[jdev] Re: MSN: an open protocol?

James Bunton james at delx.cjb.net
Sun Jun 6 01:34:37 CDT 2004

> It states "an open protocol in MSN's case", but is MSN like completely open?
> I thought it was a closed protocol, or isn't it completely closed? Or did
> the author meant "an open protocol in Jabbers case".  

The very first version of the MSN protocol was submitted as a draft protocol 
to the IETF (I think). There was a public draft of MSNP2. Microsoft never 
updated the draft with any of their modifications to the protocol as it went 
from MSNP2 to MSNP10. It eventually expired, and can now only be found in at 
a few websites. http://www.hypothetic.org/docs/msn is one.

On October 15th 2003 Microsoft discontinued support on it's servers for any 
protocols less than MSNP8. So the draft is now useless anyway, and MSN is 
effectively a closed protocol. Critical information to use the servers had to 
be reversed engineered from the official client (which I'm pretty sure is 
illegal in the US under DMCA), and Microsoft says that you are not allowed to 
connect to their servers without a license.

So far I don't know of any attempts to block third party software from 
accessing their network, so they're at least more "open" than AOL/Yahoo in 
that respect. I maintain the MSN transport, and it supports MSNP8, I've never 
had to modify it to fix something to Microsoft broke.

MSN-t has no license to access the MSN network at the moment, but I've had no 
trouble connecting using information from the website listed above (which 
documents MSNP8).

Hope that clears it up for you..



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