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European Commission forces Microsoft to open its protocols to Samba

Let's just say the behind-the-scenes work wasn't pretty.

The European Commission finally pushed Microsoft into opening up its protocols to enable Samba to interoperate with Windows. One can only assume that the backroom fighting over this one was not pretty:

The Commission ruled in 2004 that Microsoft must provide interconnection information letting rival server companies operate as smoothly with Microsoft Windows desktop machines as Microsoft's own server software.

The deal signed in the United States by the non-profit Protocol Freedom Information Foundation was focused on helping Samba, a non-profit maker of free, open source server software.

"The agreement allows us to keep Samba up to date with recent changes in Microsoft Windows, and also helps other Free Software projects that need to interoperate with Windows," said Andrew Tridgell, creator of Samba.

Let freedom ring. At least, in Europe.