Microsoft in Open Source Deal with Samba

BRUSSELS — Microsoft signed a rare deal with an open source software group on Thursday, taking a step to meet sanctions imposed by the European Commission in 2004 for antitrust violations.

The Commission ruled in 2004 that Microsoft must provide interconnection information letting so-called “work group servers” operate as smoothly with Microsoft Windows desktop machines as Microsoft’s own server software.

The deal signed in the United States by the non-profit Protocol Freedom Information Foundation was focused on helping Samba, a non-profit maker of free, open source server software.

“The agreement allows us to keep Samba up to date with recent changes in Microsoft Windows, and also helps other Free Software projects that need to interoperate with Windows”, said Andrew Tridgell, creator of Samba.

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