Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:17 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Legal Microsoft suffered a stunning defeat on Monday when a European Union court backed a European Commission ruling that the US software giant illegally abused its market power to crush competitors. The European Union's second-highest court dismissed the company's appeal on all substantive points of the 2004 antitrustruling. The court said Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, was unjustified in tying new applications to its Windows operating system in a way that harmed consumer choice. The verdict, which may be appealed only on points of law and not of fact, could force Microsoft to change its business practices.
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SMB(2) is not the only protocol we're talking about here. All that covers is file and printer sharing (I'm not really clear on if it even does authentication and NETLOGIN). There are a lot of server-server protocols necessary for proper replication of information on a domain. And it gets even more complicated when you consider replication across domains in an Active Directory. There are literally near 50 sub-protocols involved in this.

It's not really clear to me why Microsoft needs to release this and why you'd want to use many of these protocols except with multiple Windows servers. It makes sense to force the release of the server-client protocols so that you could use Linux servers to serve Windows clients and vice-versa. The EC also wanted server-server protocols though. In my opinon, these are a fundamental feature of the server system as a whole and that there should be no requirement on licensing these out for free (it's not particularly monopolistic to make multiple copies of your server work well together and perform useful connected roles).

Here's a patent on this sort of server-server communication that would be of particular relevance to someone trying to interoperate with Windows Server (password synchronization):

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