According to ComputerWorld today:
Microsoft plans to share network troubleshooting tool with users and vendors alike. But it wants a quid pro quo of a sort. According to Neil Leslie, general manager of Microsoft Corp.’s customer service and support group, the company within six months will release a beta version of Network Monitor 3.0, an upgrade of a tool that has shipped as part of its Systems Management Server (SMS) software. What will be different in the next SMS release, Leslie says, is that Netmon won’t have a “90-day time bomb” that turns off the tool unless you buy it. In other words, if you get SMS, you’ll get Netmon 3.0. Free. Netmon captures and stores network packets for analysis. It can filter packets by protocol type and let you find devices on your network and track their packet-broadcasting rates. The 3.0 release adds a Visual Basic-like scripting language so you can easily customize it, says Leslie. Today, he notes, you need C and assembler language skills to do so.
Now for the quid pro quo. Leslie says Microsoft will also make available later this year D-Code, its database of the various service and support tools that the company uses internally. The database not only lists what’s what, but it also rates the effectiveness of what’s what. Leslie says he wants other companies to rate their troubleshooting and analysis tools inside D-Code so the info can be shared broadly. Microsoft giveth, and it asketh.