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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).

Microsoft Begs, Bugs, and Bug Doors

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Microsoft
Security
  • Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft

    Microsoft has urged non-tech-savvy people – or anyone who just wants a stable computer – to not download and install this year's biggest revision to Windows by hand. And that's because it may well bork your machine.

    It's been two weeks since Microsoft made its Creators Update available, and we were previously warned it will be a trickle-out rather than a massive rollout. Now, Redmond has urged users to stop manually fetching and installing the code, and instead wait for it to be automatically offered to your computer when it's ready.

  • Microsoft Word flaw took so long to fix that hackers used it to send fraud software to millions of computers

    A flaw in Microsoft Word took the tech giant so long to fix that hackers were able to use it to send fraud software to millions of computers, it has been revealed.

    The security flaw, officially known as CVE-2017-0199, could allow a hacker to seize control of a personal computer with little trace, and was fixed on April 11 in Microsoft's regular monthly security update - nine months after it was discovered.

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    There’s no doubt, in the IT world, microservices are sexy. But just because you find something cool and attractive doesn’t mean it’s good for you. And it doesn’t mean you know how to use it properly.
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    "Proprietary will have to either get on board or be left in the dust."
  • Tumbleweed Review of the week 2017/25
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  • My Meetup Slides: Deploy and Manage Kubernetes Clusters on Ubuntu in the Oracle Cloud
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  • MinnowBoard 3 will offer Apollo Lake, triple M.2s, and Raspberry Pi expansion
    Minnowboard.org is prepping an open spec “MinnowBoard 3” SBC with a quad-core Apollo Lake, 4GB LPDDR4, 8GB eMMC, 3x M.2 sockets, and an RPi connector. The Intel-backed Minnowboard.org project has posted preliminary specs for an open-spec MinnowBoard 3 model to follow the recently shipped MinnowBoard Turbo Quad. Due to ship in the fall, the community-backed MinnowBoard 3 stands out with a 14nm Apollo Lake Atom, three M.2 sockets, and an “RPI” adapter. The only RPI we know of is Raspberry Pi, or more specifically, its much copied 40-pin expansion connector.
  • Open source social robot kit runs on Raspberry Pi and Arduino
    Thecorpora’s Scratch-ready “Q.bo One” robot is based on the RPi 3 and Arduino, and offers stereo cams, mics, a speaker, and visual and language recognition. In 2010, robotics developer Francisco Paz and his Barcelona-based Thecorpora startup introduced the first Qbo “Cue-be-oh” robot as an open source proof-of-concept and research project for exploring AI capabilities in multi-sensory, interactive robots. Now, after a preview in February at Mobile World Congress, Thecorpora has gone to Indiegogo to launch the first mass produced version of the social robot in partnership with Arrow.