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Microsoft Posts First Source Code

Hard on the heels of Friday's shocking detente with Sun, Microsoft on Monday pulled another surprise: it posted source code under the Open Source Initiative's Common Public License.

The source code posted to the Internet was for a tool set, dubbed WiX for Windows Installer XML, that targets developers building Windows installation packages from XML source code. These are the same tools that Microsoft uses internally to create installers for its products, including Office, SQLServer, and BizTalk Server.

Code for the tool set, which consists of a compiler, linker, a library tool, and a decompiler, has been posted to, a hosting site for open-source projects and code.

This is the first time that Microsoft has posted source code under the Common Public License (CPL), one of several supported by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). CPL allows developers to modify the code and use it in commercial products.

In the past, the closest to open source that Microsoft has come was its Shared Source Licensing programs, under which it makes sections of its Windows source code available to preferred partners and governments.

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