Microsoft Corp. has billions of dollars working to its advantage, but crosstown rival RealNetworks is hoping to line up the rest of the world on its side.
RealNetworks on Tuesday released most of the secret blueprints, or "source code," to its software that allows computer users to play audio and video over the Internet. It planned to similarly release the source code for its server and encoding software in December.
By sharing the code with thousands of developers, the company believes it can more quickly and more effectively spread adoption of its software -- tailored for scores of different computers, wireless phones and handheld devices.
Still, the Seattle-based company is keeping other parts of its source code secret, including the blueprints for such features as burning compact discs.
The release is part of RealNetworks' new "Helix" strategy, announced in July. The company is the latest convert to the so-called "open source" software movement of sharing software blueprints. The idea is that an assortment of programming talent will improve and build upon existing technology.