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Microsoft

Microsoft Against GNU/Linux in the Public Sector

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • NHS: Thanks for all the free work, Linux nerds, now face our trademark cops [Ed: NHS has long been a Microsoft stronghold]

    Dev team quits, suggests NHS used them to get better deal with Microsoft

    [...]

    The small team behind an ambitious NHoS Linux project are calling it a day, citing receipt of a trademark infringement warning from the Department of Health's (DoH) "brand police" as the "final straw".

    The initial raison d’être of NHoS was to identify a way to roll out NHSbuntu, a strand of open-source Linux distro Ubuntu designed for the NHS, on three-quarters of a million smartcards. The smartcards are used to verify the healthcare pros that access 80 per cent of applications on millions of NHS PCs.

    The volunteer force behind NHoS wanted NHSbuntu to replace the current smartcard verification system that was running on Windows, and ultimately, have the operating system replace Windows on the desktop as well. Smart card recognition was seen as a mile-high hurdle in this grand plan.

    [...]

    Baw alleged the pair "(unbeknown to us) were also duplicitously negotiating with Microsoft about a new NHS Enterprise Wide Agreement".

  • Barcelona Council abandons Microsoft for open-source software [iophk: "again, disinfo about the reason for Munich's change"

    The Spanish city of Barcelona has announced it will phase out its use of Microsoft software in favour of open-source alternatives. Over the next few years, the city will transition away from Microsoft's services to guarantee its "technical sovereignty."

Linux Microsoft Office Alternatives

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Despite what you may have been led to believe, there are in fact a number of solid Linux alternatives for Microsoft Office available. In fact, there are even options available with varied levels of docx support, if that is something relevant to your business.

This article will explore my recommended Microsoft Office alternatives for Linux. Some of them you've likely heard of, others may be cloud/server based options that you might not have thought much about until now.

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Also: The best open source video editors 2018: free to download, edit, use and share

Linux Foundation's Work on SPDX and Work for Microsoft

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Linux
Microsoft
  • SPDX clears confusion around software licenses

    Around this time every year, our minds turn to copyright. Or maybe they turn more to copyright. After all, open source works because of copyright law. As you may already know, copyright laws give the authors of works the exclusive right to copy (among other things) their work. These rights attach as soon as the work is fixed in a tangible medium (written down, saved to disk, etc.). So the rights that open source licenses grant rely on copyright law.

    But what rights are specifically granted? That depends on which license the developer selects. Most projects use one of a few standard licenses, but they're not always clearly communicated. For example, a project may be released under "the GNU General Public License (GPL)." But which version? And can the recipient choose a later version if they wish?

    The Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) is a Linux Foundation project to help reduce the ambiguity of software by defining standards for reporting information. The license is one such piece of information. SPDX provides a format for listing the specific license variant and version that applies to a software package. With over 300 licenses, you're likely to find the one you use. The License List contains a human-friendly name, a short name, and a link to the full license text. SPDX also provides guidelines for matching the text of a license file to the official text of the license.

  • The Linux Foundation announces Linux on Azure training course to speed with Linux and vice versa

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announced on Thursday the availability of a new training course, LFS205 – Administering Linux on Azure.

    A large number of the virtual machines running in Azure are utilizing the Linux operating system. Both Linux and Azure professionals should make sure they know how to manage Linux workloads in an Azure environment as this trend is likely to continue.

  • The Linux Foundation launches 'Administering Linux on Azure' training course

    Linux is very much mainstream nowadays. What was once viewed as a hobby and niche project, is transforming the world. Many of the world's servers are running Linux-based operating systems. Hell, the most popular mobile operating system on the planet, Android, is Linux-based. Even closed-source champion Microsoft is embracing Linux by integrating it into Windows 10 and offering it on its Azure platform.

  • 4 Days Left to Submit Your Proposal for Open Networking Summit NA 2018

    The call for proposals deadline is quickly approaching! With more than 2000 attendees expected at this year’s event, submit before Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 11:59pm PST to share your ideas and expertise with the open networking community.

And we return to Munich's migration back to Windo- it's going to cost what now?! €100m!

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Munich City officials could waste €100m reversing a 15-year process that replaced proprietary software with open source following an official vote last year.

Munich officials in 2003 voted to migrate to an in-house custom version of Ubuntu Linux called LiMux and tailor digital docs to be compatible with LibreOffice. Now the councillors have decided that Munich will switch some 29,000 PCs to Windows 10 and phase out Linux by early 2023.

The cost of the U-turn could be even more catastrophic if another council vote by the end of 2018 fails to take a more reasoned tally. An approval would replace the open-source office suite LibreOffice with Microsoft Office.

That decision will cost the city upwards of €50m plus another €50m to revert to Windows 10, according to reports. The bill results from a combination of buying Windows 10 licences and converting some 12,000 LibreOffice templates and macros along with developing a new templating system for Microsoft Office.

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Bye bye Windows 10, and good riddance

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

At this point I’d had more than enough of Microsoft Windows. I used my laptop to download the ISO for Lubuntu 17.10 and create a LivePendrive, and I installed Lubuntu on the Aspire XC600. Although I run a source-based Linux distribution on two laptops, for ease and speed of installation and maintenance I opted to install a binary-based distribution on the family PC. I chose Lubuntu specifically because it uses the LXDE desktop environment, which is closer in look and feel to classic Windows than e.g. the Unity or GNOME desktop environments in Ubuntu, and is not as processor-hungry as KDE. I found that Lubuntu worked extremely well out-of-the-box, including scanning and printing using my Canon MP510 MFP. I used the GUI Software utility (‘System Tools’ > ‘Software’ from the LXDE application menu) to uninstall AbiWord and Gnumeric and install the LibreOffice suite. I added user accounts for all my family (‘System Tools’ > ‘Users and Groups’). Since the machines on my home network use SMB to share files, I installed samba and sambaclient and edited the smb.conf file via the command line, and browsing SMB shares worked first time. We have a decent family PC again.

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Servers With GNU/Linux and Microsoft's Continuing Strategy of Gaming the Numbers by Taking Over Parked Domains

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GNU
Linux
Server
Microsoft
  • Amazon has quietly released a game changer for its cloud: Linux software that runs on corporate servers

    Amazon's cloud business quietly just took a big step outside the cloud.

    Last month, soon after Amazon Web Service's giant tech conference, the company started offering its enterprise customers a new version of the Linux operating system it calls Linux 2. The new product marks a departure for the cloud-computing juggernaut, as the software can be installed on customers' servers rather than run from Amazon's data centers.

    Amazon will rent access to Linux 2 to its cloud customers. But it's also making the software available for companies to install on their servers. There they can use it to run many of the most popular server software programs and technologies, including Microsoft's Hyper-V, VMware, Oracle's VM VirtualBox, Docker, and Amazon's Docker alternative, Amazon Machine Image.

  • December 2017 Web Server Survey

    The noticeable spike in Apache-powered domains in May 2013 was caused by the largest hosting company of the time, GoDaddy, switching a large number of its domains from Microsoft IIS to Apache Traffic Server (ATS) . GoDaddy switched back to using IIS 7.5 a few months later.

    Today, Apache still has the largest market share by number of domains, with 81.4 million giving it a market share of 38.2%. It also saw the largest gain this month, increasing its total by 1.53 million. This growth was closely followed by nginx, with a gain of 1.09 million domains increasing its total to 47.5 million. While Microsoft leads by overall number of hostnames, it lags in 3rd position when considering the number of unique domains those sites run on, with a total of 22.8 million.

Top 10 Microsoft Visio Alternatives for Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Microsoft Visio is a great tool for creating or generating mission-critical diagrams and vector representations. While it may be a good tool for making floor plans or other kinds of diagrams – it is neither free nor open source.

Moreover, Microsoft Visio is not a standalone product. It comes bundled with Microsoft Office. We have already seen open source alternatives to MS Office in the past. Today we’ll see what tools you can use in place of Visio on Linux.

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Microsoft and Apple Self Harm

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Microsoft
Mac
  • Windows’ new Fall Creators Update wreaks havoc on computer displays

    The latest Windows 10 upgrade, a.k.a. the Fall Creators Update, did wreak havoc on some computer displays, as noted by several tech sites — the least of which is resolution confusion. A quick search on Richard’s display, the HP 27-inch monitor, says it has a native resolution of 1920×1080, so what happened to it?

    The likely culprit is that existing hardware — the video card — doesn’t quite work with the update. Some people fixed the issue by downloading updated software (also called drivers) for their Intel, Nvidia, ATI or other graphics card. In some cases, companies, notably Razer, are still working with Microsoft on this.

  • A doomed-but-revolutionary operating system spearheaded by Steve Jobs will be free to download in 2018

    Soon, you'll be able to try Lisa's pioneering operating system for yourself: In 2018, the Computer History Museum will release the code behind the Apple Lisa operating system for free as open source, for anyone to try and tinker with. The news was announced via the LisaList mailing list for Lisa enthusiasts.

  • Apple Facing A Bunch Of Lawsuits After Admitting It Slows Down Older Devices, But Insisting It's For A Good Reason

    There was a bit of controversy last week concerning Apple slowing down older devices. It started, as so many things do, with a Reddit post, noting that Apple appeared to be slowing down the processor on phones with older batteries. Geekbench's John Poole then ran some tests confirming this. Apple then confirmed that it was doing so. All three of those links above also present the reason for this -- which is not necessarily a nefarious one -- though that doesn't necessarily mean it's a good explanation either. In short, it was a solution to a problem of older batteries causing "spontaneous" or "unexpected shutdowns."

    But, of course, slowing down the phone to avoid those kinds of shutdowns still has the impact of reduced performance on older phones -- which ultimately angers users or makes them feel like they need to upgrade before they really do. This wouldn't necessarily be a huge issue if two things were true: (1) it was easy to replace the batteries and (2) Apple was clear and upfront about this -- telling people they could avoid this issue by replacing the battery. Neither of those things are true. Apple makes it quite difficult to replace the batteries (though, not impossible) and only now is explaining this "hack."

Microsoft Screws Staff, Apple Screws Customers

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac
  • Microsoft ends arbitration in sexual harassment cases [Ed: Microsoft has a long and documented history of sexual abuse at the workplace, so this is 'damage control' or a publicity stunt]

    This week Microsoft has altered a longstanding corporate policy, eliminating forced arbitration agreements for employees who file claims of sexual harassment—it is believed to be the largest such tech firm to make this notable change.

    "The silencing of people’s voices has clearly had an impact in perpetuating sexual harassment," Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, told The New York Times on Tuesday. In a blog post, Smith also said that the company would support new federal legislation to end the use of arbitration in sexual harassment cases.

  • Apple Is Purposely Slowing Down Older Phones , Says Geekbench

    From time to time, discussions which claim that Apple slows down old iPhones, intentionally, to boost sales keep on appearing on different online forums and discussion. A new report from Geekbench seems to support his narrative but it has got an important point that you shouldn’t miss.

    As per the finding of Geekbench’s John Poole, the iPhone slowdown reports are only going to get more common as phones like iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 continue to age. With time, we expect the battery capacity to decrease but we expect the processor performance to remain same. So, what’s happening here? Pretty confusing, right?

GNU/Linux and the Desktop

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Why hasn’t The Year of the Linux Desktop happened yet?

    Having spent 20 years of my life on Desktop Linux I thought I should write up my thinking about why we so far hasn’t had the Linux on the Desktop breakthrough and maybe more importantly talk about the avenues I see for that breakthrough still happening. There has been a lot written of this over the years, with different people coming up with their explanations. My thesis is that there really isn’t one reason, but rather a range of issues that all have contributed to holding the Linux Desktop back from reaching a bigger market. Also to put this into context, success here in my mind would be having something like 10% market share of desktop systems, that to me means we reached critical mass. So let me start by listing some of the main reasons I see for why we are not at that 10% mark today before going onto talking about how I think that goal might possible to reach going forward.

  • Schaller On Why The "Year Of The Linux Desktop" Hasn't Happened

    Longtime Fedora/GNOME developer Christian Schaller who leads the desktop engineering team at Red Hat recently commented on some bold Linux/tech predictions for 2018. He's now also shared his personal opinion on why "the year of the Linux desktop" has yet to materialize.

    Christian believes that holding back to the Linux desktop from conquering has been the fragmented market, the lack of specialized and big name applications being natively available, Linux not having a stable API/ABI, Apple's resurgence on the desktop, Microsoft being aggressive, Canonical's business model not working out, ODM support lacking, and more.

  • Microsoft's Surface Book 2 has a power problem

    Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 has a power problem. When operating at peak performance, it may draw more power than its stock charger or Surface Dock can handle. What we’ve discovered after talking to Microsoft is that it’s not a bug—it’s a feature.

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More in Tux Machines

Qt/KDE: Qt5 in Debian and Slackware, QtCreator on Android, KDE Discover, and Plasma's 10th Anniversary

  • moving Qt 4 from Debian testing (aka Buster): some statistics, update II
    We started filing bugs around September 9. That means roughly 32 weeks which gives us around 5.65 packages fixed per week, aka 0.85 packages per day. Obviously not as good as we started (remaining bugs tend to be more complicated), but still quite good.
  • [Slackware] Plasma5 – April 18 edition for Slackware
    The KDE-5_18.04 release of ‘ktown‘ for Slackware-current offers the latest KDE Frameworks (5.45.0), Plasma (5.12.4) and Applications (18.04.0). The Qt5 was upgraded to 5.9.5. Read the README file for more details and for installation/upgrade instructions. Enjoy the latest Plasma 5 desktop environment.
  • Perfect Debugging Experience with QtCreator on Android
    While I was working on a yet-to-be-announced super secret and cool Qt on Android project, I had to do a lot of debugging. This way I found that debugging Qt apps on Android using QtCreator was ok, but it had some issues, which was kinda frustrating.
  • Discover – Easily Install Software on KDE Neon Desktop
    KDE Discover is an Open Source GUI app installer that comes packaged with KDE Neon. It was particularly built from the ground up to be compatible with other modern Linux distros with emphasis on beauty and convenience. KDE Discover was also designed to allow for an intuitive User Experience as it features a clean and clear layout with a high readability value which makes it easy to browse, search for, install, and uninstall applications.
  • Almost 10 years of Plasma-Desktop
    Last week I was at work and start to listen my boss said: “We need to show this to our director”. So I went to my coworker table to see what was happening. So they were using Gource to make a video about the git history of the project. Gource is a software version control visualization tool. So that triggered in my mind some memories about a friend talking about Python and showing how the project as grow in this past years, but I never discovered about the tool that made that amazing video. So well, I started to make some Gource videos, and because my love about KDE Community, why not make one about it?

GNOME: Getting Real GNOME Back in Ubuntu 18.04, Bug Fix for Memory Leak

  • Getting Real GNOME Back in Ubuntu 18.04 [Quick Tip]
    Ubuntu 18.04 uses a customized version of GNOME and GNOME users might not like those changes. This tutorial shows you how to install vanilla GNOME on Ubuntu 18.04. One of the main new features of Ubuntu 18.04 is the customized GNOME desktop. Ubuntu has done some tweaking on GNOME desktop to make it look similar to its Unity desktop. So you get minimize options in the windows control, a Unity like launcher on the left of the screen, app indicator support among some other changes.
  • The Infamous GNOME Shell Memory Leak
    at this point, I think it’s safe to assume that many of you already heard of a memory leak that was plaguing GNOME Shell. Well, as of yesterday, the two GitLab’s MRs that help fixing that issue were merged, and will be available in the next GNOME version. The fixes are being considered for backporting to GNOME 3.28 – after making sure they work as expected and don’t break your computer.
  • The Big GNOME Shell Memory Leak Has Been Plugged, Might Be Backported To 3.28
    The widely talked about "GNOME Shell memory leak" causing excessive memory usage after a while with recent versions of GNOME has now been fully corrected. The changes are currently staged in Git for what will become GNOME 3.30 but might also be backported to 3.28. Well known GNOME developer Georges Stavracas has provided an update on the matter and confirmed that the issue stems from GJS - the GNOME JavaScript component - with the garbage collection process not being fired off as it should.

Graphics: AMDVLK, XWayland and Vulkan

  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Stack Gets Updated With More Extensions, Optimizations & Fixes
    AMD developers maintaining their official Vulkan cross-platform driver code have pushed their end-of-week updates to their external source repositories for those wanting to build the AMDVLK driver on Linux from source. This latest AMDVLK push updates not only their PAL (Platform Abstraction Layer) and XGL (Vulkan API Layer) components but it also updates their fork of the LLVM code-base used for their shader compilation.
  • EGLStreams XWayland Code Revised Ahead Of X.Org Server 1.20
    It's still not clear if the EGLStreams XWayland support will be merged for xorg-server 1.20 but at least the patches were revised this week, making it possible to merge them into this next X.Org Server release for allowing the NVIDIA proprietary driver to work with XWayland.
  • Vulkan 1.1.74 Released With Minor Fixes & Clarifications
    Vulkan continues sticking to the "release early, release often" mantra with the availability today of Vulkan 1.1.74.

Xfce Releases/Updates

  • Xfce Settings 4.12.3 / 4.13.2 Released
    Fixes galore! Xfce Settings 4.12.3 and 4.13.2 were released on March 18th with several improvements, feature parity, and translations.
  • Xfce PulseAudio Plugin 0.4.0 (and 0.4.1) Released
    Stable as a rock. Xfce PulseAudio Plugin hit a new stable milestone with the 0.4.0 release. This release wraps up the awesome development cycle we’ve had on this over the last few months and is recommended for all users.
  • Xfce Settings Update Brings Better Multi-Monitor Support
    While still waiting on the long-awaited Xfce 4.14, out this weekend is an Xfce Settings 4.14.2 preview release as well as an Xfce Settings 4.12.3 stable series update. Both of these Xfce Settings updates bring better multi-monitor support, including visualization of all display configuration states, visually noting if two displays are mirrored, always drawing the active display last so it's on top, and a number of fixes pertaining to the multi-monitor display handling from this Xfce desktop settings agent.