There are words that can have different meanings depending on who uses them. A few years ago in a Disney Channel series the protagonists installed a virus for using "open source software." This was not a campaign orchestrated by proprietary software companies. The writers mistook open source for freeware and thought they were talking about any program available for free on the Internet.
I remembered this, because Satya Nadella, the president of Microsoft just told him to the Wall Street Journal that Windows 11 claims to be the center of "an open technology ecosystem." Should we understand that anyone will be able to review, modify or redistribute the code. No not at all.
Microsoft's open concept
In a video conference report with the Wall Street Journal, Nadella said that while Google (Chrome OS and Android) and Apple drag users to increasingly closed platforms, Windows bets on users who want freedom to decide what they use, pretending to be the most open ecosystem that exists (In case you're wondering, he said it without laughing.)
For Nadella, an open ecosystem is one that can interact with another, for example connecting the phone to the computer using the latter to connect with other phones or computers. It also talks about Windows' ability to run various types of applications, including:
- Native applications.
- Progressive web applications.
- Android applications.
When the Wall Street Journal reporter asks him about the differences between the new Windows model and Apple's, Nadella replies thate is the user's ability to choose other app stores. He also points out that although Windows 11 will have its own collaborative platform (Microsoft Teams) integrated, it will in no way block competitors such as Zoom or Slack.
Our open concept
For some reason, the first thing I thought when I saw the 7 minutes of the report is that since they are so open to other platforms, they might as well enable support for Ext4. It would be great to be able to see the files on the Linux home partition in Windows Explorer and not have to save them to the cloud. Yes, I know there are programs. But, since they are going to open up to other platforms, they could well inhabit it natively.
Moreover, beyond the possibility of installing Android applications (None other than from the store Amazon, a company whose monopolistic practices are being questioned) there is nothing new, except the expansion of the application formats that can be uploaded to the official store (From which almost nobody downloaded anything). One could already install Zoom or Google Meet and disable Skype (In the future replaced by Teams) An opening sample would be to let you choose which browser, video conferencing client, cloud storage service or app store to use during installation).
This whole opening up thing is to escape scrutiny from regulators who have already set their sights on Apple, Google and Amazon.
Nor is the obligation to have a TPM chip that is not usually included in most motherboards a good sign of "openness".. According to our survey, its price on the buying portals shows a tendency to rise.
Let us remember that according to the Open Source Initiative, the concept of open applied to software must meet the following requirements:
- You cannot put any kind of restrictions on free distribution. One of the functions of the damn TPM chip is to prevent piracy.
- The source code must be accessible.
- The license must allow modifications and derivative works. Ever dreamed of making your own Windows? Well, they can't.
- No person can be prevented from using the program for any reason. For example, for living in Cuba or not paying the license.
- The right to use a program cannot be subject to use in conjunction with other programs or a specific technology. Like a TPM chip for example?