Why won't Microsoft open source Windows? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Serious question here.  Windows is an excellent stable platform that could do a lot more cool things.  Why not open source the core components so it can be audited instead of just allowing governments to look at it?
    Monday, December 9, 2013 9:31 PM

All replies

  • I have to admit, the kernel, because it's reincarnated from Digital Equipment Corporation's VMS, is halfway decent.  And the file systems are okay.  But in total Microsoft doesn't seem to want it to be a real operating system any more.

    If they opened the source up to the public, the first thing that would probably happen is a bunch of people would turn it into the operating system we all want, then Microsoft wouldn't have much of a business left, would they?



    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Monday, December 9, 2013 9:51 PM
  • Microsoft's business would be a lot larger because it would assure everyone in other countries that it is back door free.  Not to mention it would give everyone a different outlook on the company that I think is long over due.

    People wouldn't have to re-learn anything which everyone is fond of.  They could still offer official support and come out with new versions that people need to pay for in order to get the source and support.

    Microsoft is still a good company and despite their attempt to force Metro down everyone's throats Windows 8 is an improvement and most programs 20 years old still work..and as opposed to the Linux desktop that is constantly breaking I think OSX is decent, but no where near to having compatibility with as much hardware and it has a lot of quirks I find annoying.

    Community created content can do amazing things as we have seen with many open source projects but paid software 9 times out of 10 is better.

    Microsoft could release the source, but that doesn't mean it has to be a GPL license.  It could be a kind of "read-only" license.  Certain places might cheat, but those places are already giving out pirated copies any way.

    What do you think?

    Monday, December 9, 2013 11:40 PM
  • How exactly do you think Windows 8 is an improvement?

    It's just a wash by all the measures I've used.  Don't get me wrong, I've upgraded my firm to use it, on the general principle that using a current system is better, but it's absolutely not better than Windows 7 by any measure that I have applied - and it's actually worse in a number of ways - for knowledgeable engineering-level users. 

    I did an extremely thorough evaluation and Return on Investment analysis and Windows 8.1 came up just slightly positive.  But it's not what people say it is:

    • It's not faster.  In fact, for certain key operations such as file access, it's a little slower than Windows 7.  Those who perceive it as faster would perceive a new, clean installation of Windows 7 as faster as well.
    • It's not inherently more secure, except for the fact that it comes with a (not best-in-show) anti-malware solution already installed.  What it IS is more restrictive in the level of control you as the owner have.
    • Metro/Modern offers only distraction; so far as we have been able to tell it's got little merit with regard to serious computer usage.
    • A Microsoft account doesn't bring any benefits we could find, but actually comes with a lot of downsides.  It's a good thing it's still barely possible to set up a Windows 8.1 system with a local account.  We're certainly not willing to share our administrative account info with Microsoft.  I can't imagine how others choose to do so.
    • The desktop, without a suitable 3rd party package, is harder to use visually than Windows 7.  Just because Microsoft claims skeuomorphism is bad doesn't make it so.  Drop shadows and even the glass effects DO help visually differentiate multiple windows on the desktop.  Not everyone uses every application maximized!
    • The Windows Backup facility is deprecated and all but removed.  Thankfully it's still possible to use it if you get geeky.  The Previous Versions feature for accessing backups and shadow copies is (mostly) removed.

    At this point I have my Windows 8.1 workstations set up to be as productive for software engineering as they were with Windows 7.  But they're simply not better.

    I'd be interested in hearing why you think it's better, and what your judgment is based on.



    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013 12:31 AM
  • I don't want to get into why I believe Windows 8.1 is better then Windows 7 because honestly in a lot of ways it is not, BUT...visually it is better.  It has made a lot of cool feature changes that make it more visually appealing.  I didn't mean Windows 8 is better then 7 when I said that.  I mean its an improvement from other operating systems I have tried.

    This topic was more about open sourcing Windows so I don't want to talk about other things, but I will say this.

    I agree with everything you said and most of it doesn't affect me because I choose solutions that make it so I am unaffected.  That doesn't mean people shouldn't let Microsoft know why they dislike the changes so they can take that into consideration.

    For the desktop Metro needs to go away because it is meant for non-work computers.  It is more of a toy interface for kids and entertainment.

    I didn't know the back up solution was gone because I use

    I didn't know about the anti-malware because I use Norton.

    I also dislike the logging in using your live account feature.  That seems like a security flaw, but honestly for home users might like that.  I also disabled this since I don't use Metro ever.

    I use a program called Classic Shell to give me back my "Start" menu.

    But any way I really wanted to talk about the positive and negatives of open sourcing Windows.

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013 1:52 AM
  • I'll let others talk then; you know my opinion on why it won't come to pass.

    I didn't mean to sound confrontational.  I use ClassicShell as well; we likely have a lot in common.



    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:53 AM