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Surprise: Microsoft is open to an open source Windows… at least, in theory

Published Apr 3rd, 2015 8:00PM EDT
Microsoft Windows Open Source Software
Image: Microsoft

Nadella’s Microsoft is more exciting than ever, with impressive Windows 10 features even some other software solutions specifically tailored for rival operating systems. On top of that, Microsoft is making more of its own hardware, including the Xbox One, Surface tablets and Windows Phones. What could Microsoft add to make things even more exciting? An open source version of Windows.

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Sure, it seems like a wild dream for developers, but InfoWorld says the company is no longer opposed to the idea of open source software. Microsoft’s CTO for the Azure cloud platform Mark Russinovich said at the Chef Conf 2015 conference that open source is “no longer taboo” at Redmond, and that Linux accounts for 20% of virtual machines deployed on Azure.

When asked if Windows itself might one day become open source, Russinovich said that “it’s definitely possible. Like I said, it’s a new Microsoft.”

That doesn’t mean you should expect Windows to go open source any time soon, and the company might simply be hunting for even more good publicity ahead of its major software releases coming later this year. But, at the same time, this is one more sign that Microsoft has a completely new leader who’s not afraid to have a different, more exciting business vision than his predecessors.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.