Apple has removed the open source SMB server Samba from the upcoming Mac OS X Lion and replaced it with its own Windows file sharing tool.
The tool, which came bundled with Mac OS X 10.2, allowed Mac users to access Microsoft Windows files and network directories from SMB (Server Message Block) protocol, Apple Insider explains.
It essentially allowed Mac users to share files with Windows PCs residing on the same network. Apple opted to remove the Samba client after the tool's open source developer team decided to move it to the strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from commercially using the tool.
According to sources within Apple, the company has already announced internally that it plans to pull it from Mac OS X Lion and Lion Server editions and replace it with its own internally developed Windows networking software SMBX.
Apple's SMBX supports both SMB1 and the newer SMB2 protocol, which is much faster and more efficient. SMBX will reportedly drop support for NT Domain Controller features that came with Samba.
Samba developer Jeremy Allison noted, “Apple has been moving away from the GPL in all it's forms for a while now. They just got around to us (I'm guessing we were pretty high on the list once they got rid of gcc).”