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You are mentioning Compaq BIOS. Think Samba though.

Even OOo/LO .doc support is based on 1-2 FTE revEngs (which btw is dumped mfc/w32 memory on a FAT, but read Sun/IBM anyway).

The team will write a public spec, print it out on paper, and another team Down and Under will scan it and create new code (think RSA patent export). The skype protocol has long been reverse engineered and is available to several parties.

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