Windows 7 Source Code To Become Open Source For Better Development Of Security Updates After End Of Life?

Windows 7 crossed its End of Life Support date about a month ago. Since then, 0Patch has come forth with a micro-patch for a security vulnerability. In fact, even Microsoft sent out a patch to address an issue the company caused through the last official security update. However, with the operating system still currently running on millions of computers, there has been an increasingly vocal demand about making Windows 7 Source Code as Open Source. This would allow third-party software vendors and security companies to better develop solutions for the now obsolete operating system.

Even though Windows 7 has reached the end-of-life, the OS is still used by millions around the world. While the actual numbers vary, about 12 to 14 percent of computers are still actively running Windows 7. This is despite the fact that Microsoft has confirmed that it won’t send out any security patches even if new vulnerabilities are discovered. Hence, independent developers and several groups have now begun to ask Microsoft to make Windows 7 Source Code as Open Source.

Free Software Foundation Sends Petition To Make Windows 7 Source Code As Open Source And A hard Drive To Copy The Same:

After Microsoft ended support for Windows 7, several groups have been asking the company to release the source code of the operating system to allow independent developers to work and provide support to the existing users. Interestingly, there has been an online petition that demands Microsoft open-source Windows 7. The petition recently closed with more than 13,000 signatures.

Free Software Foundation sent Microsoft a copy of the petition. Included in the package was an empty hard disk 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. The foundation has also confirmed it would help Microsoft with the transfer of the Windows 7 Source Code. Their letter reads as follows:

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

Will Microsoft Open Source Windows 7 Source Code?

Microsoft has undergone a significant shift in the perception of Open Source software. It has openly embraced Linux. Moreover, the company has been an active supporter of the GitHub platform. Hence, sharing the Source Code for Windows 7 would be a great opportunity for the company to show how much they care about open source. However, it is highly unlikely that Microsoft will just hand over the source code to one of the most popular and widely used operating systems.

Windows 7 is still running on millions of computers. This is inherently risky. Although Microsoft has officially ended free support for Windows 7, it does have the Extended Security Updates or Windows 7 ESU Program. The company’s paid program does allow a vast number of Windows 7 machines to receive security updates, at least for the next three years.

The Windows 7 ESU program is rather expensive, and it excludes Windows 7 Home. Simply put, Microsoft is believed to be making a decent amount of money from sending out security updates to Windows 7 after the End of Support life of the operating system.

However, there is one another important reason why Microsoft will not comply with the petition asking to Open Source Windows 7 Source Code. Microsoft still uses pieces of Windows 7 codes within Windows 10, and hence it would risky for the company to reveal the source code of those components.

Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.