Interoperability is the keyword in yesterday's announcement as Microsoft has openly recognised the importance of working with other platforms and environments through four different principles : Open Connections to Microsoft Products, Support for Standards, Data Portability and Open Engagement.
This is be the closest that Microsoft has ever come to collaborate with the open source community, and although some might say that Microsoft is doing too little too late, the Redmond-based company might actually have learnt a few things.
Microsoft partnered with Novell last year as a test and the duo's success seems to have prompted Microsoft to embrace and extend the interoperability concept wholeheartedly.
Novell was given a $350 million payout by Microsoft in 2007 after a full year working together.
Microsoft said that it would work with open standard organisations and would allow third parties, including open source entities, to work seamlessly with Microsoft protocols and products.
The Register thinks however that it is a well thought strategy by Microsoft to 'calm feisty regulators', especially as it looks to purchase internet firm Yahoo in an intense bid and this perspective is echoed by Ovum which says that the European Commission could be left wanting for more.
According to the press release published yesterday, the firm will also publish the APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), pieces of code that act like Gateways between various applications for Vista, Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Office 2007, Exchange Server 2007 and Office SharePoint Server 2007.
Another notable announcement made by Microsoft concerns documentation: 30000 pages of data regarding Windows client and server protocols will be released together with pledges not to sue any developer who would reverse engineer and develop open source version of Microsoft's own protocols.