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Microsoft Engineer says that an Open Source Windows is Definitely Possible

Microsoft Engineer says that an Open Source Windows is Definitely Possible

by AshwinApril 3, 2015

Microsoft Windows, there is hardly a place with a PC which doesn’t run on the operating system.


Back in January, the company announced in a conference, that Windows 10 would be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users.

The company will support Windows 10 for the lifetime of the computers, as long as they upgrade to Windows 10, within a year of its launch. This move have been lauded by many.

Things have been changing significantly at Microsoft, ever since Satya Nadella took up the reins as CEO. Microsoft users and fans feel the company is finally heading the right way, and that the dark days of Steve Ballmer are long gone.

But the World’s most famous operating system is yet to conquer its biggest rival, Piracy. Microsoft Windows is the most pirated software in the World, with millions of illegal copies on PCs especially in China, and India.

One would think, “Well, if it was an open source OS, things would be better, right? But seriously, will Windows ever be open-source? One of the Redmond company’s main Engineers, Mark Russinovich, thinks so.


“It’s definitely possible, it’s a new Microsoft”, says Russinovich (pictured above), who helped develop Windows and is called as a “Microsoft Technical Fellow”, an esteemed title within the company.

He was at a conference, in Silicon Valley, and questioned the audience on “How many of them used nothing but Windows to run their machines? ” If you think the answer is everyone, or at least 50% of the audience, you are not even close. Apparently only one guy, out of the hundreds present, raised his hand, to say yes.

So, what does this mean? The world, especially the Business World, runs on open source software, namely the Linux operating system. Microsoft’s own Cloud computing platform, Azure, allows Linux. Azure was formerly headed by the company’s current CEO, Satya Nadella. Around 20% of PCs connected to Azure use Linux.

Going open source will not only solve the piracy problem, but also help Microsoft to reach out to more users. Here is how, it could help. The company open sourced its popular online application building tool called .NET, earlier this year. And .Net is being ported to work on Linux computers and Macs. That is the power of open-sourcing software, it gives way to newer and more advanced tools.

However, Russinovich says that Windows will not be made open source, anytime soon or maybe never. It is not easy to release the source code for a complex operating system. It would still require considerable work to offer a finished product.

What good would a source code be to an end user? It has to be packed and distributed, ready to use, and this is where Microsoft could still earn from Windows, even after open sourcing it.

So, for now we just have to hope and dream that an Open Source Windows becomes a reality.