Code swap a boon for Microsoft software

Published on ZDNet News: July 30, 2002, 4:25 AM PT

Microsoft hailed its source code sharing initiative with academic institutions on Monday, saying a recent collaboration has added next-generation Internet technology to one of the software giant's products.

Microsoft said Britain's Lancaster University helped Microsoft include IPv6, a new set of standards that deals with an increasing number of devices connected to the Internet, into an upcoming upgrade of its Windows CE operating system embedded into mobile devices.

"By expanding our shared source initiative...we've seen growing activity in our academic relations," Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates told more than 300 researchers gathered at Microsoft's Redmond, Wash. headquarters.

Microsoft Research, which spends $75 million a year working with educational and research organizations, said the work done with Lancaster University was an example of how Microsoft could share its source code--the basic language used to create software programs--to improve joint research and development of its software.

"We were interested in looking at embedded software," said Andrew Scott, who was given an award for Lancaster University's efforts, "and it's been an ongoing collaboration."

Microsoft has long kept its source code, which helped make it the world's largest software company, closely guarded, but increasing commercial use of open-source software that can be used and modified freely prompted it to start the Shared Source Initiative, which gives selected customers, partners, government and researchers access to its code.

Story Copyright  2002 Reuters Limited.  All rights reserved.

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