Microsoft Corp. has announced the expansion of its Shared Source Initiative (SSI) Windows source code licensing programmes to seven additional countries in the European Union. The Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows CE and Windows Server 2003 shared source programmes will be made available to eligible enterprises, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), systems integrators, Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) and academic institutions in Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia. Launched in May 2001 and now encompassing 17 unique code-sharing programmes for various Microsoft technologies, the Shared Source Initiative is how Microsoft is sharing source code with customers, governments, partners, academics and individuals worldwide.
With the availability of Microsoft Windows source code licensing programmes to participants in these countries through the SSI, Microsoft plans to support existing customers, encouraging new development, supporting teaching and research, and create new partner business opportunities. Each licensing programme under the SSI is tailored to the needs of a particular Microsoft constituent community.
Microsoft began sharing Windows source code with academic institutions in 1991, and in 2001 the Shared Source Initiative was established to address broader customer interest and formalise a programme that allows access to a spectrum of Microsoft technologies ranging from Microsoft .NET technologies to embedded operating systems. Over the past four years, the Shared Source Initiative has grown to include more development and infrastructure technologies, most of which are licensed to allow developers to see, modify and redistribute changes to the source code.
As experts on the Windows platform, Microsoft MVPs are a diverse group of people from around the world who have two things in common: great expertise in one or more Microsoft products, and a willingness to share their expertise and experience with others. The MVP Source Licensing Program was designed with that community's unique needs for source-code access in mind. Raising the level of community support inspires greater participation and provides a stronger feedback loop for the improvement of Microsoft products. MVP feedback can help shape product development and research and provides a valuable link to customers for Microsoft.
Currently Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows CE 3.0, Windows CE .NET, Windows CE 5.0, and components of Visual Studio .NET, ASP.NET Starter Kits, Windows Installer XML (WiX), Windows Template Library (WTL) and FlexWiki have source code components available through the Shared Source Initiative. The Shared Source Initiative is an ongoing, evolving framework that will, over time, support additional source-access programmes for many of Microsoft's valued partners and constituent communities.