If Microsoft executes effectively on its new interoperability promises, it could repair its tarnished reputation in the technology industry and help the company get out of its own way to compete more effectively with Google.
At first glance, Microsoft's news on Thursday that it would provide access to documentation for its major software products, including Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007, appeared to be a way to appease the European Commission in its ongoing antitrust case. It also seemed an acknowledgment that Microsoft can't ignore the open-source community's impact on its business and prominence in the industry any longer.
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