reference to the targeting of foreign governments in the filing, saying that "while we believe our products provide customers with significant advantages in security and productivity, and generally have a lower total cost of ownership than open-source software, the popularization of the noncommercial software model continues to pose a significant challenge to our business model, including recent efforts by proponents of open-source software to convince governments worldwide to mandate the use of open-source software in their purchase and deployment of software products." But Microsoft has been fighting back and has been actively lobbying governments around the world to shun open-source applications and Linux. In addition, this January Microsoft launched a new advertising campaign called "Get the Facts," which aims to give customers information about the advantages of using its Windows operating system instead of Linux, its open-source competitor. Check out eWEEK.coms Windows Center at for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

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Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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