Microsoft is helping developers open up new opportunities by making technical specifications for its products available to view and download from MSDN at no charge (rights under Microsoft patents covering such specifications are available separately). This documentation includes:
Protocols. Microsoft publishes technical specifications for protocols in the Windows client operating system (including the .NET Framework), Windows Server, Microsoft Office, SharePoint products and technologies, Microsoft Exchange Server, and Microsoft SQL Server that are used to communicate with other Microsoft software products. These specifications include Windows client operating system and Windows Server protocols covered by the MCPP and WSPP licensing programs created in accordance with the U.S. Consent Decree and the 2004 European Commission Decision.
File Formats. Microsoft publishes technical specifications for the file formats created by certain Microsoft products, including the file formats created by Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Outlook,.
Standards. Microsoft publishes technical specifications regarding certain standards implemented in Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Outlook as well as Internet Explorer.
Languages. Microsoft publishes technical specifications for the VBA programming language and XAML.
Microsoft revises the technical specifications regularly and, particularly, in connection with the release of significant product updates and new versions.
These specifications may be accessed without charge and without restriction on this MSDN Library. Many of the technical specifications, however, include patented inventions. Some of those patents are available at no charge under the Open Specification Promise. The remaining patents are available through various licensing programs. To learn more, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/openspecifications.
If you have questions about the documentation, please visit the Open Specifications Forums on MSDN.