If Windows Goes Open Source: Page 2

The possibility of an open source Windows OS has big ramifications for Linux users.
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Windows 10 will be automatically installed on existing Windows computers for free. This alone only serves to further lock people into Microsoft's ecosystem.

Windows 10 will likely be released onto hardware designed for Windows 10, exclusively. Want to run Linux? Too bad, better find another vendor as you could potentially be out of luck in your quest to save a few bucks if you buy a Windows 10 computer.

And how is the community bracing for this issue? We're whining about systemd vs init solutions, or beating our chests as to why distributions based on a distro are just copycats of more established distros.

Folks, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee. No longer is this a matter of adoption stagnation – this potentially could affect our ability to install Linux on off-the-shelf computers in the years to come. It will still be doable, but only if you're smart enough to buy from vendors who won't lock-down their computers.

In years past, I've scoffed each time Microsoft released a new release of Windows. I'll have a good laugh at the 101 versions they come out up with, or how legacy hardware is once again treated like a second-class citizen. Because peripheral vendor support for Windows is only as good as the recent Windows release. But not this time. This time Microsoft is coming out of the gate in a whirlwind of fists and elbows and we're asleep at the wheel.

Windows 11 and forward

In the coming years, I do believe Microsoft Windows will be open source. Not with a license designed to benefit the computing community, but instead with one designed to provide a strong public relations position within the public eye.

Think about it – what are the three hottest things going on right now in computing? Open source code, containers and cloud computing. At the time of this article, Microsoft is entrenching their position into both containers and cloud computing. The final nail will be Windows running with an open source license of Microsoft's own creation.

Even if vendors decide to allow us to choose what operating systems we install on their systems, Windows 10 being offered for free remains a threat.

Over the years, I've found that my intuitions on subjects relating to technology tend to be painfully accurate. My hunch is that this time is no exception – now more than ever, we need to be very wary of whom we choose to buy our computers from. Buying from vendors who have a slated history in slighting Linux on the desktop at every opportune moment need to be avoided.

Some of you will undoubtedly equate my concerns to Don Quixote chasing windmills. Others will see what I see and are in a position to join me to get the word out. Microsoft is aiming straight for the Linux desktop market. While secure boot is currently semi-supported on popular distros right now, who knows what this will look like come Windows 10, with participating vendors, going forward.

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Tags: open source, Linux, Windows

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