- Neither Microsoft in general, no Bill Gates are stupid. They are very much profit oriented. Whatever makes them more money, they’ll go for it.
- Windows is not the only source of income for Microsoft – they make plenty of other software (office applications and games for example), hardware (game console anyone?), and services (web in particular).
- Every new version of Windows increases Microsoft’s costs with backward compatibility, testing, troubleshooting, etc by a lot. These things can be easily outsourced to the community. Money saving.
- There is plenty of third-party software in Windows. Pushing the system open source is a good chance of brushing it up and doing some refactoring. As Matt said in one of the comments to his own post “If Sun can do it with Java, Microsoft can do it with Windows.”. Agreed.
- Operating system per se becomes more of a commodity thing. OS wars are in the past. Of course, OS is an important part of software industry, but for more and more end users, the browser is the operating system.
- The mobile industry is growing as fast as ever, with the whole variety of new devices, applications, trends and ideas. That’s a huge money pie, where open sourcing again makes a lot of sense.
- Google is hiring all the good people and allows them to work on their projects for 20% of their time. With Windows being closed source, there is no way for Microsoft to exploit that resource. :)
These are just a few. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense.
What do you think?