The European Organisation of Nuclear Research, otherwise known as CERN (because French), has decided Windows is too expensive for them to use as an operating system, so they’re making their own.
CERN is a scientific research facility, studying little things like the universe, and where it came from, and is also the home of the Large Hadron Collider; the world’s largest particle accelerator. However, Microsoft recently revoked its status as an academic institution. This means that it can no longer afford the astronomical (hur) licencing fees required to use Windows as their operating system, because they’ll cost ten times what they did previously.
Foreseeing this issue, the fancy folk at CERN started the Microsoft Alternative project (MAlt), last year, in an effort to figure out what alternative, open source software could be turned to their needs. More than likely, this also means moving to Linux systems, after almost 20 years of using Microsoft. It’s not a small thing, especially when particle physics is involved.
Microsoft gets a lot of money from providing licenses for governmental and educational institutions, but if CERN can make the jump to open source, it might embolden others to do the same.