Microsoft has open-sourced the calculator app is ships with Windows, because it thinks the wider coding community can do a better job of evolving it than the company will do itself.
In a post announcing the move, Microsofties Dave Grochocki and Howard Wolosky wrote “Our goal is to build an even better user experience in partnership with the community. We are encouraging your fresh perspectives and increased participation to help define the future of Calculator.”
Open-sourcing the app means developers also have the chance to “easily integrate Calculator logic or UI into your own applications”.
But the most interesting consequence of the decision is that it gives developers the chance to “contribute directly to something that ships in Windows.”
That’s remarkable for at least two reasons.
One is that this is Microsoft asking anyone capable of stringing together some code to write an app that ships with Windows. Such a thing was unthinkable in the not-too-distant past.
Another is that Windows remains an enormously popular product. Contributing to it from outside Microsoft would mean huge exposure for a developer, and probably no small amount of kudos too.
CRN imagines that plenty of Australian channel players would love to have their contributions to Calculator on their list of projects! If you're one of them, the Calculator GitHub repo is here.