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Microsoft

Here’s the glaring potential flaw in Windows 10X devices as Chromebook competitors

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Microsoft

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Imagine an operating system that’s focused on using the web browser and you can’t install traditional desktop apps on. No, I’m actually not talking about Chromebooks, and if I was, that would be an outdated thought experiment since you can install full desktop Linux apps on Chrome OS. I’m talking about upcoming devices running Microsoft Windows 10X, a “lite” software platform that is reportedly debuting in roughly 9 months.

You may not recall that Microsoft tried a similar approach in 2012 with Windows RT and the first Surface device.

Read more

Also: Linux Marketshare Dipped in July – But Not By Much! [Ed: No, it is wrong to base one's assessment on a Microsoft partner that pretends Android, ChromeOS etc. don't even exist]

Has Ubuntu 20.04 Finally Come Far Enough to Take on Windows? It Sure Seems Like It

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Ubuntu

Microsoft Windows has become the default operating system on Laptops and PC. So much so that Laptops now come with Windows pre-installed. Previously it used to be the case that many laptop manufacturers used to offer their products with no operating system or DOS. Since Windows 10 came into the world everything changed. You can run Windows 10 for free and get all the updates as well and without using any cracked versions. One could even argue that Microsoft went the Google route with Windows. So is windows better now or not?

Well, it certainly seems that offering your product for free does come with a few compromises. One of the biggest ones is the compromise on Privacy. Most people are just average users who buy a machine and just use it without reading the terms of service and don’t tinker around with the settings. So is it worth it to use Windows still? The answer depends from one person to another but most users will argue that Windows has a polished UI and as a ton of support and software that will run flawlessly on the OS. That aspect of the argument is true if you are a content creator or video editor but if you are a developer or just a tech nerd then it might not be the case.

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Microsoft’s Edge browser is crashing if you have Google set as default search

Filed under
Microsoft

Microsoft’s new Edge browser started randomly crashing when users typed into the address bar tonight. The issues appear to have affected Edge users who have selected Google as the default search engine. Microsoft investigated the problem and now says it’s believed to have been resolved.

Microsoft recommends turning off Search Suggestions in edge://settings/search. The Verge has tested this workaround and it solves the problem if you have Google set as your default search engine.

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Commonly Asked Questions and Answers For Windows Users Looking to Switch to Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Many people know “Linux” as an operating system, but the term “Linux” is actually referring to the Linux kernel. The kernel is the core of an operating system that controls and facilitates interactions between hardware and software components.

When packaged with different desktop environment and software, it becomes an operating system, just like Windows or macOS. More accurately, it should be called a “Linux distribution” instead of “Linux”.

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Hack Brief: Microsoft Warns of a 17-Year-Old ‘Wormable’ Bug

Filed under
Microsoft
Security

Since WannaCry and NotPetya struck the internet just over three years ago, the security industry has scrutinized every new Windows bug that could be used to create a similar world-shaking worm. Now one potentially "wormable" vulnerability—meaning an attack can spread from one machine to another with no human interaction—has appeared in Microsoft's implementation of the domain name system protocol, one of the fundamental building blocks of the internet.

As part of its Patch Tuesday batch of software updates, Microsoft today released a fix for a bug discovered by Israeli security firm Check Point, which the company's researchers have named SigRed. The SigRed bug exploits Windows DNS, one of the most popular kinds of DNS software that translates domain names into IP addresses. Windows DNS runs on the DNS servers of practically every small and medium-sized organization around the world. The bug, Check Point says, has existed in that software for a remarkable 17 years.

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Microsoft slips Bing search into Android through Outlook

Filed under
Android
Microsoft

If you use Outlook for your Android phone’s email and calendars, you might see an unexpected sales pitch for Microsoft’s search engine.

Android users have discovered that Outlook slips a “Bing search” option into the long-press menu you see when you select text. Tap it and it will open your default browser with a Bing query for whatever words you had selected. It’s helpful, but likely not what you wanted if you live in a Google-centric world.

The menu option doesn’t appear for everyone, and some have reported success in getting rid of it by uninstalling Outlook. It might not even be visible if you reinstall the app. It doesn’t appear to be available when you install other Microsoft apps beyond Bing.

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Also: Microsoft caught sneaking Bing search onto phones with the Outlook app

Microsoft's clever trick to get Android users search on Bing instead of Google

Microsoft to pull support for PHP

Filed under
Development
Microsoft
  • Microsoft to pull support for PHP: Version 8? Exterminate, more like...

    Born-again open-source fan Microsoft is celebrating 25 years of PHP by, er, pulling its support for the scripting language that is beloved (or dreaded) by server operators the world over.

    Microsoft engineer Dale Hirt confirmed the change on the PHP mailing list, warning that the Windows behemoth was not "going to be supporting PHP for Windows in any capacity for version 8.0 and beyond."

    Current versions, 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4, will continue to receive support as per the community's cadence, which sees around two years of bug squashing followed by a year of security fixes. PHP 7.4 emerged last November, so Microsoft's benevolence should last until 2022 at which point the plug will be pulled.

    Register reader Alain Williams, who tipped us off to Hirt's posting, remarked: "I suspect that it means that Microsoft will not provide any resources to make PHP 8 work but expect others to do so instead."

    After thanking the Microsoft gang for its work over the years, PHP 8.0 Release Manager Sara Golemon said: "I won't say I'm not bummed," before expressing the hope that some sort of alternative might be worked out by the end of the year, when version 8 is due to drop.

  • [PHP-DEV] Microsoft Support of PHP on Windows

    Hello PHP Internals,

    My name is Dale Hirt and I am the project manager for PHP inside Microsoft.

    We currently support PHP with development and build efforts for PHP 7.3, and PHP 7.4. In addition,
    we help with building PHP 7.2 on Windows when security fixes are required..

    However, as PHP 8.0 is now ramping up, we wanted to let the community know what our current plans
    are going forward.

    We know that the current cadence is 2 years from release for bug fixes, and 1 year after that for
    security fixes. This means that PHP 7.2 will be going out of support in November. PHP 7.3 will be
    going into security fix mode only in November. PHP 7.4 will continue to have another year of bug
    fix and then one year of security fixes. We are committed to maintaining development and building
    of PHP on Windows for 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4 as long as they are officially supported. We are not,
    however, going to be supporting PHP for Windows in any capacity for version 8.0 and beyond.

Why Windows Power Users Break Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

As more people come to Linux, those of us who help the Windows refugees make the switch will need to be very patient with them. The more someone knows about Windows, the more likely it is that they will break Linux. Handing them a Linux laptop and saying, “Here ya go…” is not enough if they are going to succeed. You’re going to have to hold their hand for a while and telling them to “RTFM” will just drive them back to Windows. Understanding why they struggle as much as they do will help you to help them avoid some of the common pitfalls.

I specialize in helping people get started with Linux. I’ve helped hundreds of people over the last few years and I can pretty much spot the ones who are going to do well and those who are going to be frustrated. If a client approaches me and they start the conversation with “I’ve been using Windows for 20 years…” I know it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

The pattern is always the same: I walk them through an install and all is well for about two weeks and then I get a frustrated message from them about how Linux is stupid and doesn’t work. I know without asking that they’ve broken something major or borked up the whole system. I usually can fix the problem and make a good lesson out of it for them. I have gone so far as to walk them through a second installation from scratch. If the system is totally hosed, that’s the best way to go. Give them a clean slate to work with and hope they learned something.

On the other hand, if a client tells me that they know nothing about computers but they need one to get things done like writing documents, spreadsheets, web surfing and email then they usually have zero issues. I get them setup and I don’t hear from them again. I usually contact then after a month or two and they invariably tell me everything is working perfectly. I got a call from a gentleman I hadn’t heard from in a year and a half recently. He said everything was working nicely but he wanted some advice about upgrading his Linux Mint from 17.3 to 18.1 and could I help him get it right. No problem. Wonderful to hear that all is well!

Read more

Graphics: Mesa 20.1.3 and Collabora Working for Microsoft

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Microsoft
  • mesa 20.1.3

    Hi all,

    I'd like to announce Mesa 20.1.3, the third bugfix release for the 20.1 branch.

    There's a lot in there, but more than half of the commits are just updates to
    our testing infrastructure; nothing out of the ordinary in the driver changes.

    The next bugfix release is planned for 2 weeks from now, on 2020-07-22.

    Cheers,
    Eric

  • Mesa 20.1.3 Brings More Fixes To The Open-Source Vulkan / OpenGL Drivers

    Mesa 20.1.3 is out as the newest bi-weekly point release for this stable Mesa3D series.

    Mesa 20.2 continues building up a lot of feature work and should ultimately see its first official release around the end of August, but for now Mesa 20.1.x is the greatest when it comes to stable material. Mesa 20.1.3 is now the newest routine update for users of these predominantly OpenGL/Vulkan drivers.

  • Deep dive into OpenGL over DirectX layering [Ed: Microsoft is attacking OpenGL again, the EEE way]

    Earlier this year, we announced a new project in partnership with Microsoft: the implementation of OpenCL and OpenGL to DirectX 12 translation layers (Git repository). Time for a summer update! In this blog post, I will explain a little more about the OpenGL part of this work and more specifically the steps that have been taken to improve the performance of the OpenGL-On-D3D12 driver.

  • Progress Being Made On OpenCL+OpenGL Over Direct3D 12 [Ed: Microsoft pays Collabora to promote proprietary vendor lock-in; see comments]

    That OpenCL/OpenGL-over-D3D12 initiative was announced earlier this year only for it then to become public later that it's principally for the Direct3D 12 support coming to WSL2. With that there can then be the OpenGL graphics and OpenCL compute within the Linux WSL2 instances that in turn end up using the native D3D12 drivers of the host. Besides this layering library being developed with Collabora, Microsoft has also been working on a Wayland compositor as part of the GUI app support and the DirectX Linux kernel driver and Hyper-V DRM driver.

    Collabora for their part have published an update on their engineering effort of translating OpenGL and OpenCL for DirectX 12 consumption. They are making good progress and even have a Doom 3 time demo working. Obviously the resulting performance has been a big concern and focus.

  • Welcoming five new Collaborans!

    With over 15 years' experience in working remotely, Collabora was, and continues to be, uniquely prepared to support our customers and our teams during these challenging times. Despite the many obstacles brought on by the pandemic, we have continued delivering services to our clients, and continue to build and strengthen our engineering and administration teams for the road ahead.

    Based in Canada, India, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Cyprus, these newest Collaborans join our worldwide team of highly skilled engineers, developers and managers who all share a common passion for technology and Open Source.

With Edge, Microsoft’s forced Windows updates just sank to a new low

Filed under
Microsoft

If I told you that my entire computer screen just got taken over by a new app that I’d never installed or asked for — it just magically appeared on my desktop, my taskbar, and preempted my next website launch — you’d probably tell me to run a virus scanner and stay away from shady websites, no?

But the insanely intrusive app I’m talking about isn’t a piece of ransomware. It’s Microsoft’s new Chromium Edge browser, which the company is now force-feeding users via an automatic update to Windows.

Seriously, when I restarted my Windows 10 desktop this week, an app I’d never asked for...

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More in Tux Machines

Linux Plumbers Conference and Kernel Developments in METRICFS, FS-Cache, HWMON

  • Application Ecosystem Microconference Accepted into 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference

    We are pleased to announce that the Application Ecosystem Microconference has been accepted into the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference! The Linux kernel is the foundation of the Linux systems, but it is not much use without applications that run on top of it. The application experience relies on the kernel for performance, stability and responsiveness. Plumbers is the perfect venue to have the kernel and app ecosystems under one roof to discuss and learn together and make a better application experience on the Linux platform.

  • Google Opens Patches For "METRICFS" That They Have Used Since 2012 For Telemetry Data

    The METRICFS file-system has been in use internally at Google since 2012 for exporting system statistics to their telemetry systems with around 200 statistics being exported per machine. They are now posting the METRICFS patches as open-source for review and possible upstreaming. A "request for comments" on METRICFS was sent out today on the Linux kernel mailing list. Their motives for now finally publishing these patches is as a result of the recent Statsfs proposal by a Red Hat engineer for a RAM-based file-system for exposing kernel statistics to user-space. METRICFS has a similar aim to Statsfs.

  • FS-Cache Rewritten But Even Its Developers Are Hesitant About Landing It For Linux 5.9

    FS-Cache provides the Linux kernel with a general purpose cache for network file-systems like NFS and AFS but also other special use-cases like ISO9660 file-systems. FS-Cache has been rewritten for better performance and reliability, among other benefits, and while it has been sent in as a pull request for Linux 5.9 even its own developers provide some caution over landing it this cycle. FS-Cache has seen work to "massively overhaul" it with a variety of improvements. The new and improved FS-Cache will now use async direct I/O in place of snooping for updated pages that in turn means less virtual memory overhead. The new FS-Cache implementation has simpler object management, changes to object invalidation, and a variety of other work.

  • Corsair Commander Pro Driver Sent In To Linux 5.9

    The hardware monitoring (HWMON) subsystem has a new driver that is likely to excite some enthusiasts wanting greater control over thermal monitoring and fan control for their systems. The previously covered Corsair Commander Pro Linux driver is now coming with Linux 5.9. The Commander Pro offers six 4-pin fan ports with PWM controls, two RGB LED channels, and four thermal sensors. An interested user/developer created this Linux driver without the support from Corsair. The thermal and fan control support is in place with this new HWMON driver while the RGB lighting controls are available from OpenRGB.

Graphics: Mesa 20.1.5, Intel and AMD

  • mesa 20.1.5
    Hi all,
    
    I'd like to announce Mesa 20.1.5, the fifth bugfix release for the 20.1 branch.
    
    The next bugfix release is planned for 2 weeks from now, on 2020-08-19.
    
    Cheers,
    Eric
    
    
  • Mesa 20.1.5 Released For The Latest Stable Open-Source Vulkan / OpenGL Drivers

    Mesa 20.1.5 provides the latest stable open-source Vulkan/OpenGL graphics drivers for the Linux desktop as the newest bi-weekly milestone. Mesa 20.2 remains under development as this quarter's feature release due out in about one month's time. Mesa 20.2 is running behind schedule as it should have been branched around the end of July but has yet to happen. In any case, more Mesa 20.2 feature work continues to land and more than likely will ship sometime in September. But until that occurs, Mesa 20.1 is the latest stable series.

  • Intel Workaround For Graphics Driver Regression: "The Platform Problem Going Crazy"

    Sent out over the weekend was a patch series for the Intel Linux kernel graphics driver entitled "Time, where did it go?" This set of 42 patches aims to provide incremental improvements to the driver to offset a performance regression in Linux 5.7 that Intel hasn't been able to track down. This increased complication of the driver to offset the regression is now under the microscope. The set of 42 patches by longtime Intel open-source developer Chris Wilson provides incremental improvements to reduce the execution latency. He was upfront that the intent of these improvements are to "basically offsets the small regressions incurred when compared to [Linux kernel] 5.7."

  • RadeonSI Resorts To Disabling SDMA For GFX9/Vega Due To APU Issues

    AMD's RadeonSI Gallium3D driver has resorted to disabling SDMA (System DMA) async DMA engine support for all GFX9/Vega hardware due to issues plaguing some APUs. While SDMA has the potential of helping performance, GFX9 (Vega) is now seeing the support disabled due to bugs seeming to only affect APUs. Though it's not entirely surprising as the open-source AMD Radeon Linux driver also is not enabling SDMA at this point for GFX8 (Polaris) or GFX10 (Navi) hardware either. Opened three months ago was the merge request for disabling SDMA on GFX9 and to back-port it to the stable series as well. Longtime AMD open-source developer Marek Olsak noted, "This is somewhat a radical step. All opinions welcome."

Audiocasts/Shows: Destination Linux, FLOSS Weekly, CrowPi and Linux Headlines

           
  • Destination Linux 185: Let’s Fix Linux Tech Support

    On this week’s episode of Destination Linux, we’re transitioning from the topic of Bug Reporting last week to Tech Support in Linux this week. We’re going to check in on Wayland’s progress with Plasma’s new release, we have an sandbox MMO for gaming, and our popular tips/tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more, coming up right now on Destination Linux.

  •                 
  • FLOSS Weekly 590: Rensselaer Center for Open Software - A Community of Open Source Developers

    RCOS is a group of RPI students who work on open-source projects. The goal of RCOS is to empower students to develop open-source solutions to real-world problems. They have created 300+ open source projects over the years. Doc Searls and Simon Phipps talk with Wes Turner, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the Director of the Rensselaer Center for Open Source. They discuss teaching open source and the hardships that come along with that, especially with e-learning. They also discuss what the future could look like if we could have more open-source programs like RCOS in other universities.

  •        
  • The Best Raspberry Pi Laptop Kit | CrowPi 2 Review

    The Best Raspberry Pi Laptop Kit | CrowPi 2 Review of the kit, usage, and examples. 

  •        
  • 2020-08-05 | Linux Headlines

    LibreOffice 7 dodges its rebranding controversy, the Pinta bitmap editor sees its first new version in 5 years, Red Hat accommodates certification seekers with new pandemic-friendly rules, and ownCloud 10.5 brings background sync changes to the platform.

Gaming on Linux in 2020: Way Better Than You Think

Linux has always been seen as a rather rigid operating system for gaming. Many games used to be unavailable on Linux, and the ones that you could play used to have all sorts of bugs. However, the situation’s not the same anymore with Ubuntu 20.04. The OS is way better for gaming than you may think. In certain situations, games even run better on Linux than on Windows. This is quite impressive so let’s see what lead to Linux’s improvements. Read more Also: Narrative-driven adventure Impostor Factory has new teaser trailer