Thursday, July 20, 2006


From the Cyberprof mailing list : Microsoft's academic outreach officer has anounced that Microsft are adopting "Windows principles" for the future:

"Microsoft's new, voluntary "Windows principles."

The principles were announced today in a speech in DC by Brad Smith (Microsoft's general counsel). It is worth noting that they will apply to development of Windows Vista, and will continue to apply after major parts of the antitrust consent decree expire in November 2007.

The principles are divided into the following three general categories:

· Choice for Computer Manufacturers and Customers. Microsoft is committed to designing Windows and licensing it on contractual terms so as to make it easy to install non-Microsoft® programs and to configure Windows-based PCs to use non-Microsoft programs instead of or in addition to Windows features.

· Opportunity for Developers. Microsoft is committed to designing and licensing Windows (and all the parts of the Windows platform) on terms that create and preserve opportunities for applications developers and Web site creators to build innovative products on the Windows platform — including products that directly compete with Microsoft's own products

. Interoperability for Users. Microsoft is committed to meeting customer interoperability needs and will do so in ways that enable customers to control their data and exchange information securely and reliably across diverse computer systems and applications.

I encourage you, if you are so inclined, to write about, blog about, or otherwise distribute your thoughts on the speech and the principles. Please feel free to contact me with questions or comments."

Whatever you think of both M$ and the above, (and cynically, the obvious thing to think is that M$ has just been smacked with a wacking great fine by the EU for failing to do some of or all of the above) this is an interesting deveopment.

Ever since Lessig kicked it all off, academics have talked about using some kind of set of principles to govern the creation of code by non-legislative coders. This is the first example I've seen of something more detailed than "Do no evil". Any other suggestions?

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