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Microsoft

The market share of Windows Phone reduced to only 2.5%

Filed under
Android
Linux
Microsoft

There used to be a time when GNU/Linux was kept under mysterious 1% market share. Today mobile Linux Android owns over 85% of the market share leaving the once market leading iOS behind. But its not a tragedy for iOS that it’s market share has shrunk, the real tragedy is for Microsoft whose Windows Phone market share has gone down to mere 2.5%; just 1.5% ahead of what Linux used to have on desktops.

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6 Secrets Every Windows User Should Know About Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Linux has progressed quite a bit in recent years to where it has become a better and better alternative for Windows users. If you’re simply tired of Windows, don’t want to pay for new Windows releases, or you’re still running Windows XP, it’s always a good time to take a good look at whether Linux can work for you.

If you’re still a bit unsure, here are six secrets that Windows users may not know about Linux. Knowing these these six secrets should make you more comfortable trying Linux out. Interested? Let’s get started.

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The Gentle Art of Muddying the Licensing Waters

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS
Legal

I've been writing about free software for nearly 20 years, and about Microsoft for over 30 years. Observing the latter deal with the former has been fascinating. At first, the US software giant simply dismissed free software as unworthy even of its attention, but by the early years of this millennium, that was clearly no longer a viable position.

As I've charted elsewhere in my "Brief History of Microsoft FUD", it made various attempts to discredit open source, all of which were dismal failures. As it became clear that this strategy would not work, it adopted another, somewhat more sophisticated. This involved trying to match aspects of open source without actually embracing it. The first manifestation of this was "shared source":

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Linux vs. Windows Internet Battle No Longer Exists Because Linux Is Winning

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Windows and Linux communities used to virtually battle each other regarding the superiority of one platform or the other, but that is no longer happening, at least not at the same scale. One of the reasons for that might be that Linux is actually gaining ground.

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More: Are the Linux versus Windows flame wars finally coming to an end?

Is Linux More Secure than Windows?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Security

When it comes to control systems, a common question has long been: Is Linux inherently more secure than Windows? Being a fan of Linux/Unix systems, I desperately want to answer “yes” to this question. During the 1980s and 1990s, so much of the work I was involved in ran under Unix. These days I run Linux on my home computer, and once a year I boot up a Windows XP virtual machine running under Virtual Box, to run my tax software. In the office, I rant about the lousy Windows operating system (OS) and ask why the world doesn’t switch to Linux. And as much as I hate to admit it, as a system integrator I am mostly locked into dealing with Microsoft’s flavor of the month operating system because of customer standards and the tools available.

From the appearance of “Brain,” which is recognized as the first computer virus, in 1986, to Stuxnet to the Zotob worm (the virus that knocked 13 of DaimlerChrysler’s U.S. automobile manufacturing plants offline), one thing all these viruses have in common is that they were directed at Microsoft’s operating systems. However, according to Zone-H (an archive of defaced websites), in a statistics report for the period 2005-2007: “In the past the most attacked operating system was Windows, but many servers were migrated from Windows to Linux… Therefore the attacks migrated as well, as Linux is now the most attacked operating system with 1, 485,280 defacements against 815,119 in Windows systems (numbers calculated since 2000).”

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'Naked PCs' lay bare Microsoft's emerging markets problem

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

The result is that up to 60 percent of PCs shipped in the emerging markets of Asia, says IDC research manager Handoko Andi, have no Windows operating system pre-installed - so-called 'naked PCs', which usually instead carry some free, open source operating system like Linux. That compares with about 25 percent in the region's developed markets like Japan and Australia.

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ODF FOI Update: Lost, Found and Lost Again

Filed under
LibO
Microsoft
OOo

This is really one of the most ridiculous get-out clauses, because it is so wide. The whole point of the FOI system is so that we can see precisely what is being said in these discussions, and to find out what companies are saying behind closed doors - and what ministers are replying. Although it's laudable that the Department for Business Innovation and Skills got in touch to correct its response to me, it's rather rich to do so and then simply refuse point-blank to release any of the information it has just found.

The only consolation is that whatever Microsoft whispered in the corridors of power to de-rail the move to ODF - since I hardly imagine it was a fervent supporter of the idea - it didn't work. However, there are doubtless many other occasions when it did, but we will never know. That's just unacceptable in a modern democracy.

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Why is Skype forcing a software upgrade on all of us?

Filed under
Microsoft
Software

The downside of this for Microsoft/Skype is that they can't get people to use all their new services - or see their new ads - if there are so many older versions.

Similarly, they can't move to new technical architectures that may provide better service when they have to also support a long history of past releases. (For example, their move awayfrom the peer-to-peer architecture that was their original highlight to more of a centralized "cloud" architecture to provide better support for mobile clients.)

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Ed: does not mention surveillance aspects of Skype (as confirmed by Snowden) and does not mention FOSS or surveillance-free alternatives.

Bad Microsoft Android patents may lie behind Samsung lawsuit

Filed under
Android
Microsoft
Legal

Microsoft's wrestling match with Samsung may just be a contract fight, or it could be the beginning of a war over the validity of Microsoft's Android patents.

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Wine 1.7.23 released

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
Software

The Wine development release 1.7.23 is now available.

What's new in this release (see below for details):
- Better support for files drag & drop.
- Improvements to the HTTP cookie management.
- Initial support for 64-bit Android builds.
- Fixes to crypto certificates management.
- Various bug fixes.

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Fedora 21 Alpha to release on Tuesday

Today the Fedora Engineering Steering Commitee held a “Go/No Go” meeting regarding the Fedora 21 alpha, and it was agreed that the current release candidates for Fedora 21 met the release criteria. With this decision, this means that Fedora 21 will be released on Tuesday September 23, 2014. Read more

Teaching open source changed my life

Teaching open source has been a breath of fresh air for myself and for many of our students because with the open source way, there are no official tests. There is no official certification for the majority of open source projects. And, there are no prescribed textbooks. In open source, no employer worth working for will ask for official proof of your abilities. A good employer will look at what you’ve done and ask you to showcase what you can do. Yes, it still helps to have a Computer Science degree, but the lack of one is often no drawback. Read more