If you happen to believe that Microsoft could never open source one of its operating systems, think again.
No it’s not Windows (but hey try ReactOS, it’s not bad). A Microsoft Research backed operating system called Barrelfish is now available under an open source BSD license.
Barrelfish is a joint collaboration between Microsoft Research and ETH Zurich, which is a science and technology university. The partners have been working on Barrelfish since October of 2007.
The code is now being made available as Barrelfish is going to be talked about at an upcoming conference and the researchers wanted other researchers to be able to see and experience what Barrelfish is all about.
is intended as a vehicle for exploring ideas about the structure of
operating systems for hardware of the future,” the Barrelfish FAQ states. “We anticipate the main
challenges for operating systems will be scalability as the number of
cores increases, and in dealing with processor and system
heterogeneity. We have proposed a radically different way of
structuring an operating system to address these challenges.”
So just to recap here. Microsoft is using an open source license to help it test out and validate a next generation operating system.