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Italy: High Court shoots down Windows tax

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Italy's High Court has struck a blow to the practice of forcing non-free software on buyers of PCs and laptops. According to La Repubblica, the court ruled on Thursday that a laptop buyer was entitled to receive a refund for the price of the Microsoft Windows license on his computer.

The judges sharply criticised the practice of selling PCs only together with a non-free operating system as "a commercial policy of forced distribution". The court slammed this practice as "monopolistic in tendency". It also highlighted that the practice of bundling means that end users are forced into using additional non-free applications due to compatibility and interoperability issues, whether they wanted these programs or not.

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City of Turin decides to ditch Windows XP for Ubuntu and €6m saving

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Ubuntu

€6m: the amount the municipality of Turin hopes to save over five years by switching from Windows XP to Ubuntu Linux in all of its offices.

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Wine Announcement

Filed under
Microsoft
Software

The Wine development release 1.7.26 is now available.

What's new in this release (see below for details):
- Still more DirectWrite functions.
- Improvements to the common File Dialog.
- A number of C runtime improvements.
- Various bug fixes.

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Los Angeles schools need to think outside the iPad

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Mac

Foisting computers on schools has been a lucrative business, one easily disguised as charity. Among Pearson’s allies is the Gates Foundation, which works alongside Microsoft’s education arm to promote the Common Core in schools and support libraries, with Microsoft software in hand. Gates’ competitor for the richest-person-in-the-world slot, Mexican telecom monopolist Carlos Slim, has proposed to bypass schools altogether by bankrolling the online-only Khan Academy. Now Rupert Murdoch is trying to enter the education tech business with a tablet of his own.

[...]

One might, for instance, consider replacing the iPad with a little device called a Raspberry Pi. About the size of a credit card, it’s a fully featured computer, though a keyboard and screen need to be plugged in separately. It comes as a single circuit board with no casing, which reflects its philosophy; the basic parts of the machine are plain for a student to see — the video card, the CPU, the power system, the USB ports. The nonprofit Raspberry Pi Foundation sells it for as little as $25, compared with $299 to $929 for an iPad. One Laptop per Child (OLPC), another nonprofit project, produces low-cost laptops and tablets with education in mind.

Software can be even cheaper. The Raspberry Pi and OLPC run on Linux, a free, open-source operating system, which is constantly being improved and expanded by thousands of programmers around the world. An enormous variety of free, community-developed programs, including fully featured office suites, graphics tools and games — as well as popular commercial programs such as Skype and Dropbox — can be installed on the device. Apple and Microsoft often tell us that open-source software is unreliable and unfriendly to use, but that hasn’t stopped Linux from being the basis of Android phones, many everyday appliances and most of the Internet. The computer I used to write this article runs Linux.

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Microsoft is part of the problem, not the solution for Munich

Filed under
LibO
Microsoft
OOo

The new mayor of Munich is a self-proclaimed Microsoft fan and he wants to waste all the money that was invested in moving away from Microsoft’s vendor lock and incompatible technologies. His deputy is also a Microsoft fans so it’s not surprising that the new office of the mayor wants to bring back Microsoft technologies.

But that will be a very dangerous move for Munich.

Josef Schmid, teh deputy, points out two issues with LiMux – one is incompatibility with Microsoft technologies and other was increased support calls.

Incompatibility with Microsoft products is a huge problem and it’s a problem for everyone who is using Microsoft technologies. Linux or Open Source are not the cause of the problem as Schmid says, they are victims.

Then what is the cause?

In a recent interview one of the directors of The Document Foundation disclosed how Microsoft users various tricks to break compatibility and that leads to people like Schmid to blame open source technologies without fully understanding where the problem lies.

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Microsoft’s cheap assault on Android tablets is about to begin

Filed under
Android
Microsoft

Microsoft is copying competitor’s models so vigorously that they should move their head quarters to China. After pushing ‘cheap’ (in terms of price and performance) Netbooks to combat Chromebooks, Microsoft is now about to flood the market with ‘cheap’ Windows tablets.

Toshiba is going to be the first company to launch cheap 7-inch Windows tablet. The tablet will be launched at IFA tradeshow in Berlin.

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Microsoft's Desperate Attempt to Discredit Chromebooks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Microsoft

Microsoft is well known for spreading FUD to harm their competition. A business strategy that may work to some extent, but is also a sign that Microsoft lacks confidence in their own products.

Microsoft recently published a Microsoft Educast on YouTube where they compared Chromebooks to Windows 8 laptops. The video has been set to private in the meantime, I suppose the feedback wasn't very positive.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft can't see many good things in Chromebooks, admitting they are super low-cost, but of course there are reasons for that. In the 9 minute video they manage to get several things wrong though. Maybe not as embarrassing as other MS FUD campaigns, but still worth a closer look.

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Ubuntu MATE Developer Makes the System Look Like Windows XP

Filed under
Microsoft
Ubuntu

Many users fear the switch to a Linux system because the new interface might seem little to alien for their taste. This problem can be fixed if the Linux operating system uses a similar design with the Windows counterpart and it looks like Ubuntu MATE can do this without a problem.

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You have your Windows in my Linux

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft

Although there are those who think the systemd debate has been decided in favor of systemd, the exceedingly loud protests on message boards, forums, and the posts I wrote over the past two weeks would indicate otherwise. I've seen many declarations of victory for systemd, now that Red Hat has forced it into the enterprise with the release of RHEL 7. I don't think it's that easy.

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Windows XP: Your upgrade experiences

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

I think more media attention needs to be brought to Linux [an open-source operating system] nowadays. I've tried many platforms and have found Lubuntu in particular to be a very sophisticated and extremely lightweight operating system. Even on computers with as little as 512MB of RAM the system boots, runs programs and shuts down like a bullet.

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Christmas rest for the braves

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Enterprise Advances Brought Linux Success in 2014

For Linux, 2014 could easily be labeled the year enterprise really and truly embraced Linux. It could just as easily be labeled the year that nearly forgot Linux on the desktop. If you weren’t Docker, containers, OpenStack, or big data ─ chances are the spotlight didn’t brighten your day much. If, however, you (or your product) fell into one of those categories, that spotlight shined so brightly, it was almost blinding. Let’s glance back into our own wayback machine and see where Linux succeeded and where it did not. The conclusions should be fairly simple to draw and are incredibly significant to the state of Linux as a whole. Read more

Using Your Open Source Work to Get a Job

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