Microsoft Windows in OpenSource Community

Microsoft Windows in OpenSource Community

Microsoft took an enormous step forward this morning. It unveiled a free version of its Windows operating system.

Revealed at the company’s annual software developer conference in San Francisco, this new OS is called Windows for Internet of Things, and Microsoft will license it for free when hardware makers use the software on devices with screens smaller than nine inches. The door is still open for the company to charge Windows licensing fees for PCs, tablets, and other larger devices, but Microsoft will compete head-on with Android - Google’s free mobile operating system - on smartphones and wearables.

This is a great move by the Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. This move could really bring down the android market for sure. Android is on top of the mobile world just because of its open source licenses.

Thank God that Microsoft has finnaly believed in Open Sourcing.

It’s a big, bold move, but it’s one that Microsoft needed to make.

Presumably, Windows for Internet of Things will use the same code base as Windows Phone 8, and Microsoft says it will only run mobile apps, not desktop software. The company also announced a new system for building applications that can run on both Windows and Windows Phone as well as XBoxes. So there could be ways of bridging that gap. It’s not clear whether home users and independent developers - and not just commercial hardware makers - will be able to download and install the new operating system on their own devices.

There was no talk about open sourcing the Windows code base, a la Android. That means serious hackers can’t get into the guts of the operating system - and ensure the code is sound and secure - and it probably means that this new version of Windows won’t spread nearly as far or as fast as Android. But the move does show that Microsoft is serious about competing in the mobile market, and that the company is slowly shifting its business strategy, so that it relies more on revenue from cloud services instead of OS licensing. In other words, it’s transforming itself into a company that operates more like Google.

Convincing people to buy from Microsoft and not one of its myriad competitors will be a challenge in itself. But at least Microsoft realizes what it has to do.

Hats off to Microsoft for this terrific move.


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