Microsoft Should Release Windows 7 as Free Software to “Undo Past Wrongs,” FSF Says 

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End of an era, but 1 in 4 computers are still running Windows 7

Windows 7 reached its end of life on January 14, which means Microsoft will only be sending updates to paying customers. Users have been advised to upgrade to Windows 10 to avoid security issues. But, there are some who believe Microsoft should open source the operating system.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has said that users can continue receiving updates if Microsoft open sources the operating system enabling the community to maintain it.

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"Microsoft's support of Windows 7 is over, but its life doesn't have to end. We call on Microsoft to upcycle it instead," the Foundation wrote. FSF then goes on to add that this is how Microsoft can get the redemption for its "past wrongs."

On January 14th, Windows 7 reached its official "end-of-life," bringing an end to its updates as well as its ten years of poisoning education, invading privacy, and threatening user security. The end of Windows 7's lifecycle gives Microsoft the perfect opportunity to undo past wrongs, and to upcycle it instead.

The organization suggests that the Windows maker should give access to the community just like it did with some core Windows utilities. "Microsoft has nothing to lose by liberating a version of their operating system that they themselves say has 'reached its end'," the organization added.

The Foundation has made the following requests:

To the executives at Microsoft:

  • We demand that Windows 7 be released as free software. Its life doesn't have to end. Give it to the community to study, modify, and share.
  • We urge you to respect the freedom and privacy of your users - not simply strongarm them into the newest Windows version.
  • We want more proof that you really respect users and user freedom, and aren't just using those concepts as marketing when convenient.

Considering security and code-sharing with new software, Microsoft open sourcing Windows 7 isn't going to happen. The company hasn't even responded to the petition yet, but if you do believe there is a chance and want to be a part of this push, you can head over to this link to sign the petition.

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