I think noah dodged the point a bit that the caller made, in that windows 7 must contain bits that windows 10 has,so open sourcing windows 7 isn’t really a viable option for Microsoft. So I don’t think it’s really fair to say its something they could do but won’t out of spite. If they’re not open sourcing windows 10,then surely they just can’t open source windows 7?
If windows 7 was open and community maintained then would there be an incentive to upgrade to windows 10? Microsoft would be competing against themselves.
I can see that perspective but, I can also see viewpoint that if MS open sourced windows 7 then, people would still go to windows 10 if MS is actually adding value in their development of windows 10 (i.e. if they are actually making windows 10 better). For the parts that windows 7 shares with windows 10, they could release windows 10 as ‘open core’ and still keep the new functionality of windows 10 on lock down. By releasing windows 7 as open source and windows 10 as ‘open core’ they could sound modern, get help improving their core code base and security, and win some browny points with people that are not paying too close attention to the implications of an ‘open core’ model.