The software giant is taking the Commission to the European Court of First Instance to prevent the source code of its server communication protocols from entering the public domain.
This creates problems with licenses of Free and Open Source Software. According to these licenses, programmers must publish the source code of their works, in order to allow others to study how the program works and to eventually improve it.
The biggest competitors of Microsoft’s server platform, such as Apache for the web server market, Novell for enterprise groupware systems and Samba for the small office server market, are all entirely or partly Open Source companies and projects, and all of them are publishing their software under licenses that require the sourcecode to be published.
Microsoft could provide these competitors with protocol information under terms that require the protocols themselves to be treated as confidential. For Microsoft, this creates the dilemma that it would be fairly easy to draw conclusions on the protocols by looking at the source code of applications made to work these very protocols. Any third party would then have a choice of either paying royalties to Microsoft for the disclosure of protocol information, or simply get the wanted information from software made by someone who knew the Microsoft protocols. The result would be that the Microsoft protocols slowly slip into the public domain.