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   Re: Microsoft's Role in the XML Community (WAS RE: Important: The SAXC++

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  • From: "Richard L. Goerwitz" <richard@catlin.cis.brown.edu>
  • To: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>
  • Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 17:55:36 -0400

"Bullard, Claude L (Len)" wrote, re Microsoft's role:

> They have a role in the XML (more precisely, Kerberos)
> community which they fulfilled by working with MIT on Kerberos.

I'm not sure we're speaking the same language here :-), but to
your point about the legality of Microsoft's behavior:

Microsoft worked with MIT on Kerberos--an open standard that allows
network clients of heterogeneous kinds all to leverage a single central
authentication service called a KDC.  It is a platform-neutral proto-
col, and the KDC and clients may run under any operating system you
want them to (at least in theory).

Microsoft's "enhancements" actually break interoperability.  If you
use Microsoft's version of Kerberos, it becomes difficult, e.g., to
use an MIT KDC with W2K clients.

My suspicion (unconfirmed) is that the engineers at Microsoft were as
miffed about what happened as the higher ed community now is.

Anyway, whether they were right or wrong in a legal sense, the fact
is that there was a deep sense of betrayal, not only to the people
involved, but more generally to the cause of open protocols and 
standards (of which XML is one).

My point is merely (vis-a-vis David Megginson's comments) that if a
some Microsoft engineers return phone calls, and seem interested in
what you're doing, this doesn't really tell us much about how all the
high-level business decisions will pan out as far as XML and the XML
community go.

So there is cause for hope here and cause for concern.

We should simply be wise.

Richard Goerwitz				Richard_Goerwitz@Brown.EDU

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