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On January 14, Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows 7 closing the chapter on what was one of the most popular Operating Systems in the world. Even though Windows 7 has reached the end-of-life, the OS is still used by millions around the world.
Ever since Microsoft decided to end the support for Windows 7, several groups have been asking the company to release the source code of Windows 7 to allow to independent developers to work and provide support to the existing users. A couple of weeks back, we reported about an online petition demanding Microsoft open-source Windows 7. The petition was penned by Greg Farough, Campaigns Manager at the Free Software Foundation. The petition gained a lot of traction from Windows 7 fans and it had more than 13,000 signatures. Now that the petition has closed, Free Software Foundation has sent the signatures along with an empty hard drive. The foundation wants Microsoft to copy the source code of Windows 7 along with the license notice on to the drive and send it back. Not only that, but the foundation has also offered Microsoft to help with the transfer of the code.
This afternoon 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.
– Free Software Foundation
While honouring the request would be a great opportunity for Microsoft to show how much they care about open source, we don’t expect Microsoft to respond. Microsoft has been selling Windows 7 ESU to organizations and the company is making decent money from it.
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.
– Free Software Foundation
Moreover, Microsoft still uses pieces of Windows 7 codes on Windows 10 so it will be a bit risky for the company to reveal the source code of those components.