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legal risks of using undocumented API

From: Scott Harrison Sent: Friday, August 08, 2003 5:54 PM To: Michael Halcoussis; Mark Hanson (DMD); Rick Prologo C~;: Linda Averett; Chadd Knowlton Subject: RE: Crescent setup...

I did have a discussion with GeneB this week who's taking over compliance related matters from cmeyers. He did mention there were risks associated with using undocumented API’s in future releases from those that have previously been granted exception under security clause of the settlement agreement.
The recommendation is to not use undocumented api’s or to document the apis. We can’t document this particular API, the WFP api, since it’s a back door to WFP and that means anyone could effectively bypass WFP. (say with a virus or a Trojan app) ..

From: Michael Halcoussis Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2003 1:54 PH To: Scott Harrison; Mark Hanson (DMD); Rick Prologo Co: Linda Averett; Chadd Knowlton Subject: RE: Crescent setup...

Scott as we discussed you are looking into the legal reasons why we still might do this work.

From: Scott Harrison Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2003 8:30 PM To: Nichael Halcoussis; Theresa Venhuis Subject: FW; Crescent setup... To discuss Linda’s questions with you:

Re SPAD: .. The risk is at some point in the future a 3rd party could register for the shell task and when set wrap as the "default" player via SPAD we don’t re-register for the shell task feature. Really this is not a violation of the agreement but it means we are not being as aggressive about re-asserting as the default handler ..

MS: don't mention putting the browser in the OS ..

From: Nathan Myhrvold Sent Sunday Febuary 15, 1998 12:37 PM

To: Bill Gates; Tod Nielsen; Brad Chase; David Cole; Joe Belfiore; Mich Mathews; Greg Shaw Corp. PR gregshaw); Tom Pilla; Alison Obrien; Bill Neukom (LCA); David Heiner (LCA); Steve Ballmer; Mitch Mathews; Eric Rudder; Yusuf Mehdi; Steve Ballmer; Paul Martz; Jim Allchin; (Exchange)

Subject: RE: browser in the OS


Saying "put the browser in the OS" is already a statement that is prejudicial to us. The name "Browser" suggests a separate thing. I would NOT phrase the survey, or other things only in terms of "put the browser in the OS".

Instead you need to ask a more neutral question about how the internet technology needs to merge with local computing. I have been pretty successful in trying this on various journalists and industry people.


Responses given if pressed

Microsoft has a vision to integrate local computing with Internet computing. This means building the fundemental Internet protocols into the operating system.

Netscape is on a different strategy. They are NOT attempting to make local data, or local PC computing mesh smoothly with the Internet. Instead their strategy is to replace local computing by integrating more and more functionality into their software. They are creating new APIs to turn their browser into a high level operating system, which will obviate use of a local operating system, like Windows.

They feel that the Browser is the platform.


Microsoft is telling its millions of existing users that their is a path for them to use the Internet metaphor both locally and remotely. Netscape is telling people to put with the difference between their local PC and the Internet and that over time you will throw out your old software in favor of new software and services which operate on top of the Netscape platform.


From: Bill Gates

Sent: Saturday, Febuary 14, 1998 10:42 AM To: Tod Nielsen; Brad Chase; David Cole

Cc: Bill Neukom (LCA); David Heiner (LCA); Steve Ballmer; Mitch Mathews; Eric Rudder; Yusuf Mehdi; Steve Ballmer; Nathan Myhrvold; Paul Martz; Jim Allchin; (Exchange)

Subject: Browser in the OS


Only by doing a document that EXPLAINS why we are putting the browser into the operating system will people start to have more sympathy for why this makes sense and understand that the government shouldn't be blocking this.


It would HELP ME IMMENSELY to have a survey showing that 90% of developers believe that putting the browser into the OS makes sense .. Ideally we would have a survey like this done before I appear at the Senate on March 3rd.

== paulma: problems of open APIs .. ==

From: paulma

To: billg; chrisp; craigmu; davidv; mikemap; nathanm; rashid; rogerh; bradsi; jimail; pateh

Subject: 3 year plan thoughts - draft Date: Wednesday, April 12, 1995 12:54 PM

BSD: Is executing on building out a set of Internet gateway tools - but currently is evangelizing these as having open APIs to the clients (eg. Netscape can write a client to use the gateway). While we can't take back what we have published, we do need to be thinking of ways we can advantage MS clients (see Internet discussion below)


Leading on from the above, we should get a view as to what will be handled by the "Win97" Shell and what will not - and if not. how is the needed extension integrated into the Win97 environment. What short-term things do we do before Win97 (eg. upgrade Ohare to handle DocObj)

billg: don't underestimate an OPEN Internet ..

From: billg Sent: Thursday, April 06, 1995 2:55 PM To: craigmu; nathanm; paulma; peteh; russs Cc: brianf Subject: Internet as a business tool

I know I am a broken record on this but I think our plans continue to underestimate the importance of an OPEN unified approach for the internet.

The demo I saw today when Windows 95 was showing its Internet capability was someone calling up the Fedex page on the internet and typing in a package number and getting the status.

Imagine how much work it would have been for Fedex to call us up and get that running on MSN and negociate with us. Instead they just set it up. A very simple way to reach out to their customers.

The continued enhancement of the browser standards is amazing to me. Now its security and 3d and tables - what will it within the next several years? Intelligent controls, directory - everything we are trying to define as standards.


The analogy here is that the major sin that Microsoft made with Netware was to let Novell offer a better (actually smaller & faster, with simpler protocol) client for networking. This got to critical mass and can now evolve both client and server together. Hence we had and still have a really hard time displacing Novell at the server.

In fact I am still of the opinion that we will not really deliver a really telling blow against Netware until we make some significant user-visible, client-side feature that Novell would have trouble matching in their servers. One of the reasons why I remain such a fanatic OFS believer.

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