Microsoft Won't 'Open' Windows Unless and Until It's Necessary

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eWEEK's Jason Brooks suggested Monday that Microsoft should open source Windows. More specifically, he said open sourcing Windows would be good for Microsoft. After all, Microsoft and open source have settled into a "peaceful coexistence" these days.


He argues that open sourcing Windows would be good for Microsoft because Windows would be freely available. Free Windows would remove the temptation in developing countries to pirate copies of the operating system, which would, in turn, "mean more legitimate Windows seats around the world." Secondly, open sourcing the OS would "inject an enormous amount of vitality and innovation," Brooks says, and the users and vendors could "take the platform in new directions."


Needless to say, the post resulted in an abundance of comments from readers, several of which took a tone something like this: "Open Source Windows? You need to recompile your brain." Others bloggers have also commented in their own posts. OS News' Thom Holwerda notes:

Every now and then, some blogger working for a big website will write a story about how company Abc should make radical move Xyz in order to better, eh, well, that's usually left in the dark. These are generally more akin to said bloggers hoping for radical move Xyz.

Holwerda indicates that Brooks doesn't really justify his suggestion that Microsoft should open source Windows, and he points out that Microsoft has only made the moves it has made thus far because doing so was necessary. Though I wouldn't be as hard on Brooks as Holwerda was -- he did explain why doing so would benefit the company -- I do agree that the whole thing comes down to need.


Yes, open sourcing Microsoft may be good for Windows, but does the software juggernaut need to do so in order to remain viable? Probably not -- or at least not yet.