Microsoft will disclose nearly 400 pieces of technical information about Windows as part of its antitrust settlement.
Although the settlement has yet to be approved by a judge, the company has said that it will release 272 pieces of proprietary code and 113 protocols.
Some of the technical data will be released online this month for free, while other information about large 'server' computers that run networks will require a licensing fee.
Microsoft said the disclosures meant that developers would be better able to write software applications running under Windows.
The move coincides with previously scheduled actions designed to comply with the settlement.
Microsoft is expected to release a new update to Windows this month that will allow computer users to hide some functions like Media Player and messaging programs.
The original judge in the antitrust case, Thomas Penfield Jackson, ordered that Microsoft should be broken into two companies as punishment for hurting consumer choice and breaking antitrust law.
An appeals court upheld many of the violations but reversed the break-up order and appointed US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to determine a new punishment, due later this year.
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