Now that Valve has made the In-Home Steaming feature available to everyone who is using Steam, you might ask yourself if it's of any use for the majority of the Linux players, but that's not the most important question. This seemingly unimportant feature has much broader implications and it might be the game changer in the competition between Windows and Linux.
After this week having carried out benchmarks showing Intel's Windows 8.1 OpenGL driver is outperforming their open-source Linux driver but NVIDIA's driver on Ubuntu Linux is commonly faster than Windows 8.1, the time has come to benchmark several different AMD Radeon graphics cards under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Windows 8.1 Pro x64 with all available updates and each OS using the latest Catalyst 14.4 driver.
Individuals and businesses migrate to Linux for a variety of reasons. Some do it for cost efficiency. Others make the computing change for the greater flexibility open source software provides.
Either way, leaving behind an existing computing system is not impossible. Deploying Linux desktop or server takes planning and resources, but that is what any business implementation takes.
The reasons for pushing users away from Microsoft in both desktop and server deployments are different for each customer. One of the recurring migration drivers is constant threat of Microsoft license fee increases. Another is the demand for community-sponsored support in lieu of corporate proprietary solutions, according to Tomas Zubov, CEO of IceWarp.
Chinese OS developers are thrilled at news of the ban on Windows 8 by the central government, as the decision presents an opportunity to seize market share in the future, Xinhua news said on Thursday.
"Domestic OSes are already an alternative to Windows in terms of security, and also easy to use", the agency continued. This is a result of over a decade of investment in research and development by Chinese developers. A number of domestic OSes are currently available, and some can be downloaded free of charge. Usage of Chinese OSes will help reduce the costs for local computer manufacturers and end-users.
This email is just a short acknowledgement of your request.
Off to that good start, I naturally looked forward to receiving the requested materials by 24 April, which is when by law the Cabinet Office was obliged to reply fully. Since nothing had come through by that time, I sent off another quick email:
I was wondering what was happening with my FOI request that I made a month ago: will you be able to send me the information soon, please?
As you can see, that was nearly a month ago, and I have still not received the full reply, which means that the Cabinet Office is now really late. And that, in its turn, probably means that there is obviously something very interesting regarding open standards and Microsoft, which the Cabinet Office is reluctant to let me see. Time for another email reminding them of their legal obligations, I think....
The In-Home Streaming feature allows users to stream games from a Windows operating system to a Linux-powered machine that also runs Steam. This is the solution proposed by Valve that practically enables Linux gamers to play any Windows-only titles, although it's rather cumbersome, to say the least.
Like any other major Steam update, the latest has been preceded by a flurry of smaller ones in the Beta branch of the software. This is basically just a collection of those features and fixes that were already available for all users of Steam Beta.
In the past when comparing the Linux and Windows performance with NVIDIA graphics when using their proprietary drivers, the performance has largely been the same. With the very latest drivers on each platform, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS seems to have an advantage over Windows 8.1 in many of the tests. With Ubuntu 14.04 LTS we were using the NVIDIA 337.19 Beta as the latest publicly available driver at the time of testing while for Windows 8.1 Pro x64 the 337.50 driver was their latest equivalent. As usual for ensuring accuracy and being a fair "out of the box" comparison, the stock settings were used for each operating system.
The latest Linux graphics testing under the microscope at Phoronix is comparing the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS vs. Windows 8.1 performance with all available updates. Results from Intel, NVIDIA, and AMD hardware is coming up next week while today is a bit of a preview of the AMD numbers when using a Radeon R9 290 "Hawaii" graphics card. While the open-source AMD Hawaii support remains broken, with the Catalyst 14.4 driver on each operating system, the Linux Catalyst driver with the R9 290 graphics card can outperform Windows 8.1 Pro with some OpenGL games and benchmarks.