Microsoft discloses 272 Windows APIs

Microsoft Corp. has opened key components of Windows by making 272 APIs (application programming interfaces) available for free at the Microsoft Developer Network Web site as the company takes steps to comply with the proposed antitrust settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and nine states.

Microsoft announced Aug. 5 that the APIs used by Microsoft middleware products Internet Explorer (IE), Media Player, Outlook Express, Microsoft Messenger and Microsoft Java Virtual Machine would be released Wednesday. Release of the APIs is something Microsoft agreed to do under the proposed settlement with the DOJ and the nine states, which was reached in November and revised in February. The proposed settlement awaits a ruling by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who is expected to announce at any time whether she accepts the settlement terms or wants to impose harsher remedies.

"We were required to make these API disclosures by the time Service Pack 1 (for Windows XP) ships," Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said Wednesday. "That will ship later this summer, so we are disclosing these APIs ahead of schedule."

Microsoft also is confident that the disclosure of the 272 APIs puts the company in "complete compliance" with the settlement agreement because it requires disclosure of internal interfaces that are used in Windows by the five middleware products, Desler said.

In its Aug. 5 update on Microsoft's progress to implement portions of the settlement agreement, the company said that it would withhold only one API, a Windows file protection API that allows replacement of critical Windows assistant programs. The company said that if it were disclosed it would risk exposing users to more viruses.

The software maker also announced Aug. 5 the start of a licensing program for its internal communication protocols. The program allows third parties to create server software that is interoperable with or can communicate with Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP and future operating systems.

Microsoft has said the disclosure of the APIs and the communications protocols amounts to the release of very substantial intellectual property.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gretel Johnston

Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

With determination and drive, you achieve outstanding performance! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?