Released under a Microsoft academic, non-commercial license the project has gained wide interest from researchers and the general public. The fact that there’s a non-commercial use license in there means that it’s not strictly open source in the traditional sense of the term.
I find this operating system very interesting and has the potential to become Microsoft’s preferred operating system in the future. Currently it’s really just an experimental ,research, test-bed concept Operating System to show off .NET capabilities. It’s not meant to be some kind of Windows, OS X or Linux contender. Microsoft Research has stated that this operating system has been designed with an emphasis on dependability instead of performance.
Based on cutting-edge, object-oriented C# .NET programming language, and therefore based a fully managed code kernel, including managed code drivers and applications as well, this open source project has the potential to be a truly revolutionary operating system, and one that I fully intend to spend some more time researching myself.
There is a lot of speculation that this is just a dreamy, blue-skies Microsoft research project, and at this stage I’d tend to favour that opinion.
Nevertheless, I think they’d be crazy not to promote it through the teeth within the open source community otherwise I think they’d be really letting .NET down. It would be embarrassing for them if they let this remain as a toy operating system – as some kind of inane attempt to distract the open source community away from Linux. They need to take this seriously – to the extent of seriously considering this, or a project something like this, as their alternative applications platform instead of windows. They should view this as an opportunity.
What I think they should really do is change the license to be GPL, and then make this stable enough as a free Windows Live and Office Live Services client operating system, and obviously then it would be extensible for third-party vendors to bring additional functionality in there if they wished.
Anyway, am downloading this now to have a look at the project to see what, if any, real opportunities exist within this for developers. Will keep you posted if I think this is any good.