Microsoft Licensing Key Protocols to Competitors

Microsoft quietly announced last week that it is making several key communications protocols used by its software available for license, so that third-parties, including competitors, can link into its newest enterprise products. Some are available immediately.

On the list of available protocols, XML schemas, and applications programming interfaces (API) are transport protocols for communications between Office Outlook 2007 and Exchange Server 2007, according to company statements.

“[With the license,] other companies can implement the Outlook-Exchange Transport Protocol specification in their own products or use it to enhance their existing products,” the statements said.

The so-called Outlook-Exchange Transport Protocol supports personal information management features such as e-mail, calendar, contacts, and task functionality in Office Outlook 2007, including shared calendars and scheduling capabilities. The protocol is available for licensing now, although Microsoft will continue to tinker with the specifications until June or so.

Also available for license immediately are protocols, Web service definitions, client configuration options, XML schema files, and other technology for Office Collaboration Server, which brings SharePoint Server into the mix.

“The Microsoft Office Collaboration Server Licensing Program provides the documentation and associated intellectual property rights to enable server products, including those competitive with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, to take advantage of the interoperability features in the 2007 Office suite,” the statements said.

Using those protocols, Office 2007 applications can be configured to work with competing document management servers so that they can publish Office 2007 information, such as Excel 2007 spreadsheets, to those servers instead of SharePoint Server. They can also enable Outlook 2007 to work with those servers for collaboration functions.

Microsoft also announced it will make licenses available for the Live Communications Server 2005 Protocol Extensions. That will enable licensees to develop servers that can provide presence and instant messaging capabilities to Office Communicator 2005 users.

Microsoft will begin that effort by providing early adopter licensees initial documentation in April, the statements said.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.


  • Gears

    Top 10 Microsoft Tips and Analyses of 2018

    Here are the year's most popular explainers and how-to columns -- along with some plain, old "Why did Microsoft do that?" musings thrown in.

  • Sign

    2018 Microsoft Predictions Revisited

    From guessing the fate of Windows 10 S to predicting Microsoft's next big move with Linux, Brien's predictions from a year ago were on the mark more than they weren't.

  • Microsoft Recaps Delivery Optimization Bandwidth Controls for Organizations

    Microsoft expects organizations using its Delivery Optimization peer-to-peer update scheme will optimally see 60 percent to 70 percent improvements in terms of network bandwidth use.

  • Getting a Handle on Hyper-V Virtual NICs

    Hyper-V usually makes it easy to configure virtual network adapters within VMs. That is, until you need to create a VM containing multiple virtual NICs.

comments powered by Disqus
Most   Popular

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.