SerNet, a German company that is providing support for Samba, is requesting Microsoft to publish the specifications for interoperability. The company also mentions that the Microsoft's programs MCPP and WSPP are excluding GPL implementations:
SerNet asks Microsoft to disclose protocol definitions
In a September 26 letter to Microsoft Germany, SerNet transforms the
September 17 European Court judgment into a specific request:
By this judgment Microsoft is forced to publish protocol definitions for
Windows servers under "reasonable" and "non-discriminatory" terms so that
fully interoperable software can be developed by other parties. The
deadline set by the Court is January 15th 2008. Microsoft accepted this
Now SerNet asks Microsoft to disclose the protocol definitions for
use in developing the open source software Samba.
SerNet is the leading service company regarding Samba with offerings to
customers worldwide. The Samba Team is an international association of
software developers, working together on Samba - that is in principle an
implementation of the SMB/CIFS protocol for Linux/Unix and some other
Though relatively successful in achieving some degree of interoperability
with Microsoft Workgroup Server Protocols, Samba Team is still challenged
many problems arising from Microsoft's continuing lack of disclosure of
private extensions to the protocols in question. This is to say that Samba
has to improve the interoperability between Samba servers and Windows
servers. There is a project called "samba4AD" with a proposal that can be
accessed via ftp://ftp.sernet.de/pub/samba4AD.
The challenges in this project cannot be solved sufficiently without
protocol specifications from Microsoft. The 2004 Decision of the
Commission, recently upheld largely in its entirety by the Court of First
Instance makes it clear that Microsoft has the obligation to disclose those
protocols and unjustified refusal to do it amounts to an abuse of a
"It is of course crucial that Samba can be developed continuously under the
GPL in version 3," says Johannes Loxen, author of the letter on behalf of
SerNet, "Microsoft's programs MCPP and WSPP are not feasible regarding
SerNet asks Microsoft to observe the same time limit as set by the European
Court, January 15th 2008.
While Samba is the most important free software alternative to Microsoft's
windows servers this is the opportunity to verify the result of the trial
by a dedicated request.
Samba is an Open Source/Free Software suite that provides seamless file
and print services to SMB/CIFS clients. Samba is freely available under
the GNU General Public License, see http://www.samba.org.
contact: Dr. Johannes Loxen
SerNet GmbH, Bahnhofsallee 1b, 37081 Goettingen
phone: +49-551-370000-0, fax: +49-551-370000-9
http://www.SerNet.DE, mailto: ED.teNreS|esacUE#ED.teNreS|esacUE