GLORIOUS BENEFACTOR Microsoft has released MS-DOS to the open source. Again.
This time, the tech giant, famed for its generosity of spirit providing that there's no inherent, valuable IP involved, has released the source code for the code that makes aged code Microsoft aged code, on its new Madonnaesque Malawian adopted child GitHub.
Why are they doing this? Well, we'll let them explain:
"Why? Because it's much easier to find, read, and refer to MS-DOS source files if they're in a GitHub repo than in the original downloadable compressed archive file."
Oh yeah. That. Well, we for one can't wait to start fiddling about with it, forking it, experimenting with it and making it bet…
"Important: As noted on the repo readme, the source files are being (re)published for historical reference purposes and to allow exploration and experimentation for those interested in early PC Operating Systems. The source will be kept static, so please don't send Pull Requests suggesting any modifications to the source files!"
Ahhhh fu… nction key…
OK. So back to the original question. Why are they doing this?
Apparently, it's so we can "Enjoy exploring the initial foundations of a family of operating systems that helped fuel the explosion of computer technology that we all rely upon for so much of our modern lives!"
Uh. OK. Well, it's kind of cool, but is it really open source if you can't actually fiddle with it? That's just like "open look at the code" isn't it?
This isn't the first time that Microsoft has almost open-sourced MS-DOS. In 2014, the Computer History Museum in California (that's in America) took on the source code from MS-DOS 1.25 and 2.0, dating from the early eighties and the geek nation rejoiced.
For us, this sends a slightly passive-aggressive message to the people who are concerned about Github's acquisition by Microsoft. It's not so much "look but don't touch" as "touch but don't fiddle", which for curious minds is not ideal.
In fact on the scale of "being Microsoft about it", this might be one of the most Microsoft things that Microsoft has ever done. μ
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