Is it time to open source Microsoft Windows?

Given the importance of the Microsoft Windows platform in global IT, perhaps it is time for Windows to be opened up and made open source. Indeed, while some may consider such a move unthinkable, a number of benefits could be had from it, for both Microsoft and the global IT world.

The Windows operating system (OS) has grown to be a major 'beast' - one that brings as much headache as joy to Microsoft. Yes, it is the mainstay of its monopoly of the desktop and a key platform on which revenue-earning products are based, but as each new client OS release delivers diminishing returns (feature-wise), the rush to buy the latest version is not what it was. The sheer size of the OS, necessary to maintain backwards compatibility as well as add novel features, requires a major resource effort. So, it is more the products that follow the OS than the OS itself that benefit Microsoft the most.