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Microsoft

Microsoft's Latest Effort to Crush GNU/Linux in China

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Microsoft
  • Red Flag Windows: Microsoft modifies Windows OS for Chinese government

    China has long been both a huge lure and a thorn in the side for Microsoft. Massive piracy of Windows XP, a decade-long effort to replace Windows entirely with a home-grown Linux variant called Red Flag and an OpenOffice variant called RedOffice, and a ban on Windows 8 for government use following the leak by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden of information on National Security Agency spying all have combined to hinder Microsoft in the Chinese market. But now Microsoft—in partnership with the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group (CETC)—is preparing to reboot its relationship with Beijing, thanks to a modified version of Windows produced specifically for China, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

  • [Old] Windows 10 May Delete Your Programs Without Asking

    When you install a major Windows 10 update, you may reboot to find some of your programs missing. Yes, Windows 10 may remove your programs without asking you–but you can get them back pretty easily.

    This is the takeaway from some people’s experiences with the “November update,” Windows 10’s first big update. Microsoft has refused to comment on this, but it seems like the update process is designed to remove incompatible programs. Here’s what’s going on, and what you can do about it.

"It's easier for our software to compete with Linux when there's piracy than when there's not."

--Bill Gates

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

--Bill Gates

Linux, not Microsoft, the real winner of Windows Server on ARM

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Linux
Microsoft

Cutting to the heart of it, it doesn't actually matter if Microsoft releases Windows Server for ARM. Windows isn't the future and even Microsoft knows it. The upcoming availability of SQL server on Linux is all the proof we need that the game is over and, in the data centre at least, Microsoft didn't win.

Quite frankly, there's nothing wrong with that. Legacy x86 Windows applications have been a millstone around the neck of the entire industry for ages now and its long past time they were relegated to a niche and left to quietly slip away into the night. What's interesting here isn't that Microsoft managed to take its existing code base, strip out some of the cruft and compile it on ARM. What's interesting is what Microsoft's experiment unlocks outside the Windows ecosystem.

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Microsoft Signals Time to Move to GNU/Linux

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Microsoft

Accenture, Microsoft Proxy

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Row over 'very limited' Linux PCs escalates in Munich [Ed: Microsoft and Accenture working together to undermine GNU/Linux and 'make an example' or send out a warning]

    With the controversy now escalating into a very public debate, it's currently unknown which operating system Munich will be using for the next decade. Linux is currently deployed on 20,000 computers across the city. Converting them all back to Windows will take months of further work.

    While it's attracted the most attention, Munich isn't the only city to have shunned Windows in favour of open-source software. Last September, Moscow abandoned Microsoft's Outlook email program in favour of its own system. Concerns about the use of proprietary software in government departments have also been raised across the world, including in the UK where a long-running but slowly progressing campaign is encouraging Linux usage

  • Accenture and Docker Team on Container Services

    Accenture has expanded its relationship with Docker to enhance its existing multicloud Container as a Service solutions. The company will leverage Docker Datacenter to provide enterprises with the capabilities needed to secure the software supply chain, expand workload portability, and improve application resilience.

Kernel and Drivers

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Linux
Microsoft
  • Kernel 4.10 gives Linux support for AMD Ryzen multithreading

    With the release of its Ryzen 7 series CPUs, AMD came out swinging at Intel’s high-end Core i7 line. As I noted in a previous column, version 4.10 of the Linux kernel corrects an issue that kept Intel CPUs from reaching their turbo speeds, but there’s also something in the new kernel for Team Red.

  • Linus Torvalds explains how to Pull without jerking his chain

    Linux kernel developers have again given Linus Torvalds cause for complaint.

    The Linux Lord felt the need to take to the Linux Kernel Mailing List late last week to tell a chap called Wolfram Sang that “If you cannot explain a reason for a merge or be bothered to try to write a commit message, you shouldn't be doing that merge. It really is that simple.”

  • Microsoft admits mistake, pulls problematic Windows 10 driver

    The driver, listed as "Microsoft -- WPD -- 2/22/2016 12:00:00 AM -- 5.2.5326.4762," wasn’t accompanied by any details, although we knew from the name that it related to Windows Portable Devices and affected users who had phones and tablets connected to the OS.

    While the driver was an optional update for Windows 7 and 8.1 users, it was installed automatically for those on Windows 10.

Munich Strikes Back at Microsoft's Dirty Tricks and Lobbying

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • There's a Munich disagreement over Open source

    Moves by German politicians to undo Munich’s decade experiment in open source are unnecessary, according to the bloke in charge of the project.

    There are moves to replace the Linux based systems at Munich after a decade of it being the poster-child for open sauce operating systems. Munich's ruling SPD-CSU coalition is apparently a fan of phasing out the use of open-source software.

    Last month, the general council backed a proposal that the administration should investigate how long it will take and how much it will cost to build a Windows 10 client. Once it has that information the council will vote to replace LiMux the custom version of Ubuntu which the council has been developing.

  • Munich IT chief slams city's decision to dump Linux for Windows

    THE HEAD OF IT at the City of Munich's IT services provider [email protected], Karl-Heinz Schneider, has claimed that there are no "compelling technical reasons" for the authority to order a migration back to Windows.

    Last month, Munich voted to investigate the viability of creating a Windows 10 client, thus ending its multi-million euro, nine-year experiment in running the municipality on Linux.

    Schneider, who heads up the company responsible for Munich's desktop Linux implementation, has spoken out about the move during an interview with German IT publication Heise.de.

  • Munich's desktop Linux was 'working fine' before politicians decreed return to Windows

    Speaking to German IT publication Heise.de, Schneider claimed that he was surprised by the move, adding that any compatibility problems that the City had initially encountered had been fixed.

Microsoft and Openwashing, 'Success' Stories

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Microsoft
  • OCP Launches Marketplace for Open Source Data Center Hardware
  • Microsoft embraces open source innovation for data centres at OCP 2017 [Ed: This has nothing to do with "open source"; pure openwashing from Microsoft]
  • Microsoft: Users Locked Out of Accounts Tuesday

    Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) was hit with an outage early Tuesday morning that prevented users from accessing a host of applications and services including Xbox, Skype and Outlook. Many Microsoft customers in Western Europe and the Eastern U.S. were greeted with a message that their account wasn’t active when they tried to log on.

    Users complaining at website DownDector.com about Outlook.com reached in the thousands, reported Reuters. Meanwhile the hashtag #hotmail was trending on Twitter in the U.K. Microsoft confirmed the problem, saying in an Xbox Live message it was working to resolve the issues as quickly as possible. Microsoft Account Services, which also includes Office 365, the Windows Store and a host of other apps came back up around 9:30 a.m. EST Tuesday at which time Microsoft alerted users.

  • Microsoft is putting OneDrive ads in Windows 10’s File Explorer

    Microsoft has made a bad habit of introducing ads here and there throughout Windows, and now people are starting to notice them showing up in another spot: inside File Explorer.

    People have reported seeing notifications to sign up for OneDrive — Microsoft’s cloud storage service — at the top of the Quick Access screen that comes up when you open a new File Explorer window.

Linux in Munich: 'No compelling technical reason to return to Windows,' says city's IT chief

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

The man who runs Munich's central IT says there is no practical reason for the city to write off millions of euros and years of work to ditch its Linux-based OS for Windows.

The city authority is widely expected to swap Linux for Windows, due to a desire to drop open-source software at the council among Munich's ruling SPD-CSU coalition.

Last month, the general council backed a proposal that the administration should investigate how long it will take and how much it will cost to build a Windows 10 client. Once the details are known, the council will vote on whether Windows should replace LiMux, a custom version of the Ubuntu OS that is used by more than 15,000 staff across the council. The changeover would take place by 2021.

But now the man in charge of Munich's central IT provider, IT@M, has said there is no technical reason to switch back to Windows, describing the decision to prepare to return as being in some ways "surprising".

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Proprietary Software Traps

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Microsoft
Software
  • Using proprietary services to develop open source software [Ed: never a good idea. Microsoft attempts to lock in FOSS developers this way.]

    It is now pretty well accepted that open source is a superior way of producing software. Almost everyone is doing open source these days. In particular, the ability for users to look under the hood and make changes results in tools that are better adapted to their workflows. It reduces the cost and risk of finding yourself locked in with a vendor in an unbalanced relationship. It contributes to a virtuous circle of continuous improvement, blurring the lines between consumers and producers. It enables everyone to remix and invent new things. It adds up to the common human knowledge.

  • Why doesn't Microsoft just give up on Skype for Linux? [Ed: because Microsoft wants to spy on (record) everyone?]

    Microsoft released a beta client of Skype for Linux last week but even basic problems with the alpha client — which was around much longer than an alpha client should be — still appear to be dogging the software.

    Every time a new release takes place, I give it a twirl to see what, if anything, has changed.

  • What's new in the Skype for Linux beta
  • Skype Lite Gets Brings Kannada Language Support, Skype for Linux Moves to Beta
  • Spotify on Fedora 25 using Flatpak

    Spotify is a great application where the web version just isn't as useful as the Desktop app. Spotify has a debian installer and no support for rpm distros, typically we'd be SOL on Fedora. But with flatpak it's easy to install Spotify on platforms like Fedora, CentOS, Ubuntu, etc without deb or rpm!

Microsoft Versus GNU/Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Europe-wide interest in Munich desktop debate

    In the days leading up to the vote, the city received a record-breaking number of comments, one city councillor noted. A handful of activists attended the city hall meeting, and an alliance of German and international free and open source organisations questioned the city's plans in an open letter.

    In a statement, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) says that the door is still open, “although the mandate is highly suggestive, in that it suggests that the existing vendor-neutral approach is to be replaced with a proprietary solution.” The advocacy group says it will continue to campaign: “The vendor-neutral strategy must prevail.”

  • Microsoft open source efforts draw praise [Ed: This article is a lie, based on selective quotes. Microsoft is attacking FOSS using patents and recall what happens in Munich.]
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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Why Linus is right (as usual)
    Last year, some security “hardening” code was added to the kernel to prevent a class of buffer-overflow/out-of-bounds issues. This code didn’t address any particular 0day vulnerability, but was designed to prevent a class of future potential exploits from being exploited. This is reasonable. This code had bugs, but that’s no sin. All code has bugs. The sin, from Linus’s point of view, is that when an overflow/out-of-bounds access was detected, the code would kill the user-mode process or kernel. Linus thinks it should have only generated warnings, and let the offending code continue to run.
  • Kube-Node: Let Your Kubernetes Cluster Auto-Manage Its Nodes
    As Michelle Noorali put it in her keynote address at KubeCon Europe in March of this year: the Kubernetes open source container orchestration engine is still hard for developers. In theory, developers are crazy about Kubernetes and container technologies, because they let them write their application once and then run it anywhere without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. In reality, however, they still rely on operations in many aspects, which (understandably) dampens their enthusiasm about the disruptive potential of these technologies. One major downside for developers is that Kubernetes is not able to auto-manage and auto-scale its own machines. As a consequence, operations must get involved every time a worker node is deployed or deleted. Obviously, there are many node deployment solutions, including Terraform, Chef or Puppet, that make ops live much easier. However, all of them require domain-specific knowledge; a generic approach across various platforms that would not require ops intervention does not exist.
  • Red Hat, Inc. (RHT) Shares Bought by Aperio Group LLC
  • Cloudera, Inc. (CLDR) vs. Red Hat, Inc. (RHT): Breaking Down the Data

Software: VidCutter, Super Productivity, MKVToolNix

  • VidCutter 5.0 Released With Improved UI, Frame Accurate Cutting
    A new version of VidCutter, a free video trimmer app, is available for download. VidCutter 5.0 makes it easier to cut videos to specific frames, improves the export of video clips with audio and subtitle tracks, and refreshes the default application icon. Why Vidcutter? If you want split video, trim video, or join video clips into a single montage then Vidcutter is ideal. The app lets you perform these tasks, as well as many more, quickly and easily. VidCutter is a Qt5 application that uses the open-source FFMpeg media engine.
  • Linux Release Roundup: Fedora 27, Shotwell, Corebird + More
    It’s been another busy week in the world of Linux, but we’re here to bring you up to speed with a round-up of the most notable new releases. The past 7 days have given us a new version of free software’s most popular photo management app, a new release of a leading Linux distribution, and updated one of my favourite app finds of the year.
  • Super Productivity is a Super Useful To-Do App for Linux, Mac & Windows
    Super Productivity is an open-source to-do list and time tracking app for Windows, macOS and Linux. It’s built using Electron but doesn’t require an internet connection (which is pretty neat). And it has (optional) integration with Atlassian’s Jira software.
  • MKVToolNix 18.0.0 Open-Source MKV Manipulation App Adds Performance Improvements
    A new stable release of the MKVToolNix open-source and cross-platform MKV (Matroska) manipulation software arrived this past weekend with various performance improvements and bug fixes. MKVToolNix 18.0.0 continues the monthly series of stability and reliability updates by adding performance improvements to both the AVC and HEVC ES parsers thanks to the implementation of support for copying much less memory, and enabling stack protection when building the program with Clang 3.5.0 or a new version.

OSS Leftovers

  • Reveal.js presentation hacks
    Ryan Jarvinen, a Red Hat open source advocate focusing on improving developer experience in the container community, has been using the Reveal.js presentation framework for more than five years. In his Lightning Talk at All Things Open 2017, he shares what he's learned about Reveal.js and some ways to make better use of it. Reveal.js is an open source framework for creating presentations in HTML based on HTML5 and CSS. Ryan describes Gist-reveal.it, his project that makes it easier for users to create, fork, present, and share Reveal.js slides by using GitHub's Gist service as a datastore.
  • Font licensing and use: What you need to know
    Most of us have dozens of fonts installed on our computers, and countless others are available for download, but I suspect that most people, like me, use fonts unconsciously. I just open up LibreOffice or Scribus and use the defaults. Sometimes, however, we need a font for a specific purpose, and we need to decide which one is right for our project. Graphic designers are experts in choosing fonts, but in this article I'll explore typefaces for everyone who isn't a professional designer.
  • Broader role essential for OpenStack Foundation, says Mirantis’ Renski
  • URSA Announces Name Change to Open Source Integrators to Reflect Their Full Spectrum of Open ERP Expertise
  • 2018 is Year for Open Source Software for Pentagon
    The US Pentagon is set to make a major investment in open source software, if section 886 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 is passed. The section acknowledges the use of open source software, the release of source code into public repositories, and a competition to inspire work with open source that supports the mission of the Department of Defense.
  • How startups save buckets of money on early software development
     

    Moving along, we have to segue with a short modularity lesson. More specifically, how modularity applies to software.

    Essentially, all products and services become cheaper and more plentiful when all the processes involved in production become modularised.

today's howtos