Microsoft has made changes to its Communications Protocol Licensing Programme which it claims will make licensing core Windows technologies easier and more attractive.
The programme allows third-party developers to obtain licences for protocol technology developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows family of client and server operating systems.
Developers need access to this technology to implement Microsoft's protocols in their own server products, improving interoperability with Windows.
Microsoft said that the changes were made in response to feedback and suggestions from government and industry.
These include shortening and simplifying the licence agreement, and making around 20 protocols available without charge.
The software giant has promised to make available other protocols used to perform particular tasks for a fixed fee or fixed fee per unit.
Microsoft has also changed its evaluation programme to provide prospective licensees with samples of the technical documentation with no confidentiality restrictions.
The company was forced to review the way in which it allows third-party developers to access Windows technology by the final judgement in its antitrust case with the US Department of Justice and a number of State Attorneys General.
Mary Snapp, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft, said in a statement: "The protocol licensing programme under the consent decree is one of many different ways that companies can choose to achieve interoperability with the Windows operating system."
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