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Well, I think they first tried charging royalties before finally disclosing the docs and a patent list to Samba on royalty-free conditions. See this: http://www.samba.org/samba/PFIF/PFIF_history.html http://www.samba.org/samba/PFIF/PFIF_agreement.html

They did for some things. There are several factions inside Microsoft, some more respectable than others [1]. We managed to get MSRPC/DCOM documentation out of them no problems at all. TBH there was very little internal documentation on it apparently, most of it being inside 4-5 peoples' heads.

[1] Small note to IE team: fuck you. I opened a genuine defect with steps to reproduce on Connect 19 months ago which was a regression between IE8 and IE9 and it was canned earlier today with the old bug vs feature thing. This is after 6 months of arguing with PAID UP GOLD PARTNER support over the issue as well which fucked up any IE upgrade plans for our clients for 6 months.

To be honest, MSRPC and DCOM was based on DCE RPC and MS donated DCOM to the Open Group. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeDCE

The Open Group's DCOM implementation wasn't open source. Also, MSRPC/DCOM is just an RPC layer, the real value/lock-in was in the protocols built on top of them, such as Active Directory.

dcerpc.org has a maintained version of the OSF DCE RPC runtime (this bounced around from the FreeDCE project, to PADL, then Novell, Likewise and now Apple).

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