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Microsoft

Microsoft Spin

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Microsoft

Openwashing and Microsoft, Antitrust Déjà Vu

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Microsoft
  • Microsoft contributing Open-Source OPC UA stack [Ed: Microsoft openwashing of .NET, which is NOT "Open Source" but at best Open Core]
  • Nuanced Déjà Vu in Microsoft's Desktop Monopoly

    When I was in late high school, which was in the early days of this blog, I had recently switched to Linux and was essentially an evangelist, singing its praises and loudly cursing the misdeeds of Microsoft with respect to the desktop market; many of my blog posts at that time were in that vein. In the nearly 8 years since then, I, my blog, Linux, Microsoft, and the consumer device market have all evolved and matured: I've become less evangelistic and more realistic about many things (or so I'd like to think), my blog has correspondingly shifted focus in various ways, Linux distributions have become less of a "wild west" than they were 8 years ago and have gained more support for popular things like proprietary video drivers and game platforms like Steam, Microsoft has been more open about supporting free and open-source software initiatives, and the consumer device market has shifted much more toward mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets which are very different from the desktops, laptops, and netbooks of 8 years ago (the latter of which doesn't really exist anymore as it once did). That said, I recently read a post on Slashdot (original article by Brian Fagioli of Betanews) about how Microsoft is locking the configuration settings for changing the default browser (Microsoft Edge) and search engine (Bing) choices in Windows 10 S, which is its version of Microsoft Windows 10 designed for lower-end hardware used in schools. For the sake of old times, I thought it might be nice to post about it, but hopefully with a bit more nuance than what I was capable of 8 years ago (and with the benefit of having seen the last 8 years of intervening technological development).

    [...]

    Overall, I don't think Microsoft really has the leverage to ensure total dominance of its own web browser that it did 16 years ago. Too many ordinary consumers have moved onto other browsers and other platforms entirely. The default browser issue will only affect the rare cases of opening specific locally-hosted HTML and similar files, so for all other cases, users can put their preferred browser shortcut on the main screen or menu of Microsoft Windows 10. While it certainly pays to be vigilant about anticompetitive behavior and trends toward proprietary software, I don't see a need to hyperventilate like I might have 8 years ago.

A look at Windows Alternatives in Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

GNU/Linux users are well aware of the fact that many pieces of software commonly used in Microsoft Windows, do not function for us using things like WINE; and so we must find alternatives to use.

Granted, you could use a virtual machine to run Windows, but as I have encountered and I am sure others as well; not everything runs smoothly when you go down that route.

One example using my laptop was that Adobe Premiere for video editing was extremely challenging to use in a Virtual Machine due to resources...So, what options do we have?

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Windows vs Linux: what's the best operating system?

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Linux is frequently overlooked by the general public and doesn't get much attention outside of hardcore enthusiasts. Some people perceive it to be overly complicated and unintuitive, while some simply aren't really aware of its existence.

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Microsoft May be Breaking Antitrust/Competition Laws Again

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Google
Microsoft

Windows 10 S forces you to use Edge and Bing

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Microsoft

Windows 10 S, Microsoft's new locked-down operating system that comes bundled with the Surface Laptop, won't allow you to change the default Web browser away from Microsoft's own Edge. Furthermore, Edge's default search provider can't be altered: Bing is all you get.

Curiously you can download other browsers from the Windows Store, such as Opera Mini, but Windows 10 S won't let you set it as the default browser: if you try to open an HTML file, or click a link in another app, it will always open in Edge, according to Microsoft's official FAQ on the topic.

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Microsoft, Apple, and GNU/Linux on Laptops/Desktops

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Mac

Trump Puts Microsoft in Charge

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Microsoft

Leading the council will be Chris Liddell, a former Microsoft executive tapped by Trump in the early days of his presidency specifically to work with the private sector, a White House official said.

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NuAns Dumps Windows, Microsoft Phones Die, and Microsoft Hires Government Connections

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Microsoft

Supporting Burning Platforms

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Surface revenue does a U-boat, and dives

    Revenue generated by Microsoft's Surface hardware during the March quarter was down 26% from the same period the year before, the company said yesterday as it briefed Wall Street.

    For the quarter, Surface produced $831 million, some $285 million less than the March quarter of 2016, for the largest year-over-year dollar decline ever.

  • Acer said to me: "do not use our products with Linux. Find another manufacturer"

    Last year, I bought an Acer notebook and it came with Windows 10.

    As I didn't want spyware neither bloatware, I got Linux installed and asked for a refund of the OEM license. After a little of talking, they were wanting to charge me US$100 (to remove the license, which I already had wiped, as I got FDE Linux installed) to refund US$70 of the OEM license.

    This year, wondering to buy a new Acer notebook, I asked them again if they would refund me the OEM license without all the hassle (as they did pay me the US$70, without me having to pay the US$100).

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More in Tux Machines

Meltdown and Spectre Linux Kernel Status - Update

I keep getting a lot of private emails about my previous post previous post about the latest status of the Linux kernel patches to resolve both the Meltdown and Spectre issues. These questions all seem to break down into two different categories, “What is the state of the Spectre kernel patches?”, and “Is my machine vunlerable?” Read more

today's leftovers

OSS: Jio, VMware Openwashing, and Testing Jobs

  • Jio is committed to use open source technology: Akash Ambani
    Speaking at the India Digital Open Summit 2018, Akash Ambani, Director of Reliance Jio Infocomm, said that open source is very important for his company. “The year 2017 was the tipping point for AR and VR globally. In India, AR and VR are in the initial stages of adoption but at Jio, we believe it will grow at a 50 percent compounded rate for the next five years,” Akash said. He also spoke on the evolution of artificial intelligence and blockchain.
  • VMware and Pivotal’s PKS Distribution Marries Kubernetes with BOSH [Ed: It looks like the author has been reduced to Microsoft propaganda and other openwashing puff pieces sponsored by proprietary software giants. We have given up on several writers who used to support GNU/Linux. Seeing their activity, it seems as though they ended up with neither gigs nor credibility (used to get far more writing assignments from LF, often for Microsoft openwashing).]
  • Hehe, still writing code for a living? It's 2018. You could be earning x3 as a bug bounty hunter
    Ethical hacking to find security flaws appears to pay better, albeit less regularly, than general software engineering. And while payment remains one of the top rationales for breaking code, hackers have begun citing more civic-minded reasons for their activities. A survey of 1,700 bug bounty hunters from more than 195 countries and territories by security biz HackerOne, augmented by the company's data on 900 bug bounty programs, has found that white-hat hackers earn a median salary that's 2.7 times that of typical software engineers in their home countries. In some places, the gap is far more pronounced. In India, for example, hackers make as much as 16 times the median programmer salary. In the US, they earn 2.4 times the median.

Security: Spectre and Meltdown, Industrial System Sabotage, VDP, Windows in Healthcare

  • Some thoughts on Spectre and Meltdown
     

    Contrast that with what happened this time around. Google discovered a problem and reported it to Intel, AMD, and ARM on June 1st. Did they then go around contacting all of the operating systems which would need to work on fixes for this? Not even close. FreeBSD was notified the week before Christmas, over six months after the vulnerabilities were discovered. Now, FreeBSD can occasionally respond very quickly to security vulnerabilities, even when they arise at inconvenient times — on November 30th 2009 a vulnerability was reported at 22:12 UTC, and on December 1st I provided a patch at 01:20 UTC, barely over 3 hours later — but that was an extremely simple bug which needed only a few lines of code to fix; the Spectre and Meltdown issues are orders of magnitude more complex.  

  • Menacing Malware Shows the Dangers of Industrial System Sabotage
     

    At the S4 security conference on Thursday, researchers from the industrial control company Schneider Electric, whose equipment Triton targeted, presented deep analysis of the malware—only the third recorded cyberattack against industrial equipment. Hackers [sic] were initially able to introduce malware into the plant because of flaws in its security procedures that allowed access to some of its stations, as well as its safety control network.

  • 25 per cent of hackers don't report bugs due to lack of disclosure policies
     

    One of the standout discoveries was that almost 25 per cent of respondents said they were unable to disclose a security flaw because the bug-ridden company in question lacked a vulnerability disclosure policy (VDP).

  • 'Professional' hack [sic] on Norwegian health authority compromises data of three million patients [iophk: "Windows TCO"]