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Microsoft

Letter to the Federal Trade Commission regarding Lenovo blocking Linux and other operating system installations on Yoga PCs.

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Linux
Microsoft
  • Letter to the Federal Trade Commission regarding Lenovo blocking Linux and other operating system installations on Yoga PCs.

    Lenovo just updated the BIOS for the Yoga 710, another system that doesn't allow Linux installs. Wanna know what they changed? Update to TPM (secret encryption module used for Digital Restrictions Management) and an update to the Intel Management Engine, which is essentially a backdoor rootkit built into all recent Intel processors (but AMD has their version too, so what do you do?). No Linux support. Priorities...

  • Microsoft told to compensate customers for Windows 10 breaking computers

    Microsoft has been urged to pay compensation to customers that have suffered computer malfunctions when upgrading to its new software Windows 10.

    Since the company released the software last year it has been plagued by complaints, with customers claiming their computers upgraded without their permission and, in some cases, completely stopped working.

    Which?, the consumer watchdog, has told Microsoft to "honour consumers' rights" and compensate those who have suffered from problems, including lost files, email accounts no longer syncing and failed WiFi connection.

    It said Microsoft customers had also complained that their webcams suddenly stopped working, as did speakers and printers in the wake of the upgrade.

  • Veteran Windows journo slams Microsoft over Surface Pro issues

    Microsoft's tardiness and lack of communication in relation to battery issues affecting its Surface Pro PC/tablet hybrid has been slammed by well-known journalist Ed Bott who has been writing about the company for 25 years.

    In a column titled "Shame on Microsoft for leaving Surface Pro customers in the dark", Bott wrote that Microsoft had not shown any appreciation of the users who had helped put its Surface business on a solid footing.

    He wrote that after the Surface Pro 3 had been in the market for more than a year, users began noticing a steady drop in battery capacity.

    In March 2016, the company's support lines began fielding calls about the issue, with complaints that batteries that should have held a charge for five or more hours were going dead in 20 or 30 minutes and refusing to charge fully.

My Mom Runs Linux!

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Linux
Microsoft

People are coming to Linux in droves these days. They each have their own reasons. It could be a desire to get out from under the thumb of proprietary software’s limitations, privacy concerns or just plain old economics. Some of them find a whole new world of computing happiness and others walk away frustrated. Why is that?

How you approach learning something new usually will determine just how successful you are at learning it. It’s all about attitude. Learning is a journey and those who cling to the fear of not reaching a pleasant destination usually quit before they start and stay right where they are. Those who are born with an innate curiosity and a sense of adventure often find that learning something new brings great rewards. Thus, they are constantly looking for new things to learn. It’s the naturally curious ones who tend to do well with Linux.

If you sit a child in front of a Linux computer, they usually just start using it. It’s an amazing thing to watch. Kids are curious by nature and they also have the added advantage of not having any preconceived notions when it comes to how a computer ought to work. I have found, on the other hand, that the hardest kind of person to teach Linux is the crusty old Windows power user. They are lost from the start and tend to get easily frustrated when they come across something they don’t understand. Their outbursts of anger can be quite animated! The Internet’s public forums are full of vitriol flung at the Linux Community by these sorts of folks. I learned a long time ago that the best way to deal with them is to simply ignore them. The psychological reasons for their bitter negativity are beyond my expertise to deal with, therefore, I don’t. What I try to do is focus on the positive and help folks who want to learn.

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Also: Windows 10 Might Soon Track Absolutely Everything You Do for Your Own Good

Classic Damage Control: Lenovo and Microsoft Got Their 'Official' Lie/Denial Together, Now Engage in Revisionism by Contacting Journalists

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Linux
Microsoft

Vista 10 Under Attack From Media, UNIX/Linux Under Attack From Microsoft

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Linux
Microsoft
  • Linux "lockout" tangle snarls Lenovo

    After failing to install Linux on a recent Lenovo laptop, a Reddit user claims to have received a short reply from Lenovo's support team: "This system has a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft."

    The company is reportedly shutting discussion threads on its official forums to prevent "disruption," though the snarl of links and outrage flying around makes everything rather murky. The core facts at hand appear to be that a) the BIOS is programmed to enforce a RAID setup that is currently compatible only with Windows 10, and Cool there's no technical rationale for it, it's just there to prevent other operating systems being installed. A is, of course, more plausibly true than B.

  • Which? slams Microsoft for Windows 10 update woes

    Which? has called on Microsoft to honour the rights of its customers after a survey found that 12 per cent of those who upgraded to Windows 10 from an earlier version had rolled back and that many more were annoyed with the update.

    More than half of those who rolled back to a previous edition said it was because the new version had caused problems with their devices.

    The problems included printers, WiFi cards and speakers no longer working, files being lost and emails no longer syncing. In some cases the computer required professional repair.

    Many complained that the only reason they upgraded in the first place was to get rid of the constant nagware employed by Microsoft through the GWX system installed on machines that qualified for a free upgrade.

    Many said that they had actually turned down the nagware offers and found that Windows 10 had installed anyway.

  • Windows 10 software condemned by Which? [Ed: Microsoft should stand trial for it]

    Microsoft has been criticised over its Windows 10 software by consumer rights group Which?.

    The body said it had received hundreds of complaints about the upgrade, including lost files, emails no longer syncing and broken wi-fi and printing.

    In some cases, it said, users had had to pay for their computer to be repaired.

    Microsoft defended its software and highlighted that it provided help online and by phone.

    "The Windows 10 upgrade is a choice designed to help people take advantage of the most secure and most productive Windows," said a spokesman.

    "Customers have distinct options. Should a customer need help with the upgrade experience, we have numerous options including free customer support."

    Which? surveyed more than 5,500 of its members in June, and said that 12% of the 2,500 who had upgraded to Windows 10 had later reverted to an earlier version.

True Love...and Microsoft Love

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Stop the patent blackmail

Microsoft has been going to licensees of Android and threatening the licensees with suit if the licensees do not pay Microsoft money for using software that Microsoft says violates their patents. When the companies agree to settle out of court, Microsoft then requires them not to discuss publically which patents are claimed in violation or anything about the settlement. Of course this means that the FOSS community can not study the patents (to see if they are valid or not) or know which sections of code could be re-written to avoid the patents.

This is more important than Microsoft just getting their pound of flesh for some code that they did not write, which may have existed as “prior art” while Bill Gates was still getting speeding tickets in New Mexico.

When companies start to develop products they want to know about as many risks as possible. Therefore they worry about patents that exist in code that could be used to block their product, or make it more expensive than they thought the product would be.

Not knowing what the patents are, or how much Microsoft will charge for them, or even if they are valid, the companies can not make that decision easily. Therefore they might avoid a FOSS (particularly Android) solution.

Another problem with software patents is that it makes it expensive, difficult and/or dangerous for companies to distribute code over the Internet or on some media. If there is patent-bearing code in the distribution, a distribution could not afford even a penny royalty if there are going to be millions of copies of their code downloaded, with (perhaps) only 100,000 actually installed. This is why some distributions have a separate package for royalty bearing code (usually multimedia codecs), and others have a version for the USA and other countries that recognize software patents and another version for “the rest of the world”.

The problem with this technique being applied to Microsoft's claimed patents is that the patents claimed appear to be in the kernel, and the Linux community does not know which patents or to what code the patents apply.

For Microsoft to show their love for FOSS, I would recommend them joining the Open Invention Network, or simply agree to license these questionable patents free of charge to organizations using FOSS. Microsoft could still charge royalties for their patents used in closed, proprietary software. I have heard Apple has a lot of cash on hand.

Allow FOSS proponents to keynote at major Microsoft events.

Microsoft has been coming to FOSS events for many years now. At first there was always the question of whether a FOSS event should allow someone who has been calling you a “virus”, or “a communist” or talking about your “crappy software” to come to their events, but normally it was felt that for FOSS people to exclude Microsoft personnel from attending or to eliminate them from speaking, or even to refuse to take their sponsorship money was not being very “open”. So Microsoft started coming to FOSS events, having booths, speaking, and trying to hire FOSS programmers.

On the other hand I remember several times where I was chased out of a general purpose computer event by event managers because Microsoft had complained that we were handing out free CDROMs of GNU/Linux to show attendees. At one event I was even forbidden to hand them out on the street corner in front of the event because the side walk also belonged to the venue (or so they said).

One time we allowed a Microsoft product manager to participate in a panel with Linus, and about ten seconds before we went on the stage the Microsoft manager pulled out the results of software tests to prove that for some obscure function Microsoft Windows was some percentage faster than Linux. Linus, of course, could not refute this, but he did go home and investigate the issue, and in the next release of Linux that function was two or three times faster than Microsoft Windows.

Nevertheless, I do not remember Microsoft ever allowing a FOSS person to discuss the benefits of the FOSS model of software at a major Microsoft customer or developer event, and if Microsoft really “loved Linux” (and their customers) you would think Microsoft would want their developer and customer base to know about those values and benefits.

So for Microsoft to really show its love, I think they should invite recognized FOSS advocates to speak as keynote speakers at Convergence, //Build, the Worldwide Partner Conference and Microsoft Ignite. I am sure I could find the time in my schedule to attend one or two of them and there are other FOSS people who could also help out.

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Lenovo reportedly blocking Linux on Windows 10 Signature Edition PCs (updated)

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Microsoft

According to Reddit user BaronHK, it is impossible to install Linux onto the Signature Edition Lenovo Yoga 900 ISK2 UltraBook because the SSD is locked in a proprietary RAID mode that Linux doesn't support, and that even Windows 10 cannot use without an Lenovo driver being downloaded first.

Evidence -- in the form of owner reports and reviews -- has been uncovered which suggests that the Yoga 900S, and Yoga 710S are locked in a similar manner.

To confuse matters further, there is a post from a Lenovo "product expert" claiming that Signature Edition PCs have to lock out Linux users because Microsoft says so.

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Also: Microsoft Reportedly Requires "Signature PCs" To Be Locked To Only Running Windows

Warning: Microsoft Doesn’t Want You To Install Linux On Its “Signature PCs”

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Microsoft hates it when its customers wish to install Linux or other operating systems on its PCs. A Redditor has expressed concern over his inability to install Linux on a Yoga 900 ISK2 Ultrabook. Trying to justify this, Lenovo has said that Yoga 900 runs a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed and it’s locked per our agreement with Microsoft.

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