Skip to comments.Petition asking Microsoft to open-source Windows 7 sails past 7,777-signature goal
Posted on 01/29/2020 2:30:33 PM PST by dayglored
The Free Software Foundation really set the bar high there
Good news everybody! The Free Software Foundation has blown through its self-imposed target of 7,777 signatories in its efforts to persuade Microsoft to make Windows 7 open source.
We noted last week the GNU-gang's attempt to coax the born-again open-sourcerer formerly known as "The Beast Of Redmond" into making a surprise deposit into GitHub.
The thinking was that since Windows 7 has now come to the end of the road, as far as free security updates are concerned, then perhaps Microsoft might release it as open software?
We put it to the Free Software Foundation that it might be more complicated than that after all, Windows 7 contains all manner of codecs and the like licensed from third parties, as well as code licensed back to those same customers.
The FSF's Greg Farough told us: "We want all software to be free software." The clue, after all, is in the name. "But Microsoft freeing just the operating system itself would satisfy our demand here."
But what of those enterprises that have already paid for support? Should Microsoft start lobbing out refunds or fork the freshly open-sourced code base?
"Enterprises wouldn't be paying for a licence anymore," explained Farough, "but they would still need support."
With what we imagine is the starry-eyed glint of a true believer, he added: "They could either choose to take that on internally, with other vendors, or stick with Microsoft. That's one of the beauties of free software.
"You may still have to pay for support, but you can shop around without arbitrary restrictions, and you're not paying for just a licence."
Certainly, anyone who has had to explain to a bean counter that Linux is free but those who look after it internally or externally still expect to be paid will know that there is always a cost somewhere down the line.
We put it to Farough that other obsolete software in the Office or Server lines might also benefit from the open source wand. He agreed, but said the focus was on Windows 7 due to "headlines we're seeing about users feeling left in the lurch by the EOL".
Farough told us that the FSF usually gives Microsoft stick "for their proprietary software", but since the giant had "been talking so much about how they now support free software (they usually say 'open source' or 'Linux'), we think they should take this opportunity to do the right thing."
Freeing the software, he reckoned, would mean it would stay alive as long as someone could be bothered to maintain the thing. "Intentionally killing Windows  off," he said, "is irresponsible and even disrespectful to the many people who have spent so much time using and developing it."
While those who developed it (Microsoft) would dearly like to see the back of it, Farough has a point regarding those used to its familiar Aero desktop. A good portion of users remain on the platform unable or unwilling to upgrade or pay for extended support.
"We do already have our own operating system, GNU/Linux, so we don't *need* Windows 7," Farough said, but added the FSF would be happy to shepherd Microsoft through the wilds of open-source licenceland (and all the monsters within).
"As the FSF is the caretaker of the GPL, we feel confident in our ability to assist them."
We asked Microsoft if it had any more thoughts now that the petition had passed its target but the company declined to comment.
And the target? Far be it from us to suggest it might have been a little on the low side, but more people signed a petition to sort out the roads in the UK county of Surrey. Or ban the sale of fireworks to the clearly untrustworthy British public.
To be frank, Satan is more likely to caught riding a snowplough before that source is made free. Certainly in the near to medium term. In the meantime, if Windows 10 is out of the question and you're reluctant to pay Apple's idiot tax, then perhaps a look a modern Linux distribution will be enough to scratch that free software itch.
The world has, after all, moved on a bit in the decade since Windows 7 was new. ®
Its obviously only symbolic, and 77,777 while they would get there eventually, would take a longer time. This wasnt meant to be taken entirely seriously, after all.
MS will continue supporting it for security patches for a while, but only to high-paying, high-volume business clients with existing licenses. And even that is extremely expensive and will disappear in a couple years.
Or have you been living under a rock? Windows 7 has been Not-For-Sale for years, except through unofficial third parties and dodgy websites.
Apple does what Microsoft -used- to do. They issue patches from time to time, mostly irregularly, when required by discovery of a new vulnerability.
Microsoft used to do that, but the much higher rate of vulnerabilities and thus patches for Windows (compared to MacOS) drove Windows datacenter and business IT managers crazy, because they have to roll out those patches after testing, to hundreds or thousands of client machines. Its impossible to do that irregularly, so Microsoft finally got pushed to do monthly patch releases (hence, Patch Tuesday, the second Tues of each month). Each Patch Tuesday typically has between half a dozen and 2 dozen patches rolled up into it.
Linux distros issue updates to their packages constantly, so its up to the user (or IT manager) to decide when to update their machines. Everything is in the open, no secrets, so its easier to manage piecemeal.
German Government Paying Microsoft Nearly $900,000 for Extended Windows 7 Support
Get a mobo that’s compatible with Win 7, and figure out the minimum number of drivers that you need. I’m running a Ryzen 5 with Win 7; it was kind of a pain, but there are sources online you can check to see how to do it.
Yeah, not. Microshaft would never sell another copy of Windows.
Hey DGR, I found a CD I made umpteen years back that has Windows ME with all the updates. I think it was one of those platforms that didn’t require any interaction with Microsoft to activate, just the key I wrote on the case. Do you think it’s young enough to handle most of the current environment without extensive modifications? Not games, just seeing the internet and performing basic interactions.
And thanks for staying on top of stuff - your past postings have saved me time.
Not gonna work, in general, and highly unsafe.
WinME was the last of the MS-DOS family of Windows releases. The programs that are written for the NT family of Windows generally wont run on the MS-DOS family releases.
MS-DOS family (major releases): 1.0, 2.0, 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, 98SE, ME.
NT family (major releases): NT3.1, NT3.5, NT4.0, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10.
The reason it probably wouldnt work for you is that the two families are generally incompatible, and programs that are written for the NT family almost never work on the MS-DOS family.
The reason its highly unsafe is that the MS-DOS family releases were never designed for security. They are wildly, insanely, insecure. They are terribly unprotected against virtually everything.
Finally, WinME was the last member of the MS-DOS family, and was designed to fail. It was intended to drive users away from the MS-DOS family and into the NT family. And it was so bad, that strategy worked.
The only thing anyone should use an MS-DOS family release for, these days, is an ancient but beloved program that wont run on the NT family releases, and then ONLY if the computer is NOT connected to the internet.
I've installed Linux Mint 19.3 on my other computer. What a long strange trip it is as my ability to learn has apparently shrunk with age (yeah, yeah...that's what HE said). But we're getting there with all the support it has. We now return to the normal channel...
H&R Block is running fine on my Windows 7 laptop...
Theyre not alone, either. Lots of businesses would rather stay with Win7 and pony up $200+ per computer per year, rather than suffer the higher cost of converting to Win10. If your business has 5,000 computers, all running Win7, it makes economic sense to spend $1M/year for support, rather than probably 10 times that much to upgrade the computers, rewrite your custom applications, and retrain all your users.
“Apple does what Microsoft -used- to do.”
I’ve never understood why the networking software seems to have so many security holes. Something’s wrong with the basic design it seem to me. Perhaps its because to get certain desirable features, there’s a byproduct of security holes. If that’s the case then the security holes are in there by design.
An invasion of your computer consists of an outsider injecting executable code in you computer and having it executed. It is simple for the operating system to recognize incoming data that is intended to be executed.
Its execution should be denied unless permission is granted by the user.
Come to think of it, there’s no telling what’s in the various software updates we get, even from Microsoft. Oh those rooms full of programmers, none of whom sees the total picture, trying to get stuff out on time.
win 7: Bring your own support. Win anything, as well.
Lazy company. Buy an Apple. (I have used MS garbage for 26 years. Learned everything I needed right here)
If you can’t provide your own third parties’ support, buy an Apple.
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