Microsoft will respond to the growing demand for open sourcecode software, by opening up selected parts of its NT code to developers.
President Steve Ballmer promised: "You'll see us start publishing more of the NT sourcecode", as he addressed the Microsoft Business Applications conference on Friday.
Analysts do not expect Microsoft to open up NT to the same extent that some rivals, such as Netscape, have done with their core products. Netscape announced a freeware version of its browser, Mozilla, earlier this year, and set up a division to supervise its enhancement by the developer community.
Ballmer said a small percentage of NT code is already available but Microsoft plans to make more open for developers' comments and enhancements, although he would not specify further.
With the rising popularity of the Linux freeware operating system in the corporate world, IT departments are demanding more open code products because they can more easily customise them and integrate them with inhouse applications.
Ballmer was careful to distinguish between open code and freeware. "Can we provide our products for free? The answer is no," he said.
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