At the end of January 2020, in connection with the termination of support for Windows 7, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) published an open letter and petition on its website urging Microsoft to make Windows 7 free software and open its source codes.
FSF representatives wrote that with the end of OS support, the end of a many-year invasion of privacy and a threat to user safety came to an end, and Microsoft now has a great chance to fix past mistakes. The fund invited the company to give Windows 7 to the community for further study and improvement, recalling that there were already precedents for the release of some of the main Windows utilities as free software (in particular, they were open source codes of the "Calculator")
Now representatives of the FSF reportedthat their petition related to the above proposal to Microsoft was supported by far more than the planned 7,777 people. The fund thanked users for their support.
The FSF admits that this campaign is not without reason called Don Quixote and even “completely delusional,” but emphasizes that most critics still recognize “pragmatic idealism"Underlying this message.
Now, continuing its action, the Free Software Foundation sent a blank hard disk and signatures collected during the campaign to Microsoft developers.
“Microsoft may free Windows. They have all the necessary legal rights or levers necessary to obtain them. Regardless of whether they do it or not, it is up to them to decide. In recent weeks, we have made it clear that thousands of people around the world want Windows to be free. Now we will give them a tool, ”FSF representatives write and emphasize that they are ready to provide the company with any assistance that is needed. “We want them to demonstrate how much they love the open source software that they often mention in their ads.” If they really love free software (and we are ready to believe them in this matter), they have the opportunity to show it to the world. We hope that they do not just benefit from the free software development model in the most superficial and exploitative way possible: using it as a marketing tool to make us believe that they care about our freedom. ”
Support for the Windows 7 operating system was discontinued on January 14, 2020. From now on, only corporate clients with the so-called Extended Security Updates (ESU) will be able to receive updates. Enhanced support is Microsoft's paid service through which the corporation will continue to deliver security updates to companies and enterprises using Windows 7 until 2023. The cost of such support is from 25 to 200 dollars per workstation, depending on the version of the OS (Enterprise or Pro), as well as the time during which the company needs updates.