Microsoft protocol standards

Microsoft protocol standards

Post by Kari Lain » Sun, 23 Jan 2011 02:41:00


I remember shortly visiting a site where Microsoft documented the
proprietary protocols used in different parts of the MS software stack.

Was I day dreaming or does those documents really exist?

If they exist can someone please point me in the right direction?

I am especially interested about the Exchange.

Best Regards
Kari Laine

Microsoft protocol standards

Post by Home » Sun, 23 Jan 2011 04:26:26

Verily I say unto thee, that Kari Laine spake thusly:

I know the European Commission prosecuted Microsoft for failing to
document and share its proprietary protocols, to allow interoperability,
but what if anything was ever actually documented, I don't know. #Follow-up

Apparently the Samba project got some information in 2007:

http://www. *** #Specifications_for_SMB_and_SMB2_Protocols %28v=exchg.80%29.aspx

Although it looks like Microsoft expects you to pay for things like

And they're still pulling this *** today, with their proprietary and
patent-encumbered exFAT filesystem, that apparently is set to become the
"industry standard" for SDXC data storage. This means, in future, when you
buy a digital camera, smartphone, or a portable media player that uses
SDXC media, you won't be able to access that media using GNU/Linux or
Free Software, because Microsoft bribed the industry to only support
their exclusionary exFAT garbage on that hardware.

Personally, I feel that sort of thing should be outlawed, and the law
should mandate that all "industry standards" be both Open and Free (and
free, for that matter). Anything less is unethically obligating an entire
industry (and its customers) to a single company's demands - amounting
to state supported extortion, or a private "tax". By all means let
companies try to sell their proprietary solutions in isolation, just
don't obligate the whole world to support them by allowing these
proprietary solutions to become "industry standards", either by abuse of
standards bodies, or with bribe-induced conspiracies (or by any other

One of the problems with the EU Commission's remedy, is it didn't
mandate those protocols should be freely licensed, just that they should
be published. The result brings us pretty much back to square one, with
proprietary and patent-encumbered protocols that must be "licensed" from
Microsoft, or reimplemented through clean-room reverse engineering. The
specific details of what is documented, what is licensed, what is
"free", and what isn't, is (like Microsoft) rather murky. I think you'll
also find this obfuscation is actually deliberate, so Microsoft can trap
people into licensing obligations.

K. | Ancient Chinese Proverb: | "The road to Hell is paved with
Fedora 8 (Werewolf) on sky | ignorant twits who know nothing
kernel, up 27 days | about GNU/Linux."


Microsoft protocol standards

Post by Kari Lain » Sun, 23 Jan 2011 18:18:05

i Homer,

thanks again.

Homer wrote:
So actually even though MS has documented some of it's protocols. They
are still out of reach for open source developer, because of license
fees. Thank you for the links for exchange. Those were the ones I
remembered seeing before.


I agree totally.

Open source can't even reverse engineer them because they are patent

Best Regards

Microsoft protocol standards

Post by Home » Mon, 24 Jan 2011 02:15:55

Verily I say unto thee, that Kari Laine spake thusly:

Be aware this also applies to "IP" licensed under so-called "RAND"
conditions (Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory). RAND is often used as
propaganda to fool people into believing the work is unencumbered, but
in reality the "Reasonable" of RAND actually refers to price, not
license. It simply means that if you license your "IP" under RAND
conditions, you must charge everyone the same price, and not
discriminate against e.g. your competitors by charging them more, or by
excluding them from access to your "IP" completely. This means small,
unfunded Free Software projects have no hope of ever using RAND licensed
software, unless it's /also/ made available royalty-free, and
royalty-free is /not/ a condition of RAND. It also means the resulting
Free Software is essentially undistributable, because the distributor
would be placing additional restrictions on the recipient, beyond the
terms of the GPL.

Also beware Microsoft's "Community Promise" a.k.a. "Covenant" to not sue
over "IP" in things like Mono, since that promise only extends to
"Covered Implementations". This makes existing implementations
dangerous, requiring professional auditing of the code to ensure
compliance, and future development is impossible, since it's pretty much
prohibited by definition, unless the "Covered Implementations" are
extended by the licensor to include those developments. Mono's creator,
Miguel de Icaza, has already been caught red-handed distributing
versions of Mono that breached those "Covered Implementations",
apparently without any idea he was even in violation.

Astute readers will point out that Mono contains much more than the ECMA
standards, and they will be correct.

In the next few months we will be working towards splitting the jumbo
Mono source code that includes ECMA + A lot more into two separate
source code distributions. One will be ECMA, the other will contain our
implementation of ASP.NET, ADO.NET, Winforms and others.

Depending on how you get Mono today, you might already have the this
split in house or not.

If Mono's creator can't even maintain ECMA compliance, how is any
contributor supposed to?

Patents apply to methods, not ideas or even results. If the same idea
can be used to procure the same result using a different method, then
you can avoid infringing the patent. Clean-room reverse engineering
facilitates this, by documenting the existing method, thus allowing
reimplementation using another.

K. | Ancient Chinese Proverb: | "The road to Hell is paved with
Fedora 8 (Werewolf) on sky | ignorant twits who know nothing
kernel, up 28 days | about GNU/Linux."