Protocol Disclosure (Was: RE: encryption of MAPI)

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at
Thu Aug 24 03:17:05 GMT 2000

On Wed, 23 Aug 2000, Martin Kuhne wrote:

> Your willingness to assume the worst motives without ever asking for the
> real reason seems to be a common symptom.

sorry martin.

> Did you ever wonder what these people may think when you ask them for
> cooperation (i.e. disclosure of RPC protocols)?

we've asked quite a few times, now, at varying levels.  what i _haven't_
mentioned, publicly, is my opinions for the disclosure of protocols:

1) that microsoft will receive an enormous amount of kudos and good-will
for doing so.  at the very least, as a public relations exercise targetted
at both geeks in the open source community _and_ microsoft's own
customers, it's just such an obvious win.  why?  because:

2) other developers such as those in the open source community and also
closed source companies will have the opportunity to provide alternative
implementations.  this will invite comments, improvements, bug-reports
etc.  microsoft ends up as the LEADER and FOCUS of these efforts,
maintaining its status at the forefront of technology development.

e.g. the bug-reports i and other SMB companies have been sending in since
the CIFS initiative back in august 96 has resulted in incredible
reliability and robustness improvements in NT's domain protocols and file
serving capacity.

3) the addition of extra third party clients and servers results in a
reduction in microsoft's monopoly holding, thereby avoiding the need to
face the courts again _and_ allowing microsoft a little bit more freedom
in not having to find other means to avoid the magic monopoly percentage

4) the more obvious "traditional" benefits: more choice for customers.

4a) customers feeling less resentful and nervous at having _literally_ no
choice but to deploy microsoft technologies because there is nothing else
that provides comparable products.  all their competitors are using the
same [ms-based] technology, therefore they have no choice.  etc etc.

4b) putting a "positive" spin on this, customers realising that _microsoft
themselves_ were the ones with the initiative to release protocols such
that there may be alternatives feel much _more_ inclined to purchase
microsoft products, on the basis that there _is_ an alternative.

what do people reckon?

all best,


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