Microsoft Opens Windows Source Code to Its MVPs

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-10-22 Print this article Print

Microsoft is giving its Most Valued Professionals access to its Windows source code—including code for Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday will announce that it is giving its Most Valued Professionals access to the more than 100 million aggregate lines of Windows source code, which includes all versions, service packs and betas of the Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 products. MVPs, who are chosen for having a "unique set of expertise and passion" around Microsoft technologies and who are recognized for their contributions to online and technical communities, already have access to the source code components for Windows CE .Net, ASP.Net, Visual Studio .Net, and Passport Manager.
Microsofts Shared Source Initiative was first reported by eWEEK in March 2001, and the Redmond, Wash., software titan has been expanding it since then.
Jason Matusow, manager of Microsofts Shared Source Program, confirmed to eWEEK on Tuesday that the MVPs are now an extension of the communities for Windows source code. "The core reasons for doing this are the fundamental strength and ties of the MVPs to the broader Windows platform community and the new level of expertise this will give them," Matusow said. "They will also be able to improve their feedback to us because their understanding will be at a deeper level. "Also, the trust in Windows will be improved, and they will be experts in the communities unlike ever before," he said. The MVPs had been very vocal about having access to the Windows source code, he said, adding that Microsoft had held a beta release cycle around this earlier this year. Of the hundreds who applied, 31 were accepted and 27 actually signed up to get their hands on the code, far more than among enterprise customers who are eligible to receive it. "With enterprise customers it is critical that the option to have the code is there, rather than actually needing or wanting to do so," Matusow said. "Thats the difference between them and the MVP community. To be eligible for the Windows code, MVPs must maintain their status as a Windows Server System, Windows or Visual developer MVP and they must reside in an eligible country." Some 1,200 of Microsofts MVPs will be eligible for the Windows source code, and Microsoft expects about 20 percent of them to take advantage of the offer, which would be a higher number than for any of its other programs, he said. Asked by eWEEK if there are any plans to share additional source code with the MVPs or other groups, Matusow said that is always a possibility and is something Microsoft continues to look at and listen to feedback about. Next page: Is Office source code next?

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


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel