Hard Drive Delivered to Microsoft HQ to Copy Windows 7 Source Code – Company Asked to Open Source Windows 7 to Prove It’s Not Fooling Its Users

Feb 18, 2020
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Windows 7 hit its end of service deadline on January 14 and things have since got interesting. From free Windows 10 upgrade offer that was supposed to have expired back in 2016 to people demanding Microsoft to open source the operating system, who knew pulling the plug would end up giving Windows 7 even more life.

We reported a few weeks back that the Free Software Foundation along with some other groups were asking Microsoft to open source Windows 7 to "undo past wrongs." The Foundation has now delivered a hard drive to Microsoft asking the company to copy the source code and give it a license note to prove that "they really do love free software."

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Here's the complete statement (via MSPU; emphasis is ours)

This afternoon [Feb, 13] we will be mailing an upcycled hard drive along with the signatures to Microsoft’s corporate offices. It’s as easy as copying the source code, giving it a license notice, and mailing it back to us. As the author of the most popular free software license in the world, we’re ready to give them all of the help we can. All they have to do is ask.

We want them to show exactly how much love they have for the “open source” software they mention in their advertising. If they really do love free software - and we’re willing to give them the benefit of the doubt - they have the opportunity to show it to the world. We hope they’re not just capitalizing on the free software development model in the most superficial and exploitative way possible: by using it as a marketing tool to fool us into thinking that they care about our freedom.

Together, we’ve stood up for our principles. They can reject us, or ignore us, but what they cannot do is stop us. We’ll go on campaigning, until all of us are free.

Microsoft may be using the free software model as a marketing strategy, but the company cannot just open source an operating system that continues to power 1 in every 4 computers in the world. The company has also reused some of the code in Windows 10, making things even more tricky.

The FSF does seem to realise this, adding in its statement that its campaign has been called "quixotic and even 'completely delusional'," however, it says that there are people who "have recognized the "pragmatic idealism" that is at the core of the FSF's message." The Foundation says that it wants "all software to be free software," including every operating system.

Well, Microsoft did come around the Linux issue, so who knows...

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