Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith today announced that the software giant is offering to license its Windows Server source code in a bid to end its long-running antitrust battle with the European Union.
The company is making this "voluntary move" in order to address all the issues raised by the European Commission.
The EU ruled in March last year that Microsoft must pay a €497m fine in addition to opening up elements of its code to rivals.
The Redmond firm was also ordered to decouple its Media Player software from Windows and offer a version of the operating system which did not include the application.
"Today we are putting our most valuable intellectual property on the table so we can put technical compliance issues to rest and move forward with a serious discussion about the substance of this case," said Smith.
"The Windows source code is the ultimate documentation of Windows Server technologies. With this step our goal is to resolve all questions about the sufficiency of our technical documentation."
Smith added that opening up the source code is "going far beyond" the European Commission's March 2004 demands and its legal obligations which Microsoft interprets as "providing companies with the technical specifications of its proprietary communications protocols".
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