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Allchin Says that More Disclosure by Microsoft Could Further Compromise OS Security

The Associated Press reports that Microsoft executive Jim Allchin made the unbelievable claim that Microsoft should not have to make more detailed disclosures of APIs to its operating systems because such disclosures "would make it easier for hackers to break into computer networks, for malicious individuals or organizations to spread destructive computer viruses and for unethical people to pirate". Nine U.S. states are still pursuing an anti-trust suit against Microsoft and one of the remedies they propose is that Microsoft be forced to provide detailed interface documentation so that others in the software industry can make software that interfaces with Microsoft operating systems as seemlessly as do other Microsoft products.

This is one of the more disingenuous pieces of testimony heard in this phase of the anti-trust case. The article points out, "A lawyer for the states, Kevin Hodges, pointed out that many of the most destructive computer attacks in recent years have targeted Microsoft products regardless of whether Microsoft disclosed particular technical data."

Microsoft's profits on its operating system are so great that it ought to be required to provide the same documentation to the public that it does to its own developers. Microsoft application developers should out-innovate their competition, not out-smart them solely by virtue of inside information.

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