Microsoft Opens Source Code Further

Despite its much-popularized mistrust of the open source model, Microsoft
Corp. inched another step in that
direction Thursday with an expansion of its Shared Source Initiative, a
program which gives access to the Windows source code to
certain customers, partners, developers and academics.

Microsoft’s latest move makes systems integrators — like Compaq Global
Services or Avande Inc. — eligible for the program through
the Systems Integrator Source Licensing Program (SISLP).

The Redmond software juggernaut characterizes the program as “a balanced
approach that makes source code more broadly available
while preserving the intellectual property rights that sustain a strong
software business.”

While a far cry from actually open sourcing Windows code, the SISLP stands
to make the jobs of systems integrators that deliver
Windows-based solutions and Windows support services much easier. With
access to the Windows source code, Microsoft said systems
integrators will be able to offer deep security analysis and privacy
verification, rapidly troubleshoot customer issues and offer
performance tuning for custom applications running on Windows.

“This program gives Compaq Global Services the ability to expand
significantly the depth of expertise we bring to our clients,” said
Rick Fricchione, vice president, Enterprise Ready Microsoft, Compaq Global
Services. “We will be able to provide quicker time to
resolution for our support and systems integration services, as well as
improve our capabilities globally to offer a better
experience and satisfaction for implementing Windows-based technology
mission-critical solutions.”

Ashish Kumar, chief technology officer of Avande, a systems integrator that
specializes in delivering Microsoft enterprise solutions
to Global 2,000 customers, added, “With this increased access, our
Windows-based solutions will be stronger and more secure, and our
ability to integrate those solutions into existing systems means we can most
readily provide customers with a truly connected,
cohesive computing environment.”

Microsoft said it will initially make the SISLP available to about 150
systems integrators in more than 30 countries at no
additional fee. Gold Support Services Certified Partners, or systems
integrators with more than 1,500 seats of Windows with a
Microsoft Premier Support Agreement (level A or B) are eligible for the
program. Microsoft said it expects participants will
eventually include a mix of traditional systems integrators that deliver
Windows-based solutions and companies that are providing
ongoing Windows support services.


“Empowering systems integrators with better knowledge of, and access to,
Windows source code will enable them to deliver
higher-valued services to our customers,” said Craig Mundie, senior vice
president, chief technical offer of advanced strategies and
policy at Microsoft. “By sharing our source code responsibly with our
partners, we are committing our most valuable intellectual
property to the belief that a vibrant and integrated software ecosystem is
critical to the future of our global economy and IT
performance.”

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