Microsoft wants you, yes you, to write bits of Windows 10. For free

Microsoft open-sources Chakra, seeks community karma and code

Poll Microsoft has followed through on its December 2015 promise to open-source Chakra, the JavaScript engine in its Edge browser.

Chakra's now yours for the footling, here on GitHub, under the MIT licence.

That document permits anyone “to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software”. So Microsoft really is letting Chakra into the wild.

Redmond also says its own ongoing efforts on “key components of Chakra” will henceforth be conducted “in the open.”

Microsoft thinks there's a two-way street here. The company “will be accepting community contributions and input to ChakraCore,” writes Chakra principal PM manager Gaurav Seth. “Once the changes from any pull request have been vetted, our goal is to ensure that all changes find their way to be shipped as a part of the JavaScript engine powering Microsoft Edge and the Universal Windows Platform on Windows 10.”

You read that right: Microsoft wants community code to end up in the Universal Windows Platform, the runtime that makes it possible for apps to run in Windows 10 on a PC or phone.

In return, you get a very fine JavaScript engine to pop into your own programs, should you feel the need to do so.

“We believe that developing in the open will allow the team to collaborate even more deeply with more developers around the world, resulting in better products for everyone,” enthuses Seth.

Is he right? Open source is a wonderful thing, but it's often represented as the antithesis of Microsoft's approach. The Reg imagines a great many open source enthusiasts would balk at the idea of contributing code that might end up in Windows, no matter Microsoft's radical attitude adjustment in recent years.

Which is why we run polls and allow comments on stories: feel free to let us and your fellow readers know whether you'd be happy to offer up code to Windows with a slacktivist vote or a longer missive. ®

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