Microsoft says open source Windows is "definitely possible"

Windows 10

Windows has been around for a long time, it's made a lot of money, and Microsoft, quite naturally, has been very protective of it. But the times, they are a-changin', and Microsoft may one day have to change with them in ways that once would have been unimaginable.

Windows is still the big dog in the OS marketplace, but alternatives—particularly the open source Linux—are making inroads that can't be ignored. Open source titles are biting into other Microsoft-dominated markets as well; this particular report is being typed on on the open source (and remarkably good) OpenOffice. The shift is significant enough that Mark Russinovich, the CTO of Microsoft Azure, acknowledged at the three-day ChefConf 2015 that "it's definitely possible" that Microsoft could one day make Windows open source.

"It's a new Microsoft," he said. "Every conversation you can imagine about what should we do with our software—open versus not-open versus services—has happened."

Having conversations is a long way from actively planning to make the change, but simply acknowledging that somebody, somewhere, has discussed the possibility is a big change in attitude: As Facebook engineer Phil Dibowitz told Wired, "This wouldn't have happened two years ago." And let us not forget that owners of Windows 7 and 8 will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 at no charge for up to a year after its release; that too would have been unthinkable in the past (and pretty much right up to the moment that Microsoft announced it.)

So, open source Windows: Entirely hypothetical, but not off the table. Think it's possible someday? Read the full story at Wired.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.