There’s a lot that you can do with £5.5m. You could employ a couple of hundred people for a year for starters, or set up some small businesses. You could be sensible and invest in technologies, or you could pay for lots of operations. Alternatively, you could buy lots of sweets or several million copies of the Adam Sandler movie of your choice.
The British National Health Service, however, has handed over that amount of money to Microsoft. And in return, it’s getting an extra 15 months of support for a Microsoft product. It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t really take too long to sink in.
But the fact is, even if you think you are bound to Windows or some other proprietary operating system, you are probably already a Linux user too. When you visit a website, the chances are that it is using an Apache2 webserver. This is free and designed to integrate with the security and operating system features of Linux. Currently more than 60% of webservers are known to be hosting via Apache.
Linux may rule in most places — supercomputers, mobile, and Wall Street to name a few — but the Windows empire has still held on to the desktop, despite Windows 8.x's failure to grab marketshare quickly. Now there's new hope: At Google I/O, Sundar Pichai, Google's head of Chrome and Android, said during the opening keynote that Google will be giving Chrome OS the power to run Android apps.
There are quite a few Linux distributions that take direct aim at the Windows users, but not all of them are as appreciated as Zorin OS. The developers have managed to release a fresh take on the old desktop paradigm used by Windows. It somewhat resembles that well-known interface, but it manages to also feel new.
This latest edition is still in the development stages and it will take a while until it is ready, but, from the looks of it, Zorin OS 9 RC is already a winner. It's now based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), which was released a couple of months ago, meaning that it will also come with extended support.
Linux users need Wine to run applications from the Windows platform, but the bulk of apps accessed in this way is actually quite old. Sure enough, it's possible to run newer software as well, but most users need Wine for much older stuff.
One of the latest updates for Linux kernel 3.14.x brought some modifications and users found out that they couldn’t run Wine configured as Windows 9x, which is actually an important option.
Closed-source software products, mostly Microsoft’s, have been dominating Vietnam’s software market, despite the government’s encouragement to develop and use open-source software.
Some background: Microsoft in Vietnam
Windows XP is dead. Some people may not be aware of this fact but I'm telling you now "That parrot is dead".
Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8th 2014 but what does end of support mean? Does it mean it doesn't work anymore?
Actually, Windows XP will continue to work perfectly well for quite some time but the trouble is that any remaining security holes will remain unplugged and that leaves a huge opportunity for the cyber criminals to exploit any individual or organisation that remains on that platform.
Also: Announcing Lubuntu Week
That system is Wine, a software “go-between” that lets users run Windows applications without a copy of Microsoft Windows. Wine isn’t an operating system in its own right, just a layer that sits on top of free systems like Linux. It doesn’t run every Windows program but offers seamless compatibility on many of the most recent and popular applications. Used in conjunction with a free graphical operating system like Ubuntu, it’s an option that could save you up to £80 on Microsoft’s current asking price.
My how the times have changed. At one point, HP and Microsoft were sharing friendship bracelets and having slumber parties. In fact, over the last decade, HP was a major player with Microsoft. Those days are gone. The juggernaut that was once Microsoft is slowly toppling and companies like HP are seeing the writing on the wall. That writing includes the likes of Android, Linux, iOS -- platforms perfect for mobile and embedded systems.
To that end, Hewlett Packard has decided to kick Microsoft to the curb and develop their own operating system that will power all of their future devices. In particular, HP is working on a device they call "The Machine." This new device will be made up of several new technologies -- including a new type of memory -- and will run a new operating system based on...
Wait for it...
Looking around the BIOS let me set the Secure Boot to boot other OSes. It wouldn't let me just disable it completely. I set the boot order to boot the DVD drive first and tried to run those Linux live disks. Mageia 4 wasn't going to let me change the video driver from VESA no matter what. Cinnamon crashed once loading NVIDIA drivers in Mint 17. openSUSE behaved the best in giving me nice video support. I figured I'd install openSUSE and use it until Mint 17 came out in the KDE version.
Instead, the Chinese government is calling for the increased purchase and development of domestically developed operating systems, specifically those created on Linux. Although the ban of Windows 8 does not directly affect the general public, Sina News reports that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is pushing for domestic users to gravitate from Windows XP to domestic operating systems too. It's not too far fetched an idea, either–China has a long history of successfully developing domestic software. The messaging software QQ, for example, is more popular than the foreign-developed MSN, since it was specifically developed to cater to Chinese people's sensibilities.
ADI technology analyst Tyler White speculated that two underlying market forces are boosting Google's numbers. “First, device defaults matter,” White said. “Internet Explorer leverages its Windows OS dominance to gain share as the default Web browser for the majority of people online. Today mobile OS is more important, giving Google and Apple a leg up with default status on Android and iOS.”
Okay, I hate to be a Negative Ned here, but I'm firmly in the "trust but verify" camp when it comes to Microsoft and open source. Yes, a new CEO and other changes may be helping Microsoft to adjust to living in an open source world. But change never comes easy or fast in such a large organization, so I think the jury is still out on whether or not Microsoft has really changed for the better when it comes to open source software.
Also, I've never forgotten the company's "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategy that they used in the past to destroy competitive software products. That alone is reason enough to keep a wary eye on Microsoft's involvement with any open source project. Perhaps the company really has changed, but maybe it hasn't. I think it bears watching for at least another few years to see if enduring change has really set in or not.
China has stepped up its war on Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system with a report in state-backed media that questions the security of the software.
In a one and a half minute segment aired on China's CCTV television channel, journalists reported that the Chinese government is concerned by the security of the Windows 8 software and is increasing efforts to develop its own rival system.
"Microsoft would no longer open its Windows 8 source code to the Chinese government, however the security scheme of the Windows 8 operating system is designed to provide better access for Microsoft to users' database. For China it's a big challenge for our cybersecurity," said Yang Min, a professor at China's Fudan University, through a translator.
"Your identity, account, contact book, phone numbers, all this data can be put together for big data analysis," explains another academic, Ni Guangnam. "The US has a law that requires anyone that has this data to report to the government. The data might be a good way for the US to monitor other countries."
This report follows the Chinese government banning Windows 8 from a chunk of its public sector PCs in late-May.
In March 2013, El Reg reported that Canonical had partnered with various Chinese government agencies to develop and support a Linux distribution named Ubuntu Kylin for the country. Given this television segment, we imagine installations of that OS are about to increase.
The history of Linux in China is chequered. Android is doing extremely well there, even if it tends to be varieties that are more or less independent from Google (no bad thing.) But on the desktop, GNU/Linux has had a pretty disastrous showing. That's strange, because you would think that the Chinese authorities would jump at the chance to adopt a free operating system that was independent of the US, and which could be inspected for NSA backdoors even before the current Snowden leaks showed why that would be a good idea.
With Windows 8 now banned from being installed on Chinese government computers, domestic operating system (OS) developers are itching for a niche in the world's biggest PC market.
The country's relatively large OS developers, including China Standard Software Co. and NFS China among others, have fresh opportunities, but their products face long and tough tests.
Windows 8 was banned from all desktops, laptops and tablet PCs purchased by central state organs last week. The announcement made by the Central Government Procurement Center did not make clear whether other Windows products were prohibited as well.
When Windows 8 was first released many people were shocked and even horrified by the garish Metro interface. Some even left Windows for Linux or shifted back to Windows 7. Now you can experience some of the...er...magic of the Metro interface in the Blue Pup distro (a Puppy Linux spin), according to LinuxInsider.