Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
In a shocking move that has stood the entire tech world on its head, Microsoft announced on April 1, 2011 that it will open up the source code to Windows. It will heretofore be licensed under the GPL. Will pigs fly next?
In the open source community many are doubting Microsoft's intentions in open sourcing their crown jewel. They frankly don't know what they will do with themselves without Microsoft to vilify .
Steve Ballmer in announcing the bold move said that Microsoft finally realized trying to enforce licensing against pirated copies of Windows used in many parts of the world was just a losing proposition. Also the constant battles with the Linux community, while Apple was outflanking them on new platforms, was sapping the company of creativity and energy. Ballmer said this about the competition from the open source community, "if you can't beat'em, join'em".
The open source licensing applies only to Windows, not Windows mobile or X-box or other Microsoft software.