3 min read

Since the past couple of years, Microsoft has been supporting open source projects, it even joined the Open Invention Network. Last year, Microsoft had announced the general availability of its Windows 3.0 File Manager code. Yesterday, the team at Microsoft made an announcement regarding releasing its Windows Calculator program as an open source project on GitHub under the MIT License.

Microsoft is making the source code, build system, unit tests, and product roadmap available to the community. It would be interesting for the developers to explore how different parts of the Calculator app work and further getting to know the Calculator logic.

Microsoft is also encouraging developers to participate in their projects by bringing in new perspectives on the Calculator code. The company highlighted that developers can contribute by participating in discussions, fixing or reporting issues, prototyping new features and by addressing design flows.

By reviewing the Calculator code, developers can explore the latest Microsoft technologies like XAML, Universal Windows Platform, and Azure Pipelines. They can also learn about Microsoft’s full development lifecycle and can even reuse the code to build their own projects. Microsoft will be also contributing custom controls and API extensions used in Calculator and projects like the Windows UI Library and Windows Community Toolkit.

The official announcement reads, “Our goal is to build an even better user experience in partnership with the community.”

With the recent updates from Microsoft, it seems that the company is becoming more and more developer friendly. Just two days ago, the company updated its App Developer Agreement. As per the new policy, the developers will now get up to 95% share.

According to a few users, Microsoft might collect user information via this new project and even the section below telemetry (on the GitHub post) states the same. The post reads, “This project collects usage data and sends it to Microsoft to help improve our products and services. Read our privacy statement to learn more. Telemetry is disabled in development builds by default, and can be enabled with the SEND_TELEMETRY build flag.”

One of the users commented on HackerNews, “Well it must include your IP address too, and they know the time and date it was received. And then it gets bundled with the rest of the data they collected. I don’t even want them knowing when I’m using my computer. What gets measured gets managed.”

Few users have different perspectives regarding this. Another comment reads, “Separately, I question whether anyone looking at the telemetry on the backend. In my experience, developers add this stuff because they think it will be useful, then it never or rarely gets looked at. A telemetry event here, a telemetry event there, pretty soon you’re talking real bandwidth.”

Check out Microsoft’s blog post for more details on this news.

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