Microsoft opens Windows to loyal techies

Microsoft has expanded its Shared Source Initiative to give access to the Windows source code to a group of technology enthusiasts who help Microsoft users.

A Windows source code licensing program has been created for so-called Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), individuals recognized by Microsoft for their technical knowledge and time spent helping users of Microsoft products for example in online message boards and users groups, Microsoft said in a statement.

Microsoft already shares Windows code with governments, companies and educational institutions under various programs that are part of its Shared Source Initiative announced in 2001.

The new Most Valuable Professional Source Licensing Program (MVPSLP) is meant to raise the level of self-support in the Microsoft user community and help Microsoft with product development and research, the vendor said.

There are over 1,800 Microsoft MVPs in 55 countries. They already had access to source code for other Microsoft products including Windows CE .Net, Visual Studio .Net and Passport Manager. The new licensing program adds Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 to that list.

MVPs in the Windows Server Systems, Windows or Visual categories are eligible for the new Windows shared source program, provided they live in one of 27 eligible countries and are 18 or older, said Jason Matusow, shared source manager at Microsoft. Country eligibility is based on intellectual property protection laws, he said.

"About 1,200 MVPs are eligible for this program and we expect a significant percentage of those, say 80 percent, to sign up," Matusow said.

Steven Bink, a Windows Server Systems MVP in the Netherlands, agrees that many MVPs will sign up, although he himself won't be one of them. He is a systems engineer, not a software developer.

"I think it is a great addition to the MVP program. MVPs will be able to give better quality of support in the online communities," he said. "That source code will look like Chinese to me, but I think the developer MVPs will certainly go for it."

Bink earned his MVP status by running a Web site with information on Microsoft products at http://www.bink.nu/.

Access to the Windows code is through a heavily-secured Web site. MVPs will be able to look at the Windows code, but are not allowed to make modifications or compile the source code into Windows programs themselves. Enterprise users, system integrators and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) have the same type of access, Matusow said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

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?