I take off for a couple of days of rural isolation and and dial-up access, and the news floodgates break loose. Simon Phipps has good commentary and more pointers. First, a tip of the hat to Poland for their intervention which (at least temporarily) seems to have derailed the EU’s headlong rush to embrace software patents. In all this news, one angle that’s getting little discussion but seems to me a real game-changer has to do with the Microsoft/EU litigation. Microsoft says they’ll ship a version of Windows without Media Player and, while I agree with the EU that they played a little dirty in leveraging the Windows monopoly into the media-player space, this doesn’t seem like that big a deal. What does seem a big deal is the order that they disclose enough of the Exchange and SMB protocols to empower people to build competitive mail/disk servers without having to do arcane reverse-engineering. This genie, I think, can’t be put back in the bottle, however the appeals end-game shakes out, and it’ll be a while before we really understand all the implications.