Open Source for OS Lite?


In Ask Paul y asked Paul what he thought Microsoft’s next bombshell announcement may be. He thoughtfully offered Windows. That woould indeed be game-changing!

AnOldAmigaUser expressed the potential security challenges of open-sourcing Windows. Heck, even Paul says that the magnitude of doing this would be well nigh impossible. I agree.

But this got me thinking: what is Microsoft were to open source their rumored OS Lite? It won’t be called Windows and will be substantially scaled back. Would that be more of a possibility?

Paul or Brad, would you have any information about this?

Comments (11)

11 responses to “Open Source for OS Lite?”

  1. longhorn

    Microsoft contributes to many open source projects. I don't think Microsoft starts its own open source projects. Now is a golden opportunity to open source the EdgeHTML rendering engine. I think the Web could benefit from it. I bet Microsoft will let it die instead, because that is what they usually do.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to longhorn:

      I'm not an expert on this but .NET Core is an original Microsoft open source project. And the company has made various existing products, like WinForms and WPF open source.

      • christian.hvid

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Also, the days are over when open-sourcing legacy code was just an euphemism for putting it out to pasture. Microsoft takes open-sourcing pretty seriously these days and won't do it unless they feel it brings something of value to the community. And EdgeHTML obviously doesn't.

  2. maethorechannen

    If they're moving to Chromium, they might be better off with a Microsoftised version of ChromiumOS instead.

  3. ggolcher

    Hmm, what if it is a Linux-based OS? It would seem like heresy one week ago, but after that shift, it's all possible.

    • maethorechannen

      In reply to ggolcher:

      They've already released at least one Linux based OS- Azure Sphere, And I could have sworn they also released a Linux based OS for some networking equipment a couple years ago.

      Even if I'm wrong on the second one, I don't think it's heresy anymore.

  4. Paul Thurrott

    I don't have any info about that, but one has to wonder about this product given the move to Chromium. The timing is unclear, of course. And for the next year or more, we'll see both EdgeHTML and Chromium/Blink in Windows 10. So ... It's hard to say.

    But ... why not? If you buy into the theory that there is a sizable audience that would like "Chrome without the Google tracking," then perhaps there's one for a Chromebook-type system with the same rationale.

    • ggolcher

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      Thank you for you reply!

      You seem skeptical of the theory that there is actually a sizeable audience for just "Chrome without the Google tracking". If so, I agree. That same folly sunk Zune, Windows Phone, Band, etc., superior products that differentiated very little when the alternatives were good enough for the masses and backed by brands they trusted.

      If such a product were to happen, I hope they do something unique and value-adding. Otherwise we''ll be having yet-another-example of a Microsoft dumpster fire platform.

      Oh, and that happens to Microsoft in the consumer market. For some reason they are able to get away with fast-following in the enterprise market very successfully (Teams, Azure, etc.).

  5. lordbaal1

    I want Widows Phone OS on a 8-10 inch tablet.

  6. Jhambi

    I like that windows is not another *nix variant. It would be neat if they pulled singularity out of the bin

  7. Tony Barrett

    Instead of ChromeOS with Google tracking, you'd actually end up with LiteOS (or whatever), with Microsoft tracking. Would it really be any better, considering how much telemetry MS suck up from Windows 10?