FSF petition to open source Windows 7 -

Coolio55

DON'T CALL LUIGI AT 3AM!! *OMG HE RICKROLLED ME*
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Petition asking Microsoft to open-source Windows 7 sails past 7,777-signature goal


The Free Software Foundation really set the bar high there



We noted last week the GNU-gang's attempt to coax the born-again open-sourcerer formerly known as "The Beast Of Redmond" into making a surprise deposit into GitHub.

The thinking was that since Windows 7 has now come to the end of the road, as far as free security updates are concerned, then perhaps Microsoft might release it as open software?

We put it to the Free Software Foundation that it might be more complicated than that – after all, Windows 7 contains all manner of codecs and the like licensed from third parties, as well as code licensed back to those same customers.

The FSF's Greg Farough told us: "We want all software to be free software." The clue, after all, is in the name. "But Microsoft freeing just the operating system itself would satisfy our demand here."

But what of those enterprises that have already paid for support? Should Microsoft start lobbing out refunds or fork the freshly open-sourced code base?

"Enterprises wouldn't be paying for a licence anymore," explained Farough, "but they would still need support."

With what we imagine is the starry-eyed glint of a true believer, he added: "They could either choose to take that on internally, with other vendors, or stick with Microsoft. That's one of the beauties of free software.

"You may still have to pay for support, but you can shop around without arbitrary restrictions, and you're not paying for just a licence."

Certainly, anyone who has had to explain to a bean counter that Linux is free but those who look after it – internally or externally – still expect to be paid will know that there is always a cost somewhere down the line.

We put it to Farough that other obsolete software in the Office or Server lines might also benefit from the open source wand. He agreed, but said the focus was on Windows 7 due to "headlines we're seeing about users feeling left in the lurch by the EOL".


Farough told us that the FSF usually gives Microsoft stick "for their proprietary software", but since the giant had "been talking so much about how they now support free software (they usually say 'open source' or 'Linux'), we think they should take this opportunity to do the right thing."

Freeing the software, he reckoned, would mean it would stay alive as long as someone could be bothered to maintain the thing. "Intentionally killing Windows [7] off," he said, "is irresponsible and even disrespectful to the many people who have spent so much time using and developing it."

While those who developed it (Microsoft) would dearly like to see the back of it, Farough has a point regarding those used to its familiar Aero desktop. A good portion of users remain on the platform unable or unwilling to upgrade or pay for extended support.

"We do already have our own operating system, GNU/Linux, so we don't *need* Windows 7," Farough said, but added the FSF would be happy to shepherd Microsoft through the wilds of open-source licenceland (and all the monsters within).

"As the FSF is the caretaker of the GPL, we feel confident in our ability to assist them."

We asked Microsoft if it had any more thoughts now that the petition had passed its target but the company declined to comment.

And the target? Far be it from us to suggest it might have been a little on the low side, but more people signed a petition to sort out the roads in the UK county of Surrey. Or ban the sale of fireworks to the clearly untrustworthy British public.


To be frank, Satan is more likely to caught riding a snowplough before that source is made free. Certainly in the near to medium term. In the meantime, if Windows 10 is out of the question and you're reluctant to pay Apple's idiot tax, then perhaps a look a modern Linux distribution will be enough to scratch that free software itch.

The world has, after all, moved on a bit in the decade since Windows 7 was new. ®
I mean, it's never going to happen but might as well sign it.
I would have settled for XP!

 

Coolio55

DON'T CALL LUIGI AT 3AM!! *OMG HE RICKROLLED ME*
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Hopefully React OS will be a viable alternative to Windows in the future:
Apparently the kernel devs think that it's based on leaked code though due to symbol parity.

 

Comandante Marcos

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Linux Mint is 100% free and open source. The core Linux kernel is robust enough to run on fucking SUPERCOMPUTERS FFS, not to mention 9 out of 10 servers on the entire fucking internet. Simply download and install Linux, bingo problem solved. If there are people who are autistic enough to want Windows to be free, they can share cracked versions on warez locker sites and leave normal people to Linux. Fuck, NTOSKRNL underlying code is what, 27 years old or so now, and hasn't really been updated much? NTOSKRNL is basically a mash of addon code that has been tacked on over the years because it would be literally impossible to code a new kernel. At least Linux has a real developer core. Don't be a fucking exceptional individual, just use Linux.
 

Calooby

Registered Black Person
True & Honest Fan
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Linux Mint is 100% free and open source. The core Linux kernel is robust enough to run on fucking SUPERCOMPUTERS FFS, not to mention 9 out of 10 servers on the entire fucking internet. Simply download and install Linux, bingo problem solved. If there are people who are autistic enough to want Windows to be free, they can share cracked versions on warez locker sites and leave normal people to Linux. Fuck, NTOSKRNL underlying code is what, 27 years old or so now, and hasn't really been updated much? NTOSKRNL is basically a mash of addon code that has been tacked on over the years because it would be literally impossible to code a new kernel. At least Linux has a real developer core. Don't be a fucking exceptional individual, just use Linux.
While I absolutely adore Linux, as a Manjaro user, and as someone who's tried several different distros over I'd say the last decade, I disagree with this. Wine is fantastic, and VMs are nice, but they will never be 100% compatible with everything designed for Windows. I have hardware and software that requires certain hardware that no matter what you do, simply will not run in Linux.

That being said I would KILL for Windows 9x to be open sourced. It doesn't even use NT yet afaik and it still has a lot of reliance on DOS. It's missing several features that makes modern Windows operate the way it does. I would love to see a 64-bit version of Windows 9x with the ability to support modern hardware and be able to allocate more than 1.5GB of RAM without it failing to boot as a result.
 

Coolio55

DON'T CALL LUIGI AT 3AM!! *OMG HE RICKROLLED ME*
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While I absolutely adore Linux, as a Manjaro user, and as someone who's tried several different distros over I'd say the last decade, I disagree with this. Wine is fantastic, and VMs are nice, but they will never be 100% compatible with everything designed for Windows. I have hardware and software that requires certain hardware that no matter what you do, simply will not run in Linux.

That being said I would KILL for Windows 9x to be open sourced. It doesn't even use NT yet afaik and it still has a lot of reliance on DOS. It's missing several features that makes modern Windows operate the way it does. I would love to see a 64-bit version of Windows 9x with the ability to support modern hardware and be able to allocate more than 1.5GB of RAM without it failing to boot as a result.
I don't think a 64 bit win9x is even possible due to it's reliance on real-mode which isn't present in 64-bit cpus. Tons of drivers would have to be completely re-written.
 

GethN7

True & Honest Fan
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It would be fun to have an entire Windows OS, no matter what, thrown open to the open-source community, but I seriously doubt Microsoft can allow it except under incredibly strict limits.

Windows is the ultimate case of "eating your own dog food". Every version of Windows has literally built upon what earlier versions did. Even when they had the 9.x and NT lines separate, they merged in a lot of the better parts of 9.x into XP when they unified the two production lines together.

To make any one version of Windows open source would be to open up massive security holes in the black box of Windows source code in its entirety, and I doubt Microsoft would be willing to risk that.
 

OwO What's This?

𝑖𝑡'𝑠 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑛, ℎ𝑜𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑡
True & Honest Fan
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at this point Microsoft is up for open sourcing everything except for their kernel. that's their bread and butter, it's what makes Windows Server even worth considering

the only reason people think Windows 7 spies on you any less than Windows 10 is because MS included an option to send less telemetry than normal, which is ironic as hell

granted, it's much easier in Windows 7 to disable telemetry than in Windows 10, but most people don't even realize Windows 7 is sending telemetry in the first place
 

Piss Clam

Squeeze me.
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They wouldn't be able to get MS to open source Windows NT, let alone anything more modern. To my understanding the source code for even modern windows has a lot of stuff left over from the earliest versions of windows.
Nope. The kernel from WinNT and Windows 95 (etc) are entirely different. If you work for companies such as SAIC you have access to the source code, the rest of us have to just hack shit. Though they have opened it up over the past years. Defining shit like NtOpenFile(...)/ZwOpenFile(...) etc.

 
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GethN7

True & Honest Fan
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Nope. The kernel from WinNT and Windows 95 (etc) are entirely different. If you work for companies such as SAIC you have access to the source code, the rest of us have to just hack shit. Though they have opened it up over the past years. Defining shit like NtOpenFile(...)/ZwOpenFile(...) etc.

This is entirely accurate.

The kernel of Windows 9.x has material dating back to the earliest days of DOS, while the NT kernel is a spinoff based on the failed IBM/Microsoft OS/2 collaboration.

The two kernels don't share the same root at all, though a lot of the features of 9.x were eventually backported into the NT line later on.
 

Piss Clam

Squeeze me.
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Don't be too harsh on OS/2 I use to code with TopSpeed (modula-2) on it and VisualAge C++.

There weren't many alternatives, I mean you had SCO and that was it. There was no linux at the time.

The Filesystem was shit...I can't tell you how many times chkdsk wrecked the FS or even just simple power outage would can your OS/2 system, but meh it was better than SCO.

 
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