As expected, Microsoft officially unveiled on Thursday an extension to its Shared Source Initiative that gives the Windows source code to technology integrators.
As first reported by CRN on Tuesday, Microsoft has expanded the Shared Source Initiative to include technology integrators as well as select enterprise customers, governments and large OEMs. The new Systems Integrator Source Licensing Program (SISLP) will provide enterprise systems integrators with additional capability to support Windows customers.
Early adopters of the SISLP include Compaq Computer and Avanade, the services company Microsoft owns with Accenture. Microsoft has said it will make the code available to other systems integrators as well.
Under pressure from the open-source community and antitrust opponents, Microsoft unveiled the Shared Source Initiative last May, although it says it has been supplying research institutions with source code to Windows for 10 years. The company's Enterprise Source Licensing Program currently gives about 1,600 customers in 27 countries access to licenses for the Windows source code, Microsoft said.
In addition, Microsoft Research Source Licensing provides universities and public research institutes with access to the code, and the Government Source Licensing Program does the same for government institutions. Last December, for example, Microsoft said it would make Windows XP source code available to the Austria Federal Ministry of the Interior.
The move may also be designed to appease opponents of Microsoft's proposed antitrust settlement with the government, who are urging the court to force the software giant to make the source code more broadly available to competitors and ISVs. Remedy hearings are scheduled to begin March 11.