Microsoft has teamed up with Corel to build shared source code versions of the software giant's development tools.
Microsoft supports shared source code, where a company offers its source code under licence to chosen customers, as opposed to open source where programmers can view and modify the source code or the underlying blueprints of the program.
Both companies will build a shared source version of C#, the programming language which Microsoft introduced with Visual Studio.Net, and the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI), a subset of .Net.
Microsoft submitted the specifications for C# and the CLI to the European Computer Manufacturers Association, a standards body that drives industry-wide adoption of information and communications technology, in October 2000.
Craig Mundie, senior vice president of advanced strategies at Microsoft, said: "The shared source implementation of these standards demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to open standards in .Net and will provide a native XML web services programming environment across operating systems."
The pair will develop shared source versions of the tools for FreeBSD, a free version of Unix and Windows. The companies said the shared source code has been designed for academic, research, debugging and learning uses.
Giga Information Group analyst Rob Enderle said that Microsoft was losing the education market and needed to find a way to get back on board. "Corel was willing to help," he said, adding that there was little doubt that using C# and FreeBSD could be a way to fix the problem.
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