Apparently, Microsoft finally admits that in a fast changing tech world in order to compete and survive it’s necessary to go open-source. At least that’s what one of the chief engineers at Microsoft said recently.
It’s not the first time we hear about Microsoft talking about open-sourcing. The company released the open source code of its popular online applications building framework, .Net, in the beginning days of 2015.
Many tech geeks might still remember many years ago when Microsoft was so much against open-source software that it called Linux “a cancer” – as said by its former CEO.
Now after about 15 years it seems that Microsft no longer considers the open source concept as a threat, but as an opportunity to change and expand. Mark Russinovich said “It’s definitely possible,” as reported by Wired, and so we might as well think that “It’s a new Microsoft”, as he puts it that way on the recent ChefConf held at Silicon Valley.
The change is not going to happen soon, though, since Microsoft revenue still relies somehow on Windows operating systems sales. Plus, as Russinovich thinks so too, it’s a difficult task to open source such a complicated and enormous piece of code, because it’s not enough just to provide the code itself, but it has to be well structured and easily understood by other developers and programmers. But we could hope that it doesn’t take a very long time to happen since Microsoft has already taken the first steps before by releasing specific versions of Windows freely.
Open sourcing the Windows doesn’t mean that the company could no longer make money off its bestselling software. In that case, although the Windows will be available to anyone at no cost, many individual and businesses still need technical support and related services such as maintaining, updating, packaging and etc., and would pay to get those.
The recent move by Microsoft toward open source is coming as no surprise since Android costs nothing for tablet and smartphone manufacturer to use, and Apple is also trying to cut its OS prices. So Microsoft feels the need to make some key changes in order to increase its market share, and going in the direction of selling services instead of software in order to keep the revenue streams.