The Document Foundation just released version 5.2 of its fully open source office suite LibreOffice. This release brings many new features and UI improvements. When I got the press release, I started updating LibreOffice on my MacBook. But here's the thing: I'm also a user of Microsoft Word.
That made me pause and consider why I use LibreOffice when I am forking over $99 a year to Microsoft. The flash of introspection surprised me. I'm an unabashed open source and Linux fan, but I am kind of agnostic when it comes to the tools I use. I use what works for me. So I reached out to my followers on Google+ and Facebook to learn about their reasons for using LibreOffice.
Here are some of the many reasons why people, myself included, love LibreOffice.
Warning: Windows 10 Anniversary Update might delete your Linux partitions [Ed: and you cannot stop the update. Sabotage, as noted yesterday]
Linux Users Reporting Windows 10 Anniversary Update Hoses Their Dual Boot Partitions [Ed: only to be expected from the 'new' Microsoft]
If you're a Linux user who happens to dual-boot with Windows, you should exercise extreme caution when upgrading to the just-released Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Not long after Microsoft's latest release, reports began to hit the Web concerning issues of hard drives having their data deleted. The issue has proven to have enough credence to push Ubuntu's Community Manager Alan Pope to shoot out a warning...
Yikes — if you plan on installing the Windows 10 Anniversary update on your PC you may want to be extra careful.
It seems that the latest version of Microsoft’s OS has attention issues. Not content with forcing itself on users who didn’t want it, it may be taking even more drastic steps of hosing other operating systems entirely!
A handful of reports surfacing on social media suggest, anecdotally, that the Windows 10 anniversary may interfere with, affect and even delete other partitions on the same disk.
Linux desktop marketshare has grown for three consecutive months [Ed: Net Applications, for the uninitiated, is Microsoft-connected, so expect real numbers to be a lot higher]
Not strictly gaming related, but we do cover other important or interesting things here and there. According to netmarketshare [Net Applications] for three months straight Linux marketshare has gone up.
May : 1.79%
June : 2.02%
July : 2.33%
Black Duck Announces Creation of Global Center for Open Source Research & Innovation [Ed: A Microsoft proxy declares itself “Global Center for Open Source Research & Innovation”]
Black Duck Launches Promising Open Source Innovation Center [Ed: So a Microsoft proxy wants to become the world's authority on Microsoft's competitors now?]
A Rs 38 crore mandate awarded by the Union HRD Ministry in June to an affiliate of Redmond-based Microsoft Corp for developing a flagship web-based education platform is coming under increasing fire in the academic circles — both for the manner in which the contract was handed out and on the choice of proprietary software over free open source options already being deployed by premier educational institutions in the country.
Microsoft was selected as the technical partner for the HRD ministry’s SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) platform based on the recommendations of a “technical committee”, presumably after the tendering process for selecting a system integrator for SWAYAM —a MOOC or massive open online courses platform — floated thrice through the e-procurement platform since November last year failed to elicit any response. While the Ministry of Human Resource Development has cited the decision of a “technical committee” behind its choice of proprietary software over open source software and that selecting Microsoft does not run foul of the rulebook, the deal has raised eyebrows over the lack of objective criterion on how the decisions were taken in the first place.
The choice of proprietary software, entailing costs of Rs 38 crore and more for tools such as SQL (structured query language), is being questioned on the grounds that the selection of proprietary software on payment basis was done despite a clear option of going in for open source platforms such as Open EdX. For instance, Open edX — an open-source, not-for profit platform floated by MIT and Harvard University that was released as open source in March 2013 to act as the WordPress for MOOC platforms — is used across at least 126 universities and organisations globally. Even more intriguing is the fact that an MoU is already in place between IIT Bombay and edX, under which edX released complete platform code in open source. The signing of the MoU in June 2013 was actually facilitated by the Ministry of HRD. Open source platforms such as Open edX allow users to use plug-ins to expand the core functionality, thereby imparting tremendous flexibility when it comes to scaling up the platform or modify it to suit the specific requirements of a particular college or university. Since January last year, IIT Bombay decided to opt for Open edX and launch a customised version called IITBX as an extended online educational services for the benefit of Indian learners and training workshops for teachers, wherein the premier engineering institute has added significant functionality to the Open edX platform to create and offer MOOCs. Similarly, IIT Madras had a Google-based Course Builder platform ported in their own computer infrastructure while IIT Kanpur had a homegrown platform called MOOKIT, based again on open source software.
Microsoft to Cut 2,850 More Jobs in Exit From Phone Business [iophk: "and how many permatemps are also getting axed?" Ed: Lots of other layoffs for years now]
Microsoft Corp. is more that doubling an earlier job cut plan, part of Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella’s move to pare the company’s smartphone ambitions.
Some 2,850 positions worldwide will be eliminated in fiscal 2017, the company said Thursday in a regulatory filing. That’s in addition to 1,850 job cuts, primarily in the smartphone hardware business and sales, announced in May.
CORTANA IS taking over. The forthcoming Anniversary Update of Windows 10 has shown a new twist in Microsoft's 'do as we say' attitude towards customers.
It appears that the update, due for release on 2 August, just three days after the end of the free upgrade period for Windows 10, removes the ability to turn personal assistant bot Cortana off, reported PC World (not that one, the IDG one).
In all fairness, the upshot of this is fairly minimal. Cortana butts into your computing only if it's told to, and it's very easy for it not to.
However, the fact that it's always on means that it's always collecting metadata, and that might leave some people feeling a tad uncomfortable.
Microsoft faces two new lawsuits over aggressive Windows 10 upgrade tactics [Ed: more of the same, still...]
Microsoft is facing two more lawsuits over the company’s questionable Windows 10 upgrade tactics. Both suits are seeking class-action status.
The first suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Florida. It alleges that Microsoft’s Windows 10 upgrade prompts “violated laws governing unsolicited electronic advertisements,” as reported by The Seattle Times. The suit also says Microsoft’s tactics are against the Federal Trade Commission’s rules on deceptive and unfair practices.
The second suit was filed in June in Haifa, Israel alleging that Microsoft installed Windows 10 on users’ computers without consent. Microsoft already paid out a $10,000 award in a previous U.S. suit over similar circumstances.
Microsoft told the Seattle Times it believes the suits won’t succeed. The Times also reports that Microsoft said Windows 10 upgrades (the Times report called them “updates”) are a “choice, not a requirement.”
The story behind the story: That’s quite a disingenuous statement considering that Microsoft violated the known behavior of the Windows interface to essentially trick people into upgrading.
Tresorit For Linux Released To Provide End-To-End Encrypted File Sharing [Ed: proprietary cannot be trusted for this]
Tresorit is an end-to-end encrypted file sharing service aimed at sharing files among team members. Tresorit has supported Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, and even Blackberry and Windows Phone while now they are finally supporting the Linux desktop.
Tresorit has released a native Linux binary for customers wishing to engage in an encrypted file-sharing workflow from their desktop. Ubuntu, Debian, Arch, Fedora, Gentoo, Mint, SUSE, and CentOS are all mentioned as being supported.
Microsoft's Skype for Linux Alpha gets device settings and a system tray icon [ed: malware with NSA connections trying to enter system trays]
Surprise, surprise. If things remain as they are, Windows 10 users who upgrade to the Anniversary Update won't be able to turn off Cortana anymore using the Cortana settings.
If you compare the start menu settings of Cortana of the current version of Windows (version 1511) with those of the Anniversary Update (version 1607) you will notice that Cortana's off switch is no longer available (thanks Ian Paul @ PC World for spotting that)
You can't turn off Cortana in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update [Ed: A listening device, cannot switch it off anymore; keylogger next?]
Microsoft made an interesting decision with Windows 10’s Anniversary Update, which is now in its final stages of development before it rolls out on August 2.
Cortana, the personal digital assistant that replaced Windows 10’s search function and taps into Bing’s servers to answer your queries with contextual awareness, no longer has an off switch.
Some good news! SWORDY has been given the green light to come to Linux & SteamOS by Microsoft, as the developer was a bit confused due to the Xbox One exclusive deal they have.
MAYBE it’s how intrusive Windows 10 can be. Or maybe you’re just fed up with working under the constant threat of viruses and other malicious software. Or perhaps, you’re tired of paying thousands of pesos for applications and equally weary of breaking the law by installing pirated versions of the software. Indeed, there are many reasons to dump Windows in favor of the free and open-source Linux operating system. Here’s what Windows users who are contemplating the move should keep in mind.