Microsoft Open-Sources Controversial Windows 7 tool

Microsoft has finally Open-Sourced the Windows 7 netbook install tool which lets users create a USB/DVD of the OS installation as well as download the installation from the Internet.


Named as WUDT, the product is released under the GPLv2 license, with the code available at CodePlex. You can check the source here, at the WUDT page on CodePlex. Microsoft admitted the mistake of putting up the software with Open-Source code as a closed source software and promised to look into the matter. Within a month, now it has finally released the software as Open-Source with a size of 2.59 MB.

This is unlike earlier, when the software was closed source and was sized at only a 950 KB. There is no Term of Use link directing us to any proprietary license page anymore. The executable installer which is for Windows, includes the source along with the software. This is a major improvement against earlier, when Microsoft  released the tool as a closed source software, possibly stealing away some Open-Source codes. You can see this post for some reading on the topic.

This should make it clear that Open-Source software is protected by licenses and is not just lying there for free to put into your own closed source software. It is time we respect Open-Source software. The new Windows 7 USB/DVD tool software requires:

  • .NET Framework: For rendering the UI
  • IMAPI service: for windows CD/DVD burning
  • bootsect.exe: to write the Windows 7 boot sector

Manan Kakkar, a Contributing Author at Techie Buzz has few more things to add about this new development.

Microsoft Releases Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool Under GPLv2

When Windows 7 was launched, Microsoft revamped it’s online store from Windows Marketplace to Microsoft Store. Since, Microsoft was offering Windows 7 as downloads via this store once purchased, Microsoft decided to release a tool that would allow users to burn the downloaded ISO to a DVD or create a bootable USB drive to install Windows 7. The tool was received well and yes, it is a very handy tool. However, things went bad when Windows enthusiast, Rafael Rivera discovered that the tool had some code which was lifted from a project which was available on Microsoft’s open source website Codeplex, under the GPLv2 license. What followed was quite surprising. Microsoft pulled the software off it’s website, did its internal investigation and came out with a post where they clarified that the tool was developed by a third party contractual coder but accepted their fault AND said that they will be releasing the tool under GPLv2. The release was delayed by a couple of days but it finally happened.

As promised the tool is now available on Codeplex under the GPLv2 license with the source code for enthusiasts to tinker with.

WUDT on Codeplex

WUDT on Microsoft Store

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.