Microsoft is often regarded as a company that's against the concept of open source, but the software giant could soon change its approach in a way that would completely revamp the Windows platform from the ground up.
Microsoft Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich told the audience at ChefCon conference that Windows could go open source at some point in the future and confirmed that the Redmond tech-based was indeed considering this option.
Obviously, there are no details as to when this could happen, if it ever happens, that is, but it's good to know that Microsoft is at least looking into ways to make Windows open source.
Considered an attempt to slow down the ascension of alternative operating systems such as Linux, an open source Windows would still remain a cash cow for Microsoft because the company would still have to update computers operated by businesses worldwide. Companies would obviously have to pay for these updates, and Microsoft would be their sole provider.
“It’s definitely possible,” Russinovich was quoted as saying by Wired. “It’s a new Microsoft.”
Russinovich admits that open source platforms are quickly becoming much more popular, especially among IT companies, so making Windows open source while offering the code at no additional cost is clearly the best way to go for Microsoft.
“Every conversation you can imagine about what should we do with our software - open versus not-open versus services - has happened,” he explained, trying to emphasize that Microsoft closely analyzed its options when it comes to offering Windows as open source software.
Russinovich explained that the first step towards making Windows open source had already been made earlier this year, when .NET became in its turn open source.
“It lifts them up and makes them available for our other offerings, where otherwise they might not be. If they’re using Linux technologies that we can’t play with, they can’t be a customer of ours.”
An open source Windows is the kind of project that would have never been approved by the previous CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer. So in case the company indeed decides to go this way and offer the Windows code at absolutely no charge, this could also represent a completely new beginning for a company whose strategy appears to be based on the same gentleman approach as its CEO's personality.
Since taking over the helm at Microsoft in February 2014, Satya Nadella has pushed the company towards a more friendly way of doing business, and Windows 10 is probably living proof in this regard. The new operating system is designed together with users, who can now submit feedback after testing early versions of the operating system.
But if Windows becomes open source, do not expect this to happen overnight. It could take years until the code is released to everyone, and yet, Microsoft is at least considering such an option.