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Microsoft's Failures and Spin

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  • Microsoft offers three unconvincing reasons why its consumer business isn't dead yet


    While Microsoft continues to be buoyed by enterprise and cloud services like Azure, chief executive Satya Nadella tried to reassure analysts that Microsoft still has a consumer strategy: Xbox, PC gaming, and devices powered by digital assistants like Cortana. But he wasn't especially convincing.

  • Microsoft 2Q18: Trump tax hit turns strong quarter into $6.3B loss


    The TCJA imposed one-time tax rates of 15.5 percent on foreign-held cash and cash equivalents and 8 percent on non-cash, as if that foreign money had been repatriated to the US and hence subject to US corporate income tax. Many firms with large foreign-held cash piles are going to be taking big tax hits this quarter as a result; Citibank claimed a $22 billion charge, and Apple is expected to take a hit as big as $38 billion.

    Microsoft currently has three reporting segments: Productivity and Business Processes (covering Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype, and Dynamics), Intelligent Cloud (including Azure, Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, and Enterprise Services), and More Personal Computing (covering Windows, hardware, and Xbox, as well as search and advertising).

  • Newly Detected Malware Uses NSA Exploit To Mine Monero, Over 500K PCs Infected

    The EternalBlue exploit was leaked by the so-called Shadow Brokers hackers who were reportedly also behind the 2017 widespread WannaCry ransomware threat, according to The Hacker News.

Canonical/Ubuntu Promote Snap and Microsoft Exploits That to Market Its Malware

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Microsoft Plays Dirty, Microsoft Getting Barred

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  • Opera users claim that Microsoft is opening new tabs to advertise Edge

    Opera users are reporting incidences of new tabs being opened without user authorisation on Windows 10 to display adverts for Microsoft's own Edge browser.

  • Microsoft Accused of Showing Edge Ads in Opera Browser on Windows 10

    Microsoft has often turned to pretty controversial moves to advertise Edge browser, including popups on the Windows 10 desktop, and now the company is accused of embracing an even more aggressive strategy.

    A post on reddit reveals that Windows 10 automatically opens a new tab in Opera browser to display an advertisement for Edge.

  • Exclusive: U.S. sanctions curb Microsoft sales to hundreds of Russian firms

    Two of Microsoft’s official distributors in Russia have imposed restrictions on sales of Microsoft software to more than 200 Russian companies following new U.S. sanctions, according to notifications circulated by the distributors.

    While much of the focus around U.S. sanctions has been on ways they are being skirted, the moves by the Russian distributors show how tougher restrictions that came into force on Nov. 28 are starting to bite.

    The new measures cut the duration of loans that can be offered to Russian financial firms subject to sanctions to 14 days from 30 days and to 60 days from 90 days for Russian energy companies on a U.S. sanctions list.

Difficult Windows, Chromebooks Software

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  • Maxim Burgerhout: "User-friendly" Windows

    So for some app my kids want to use, I needed to setup Windows. And a printer. I have a Samsung M2070W, and I have had it for years. It has not always been easy to use (hell no!), but it generally works after a few kicks in the groin.

    I’ve used it with my iPad, with various Android devices, and various Linux distributions. And now, I needed to set it up in Windows.


    I guess. Unless you count the fact that many devices need vendor drivers to begin with, because Windows doesn’t ship with them.

    Well anyway, luckily, Linux seems to identify and use my printer just fine. 

  • The Best Apps and Tools for Chromebooks

    We’re going to break this down into different categories to help make it easier to find what you’re looking for. The one thing to note here is that Android apps are placed throughout the various categories where they make the most sense, but we also include a section at the end for Android apps that don’t fall into any one specific category. Pretty simple, really.

Microsoft Entryism, Openwashing, and Matt Asay's Latest Attack on FOSS

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Press Coverage About Wine 3.0

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  • Windows apps on Linux: Wine 3.0 is out now with Direct3D 10, 11 support

    Wine 3.0 is now available to help you run Windows applications and games on Linux, macOS, and BSD systems.

    Wine -- or 'Wine is Not an Emulator' -- is a compatibility layer that implements the Windows API on top of Unix and Linux, to help you run Windows apps when needed.

    Currently, about 25,000 applications are compatible with Wine, with the most popular all being games, including Final Fantasy XI, Team Fortress 2, EVE, and StarCraft.

  • Wine 3.0 is here to run Windows software on your Linux box

    When people make the switch from Windows to Linux, they often experiment with Wine. If you aren’t familiar, it is a compatibility layer that can sometimes get Windows software to run on Linux and BSD. I say "sometimes" because it isn’t a flawless experience. In fact, it can be quite frustrating to use. I suggest using native Linux software as an alternative, but understandably, that isn’t always possible.

    If you depend on Wine, or want to start trying it out, I am happy to say that version 3.0 is finally available. It is quite the significant update too, as it features over 6,000 changes!

  • Have three WINEs this weekend, because WINE 3.0 has landed

    Version 3.0 of Wine Is Not an Emulator – aka WINE – has arrived, and offers all sorts of new emulation-on-Android possibilities.

    WINE lets users run Windows applications on Linux, MacOS, Solaris, and FreeBSD, plus other POSIX-compliant operating system. To do so it “translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls on-the-fly”, an arrangement its developers rate as more efficient than virtualization while “allowing you to cleanly integrate Windows applications into your desktop.”

  • Wine 3.0 Released To Run Windows Apps On Linux Efficiently — Download It Here

    Just recently, we told you that the support for Linux distros in VirtualBox is about to get a lot better with the release of Linux kernel 4.16. But, what if you wish to run Windows apps on your host Linux system? For that, Wine has got your back.

Microsoft Against GNU/Linux in the Public Sector

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  • 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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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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  • 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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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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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Google Patches All Intel Chromebooks Against Spectre Variant 2 with Chrome OS 65
    Google released a new stable version of its Linux-based Chrome OS operating system for Chromebooks, build 65.0.3325.167 (Platform version: 10323.58.0/1) bringing the Meltdown and Spectre mitigations to more devices and a bunch of other improvements.
  • VIDEO: Cooking With Linux: Lots and Lots of Word Processors! The Tuesday Linux Journal Show
  • How to use netstat in GNU/Linux
  • Cutelyst 2 released with HTTP/2 support
    Cutelyst the Qt/C++ web framework just got a major release update, around one and half year ago Cutelyst v1 got the first release with a stable API/ABI, many improvements where made during this period but now it was time to clean up the mistakes and give room for new features.
  • Fedora 28 and GNOME 3.28: New Features for Eastern Europe
    This time this is not fake, edited, patched, nor a custom build from COPR but the real screenshots of the unmodified downstream Fedora 28 planned to be released on May 1 this year. Here is how the default calendar widget in GNOME Shell looks in Greek, Polish, and Ukrainian:
  • Stephen Smoogen: /usr/bin/whoami
  • Debian CEF packages
    I've created some Debian CEF packages—CEF isn't the easiest thing to package (and it takes an hour to build even on my 20-core server, since it needs to build basically all of Chromium), but it's fairly rewarding to see everything fall into place. It should benefit not only Nageru, but also OBS and potentially CasparCG if anyone wants to package that.
  • Reproducible builds folks: Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #151
  • Porting L4Re and Fiasco.OC to the Ben NanoNote (Part 1)
    For quite some time, I have been interested in alternative operating system technologies, particularly kernels beyond the likes of Linux. Things like the Hurd and technologies associated with it, such as Mach, seem like worthy initiatives, and contrary to largely ignorant and conveniently propagated myths, they are available and usable today for anyone bothered to take a look. Indeed, Mach has had quite an active life despite being denigrated for being an older-generation microkernel with questionable performance credentials. But one technological branch that has intrigued me for a while has been the L4 family of microkernels. Starting out with the motivation to improve microkernel performance, particularly with regard to interprocess communication, different “flavours” of L4 have seen widespread use and, like Mach, have been ported to different hardware architectures. One of these L4 implementations, Fiasco.OC, appeared particularly interesting in this latter regard, in addition to various other features it offers over earlier L4 implementations. Meanwhile, I have had some success with software and hardware experiments with the Ben NanoNote. As you may know or remember, the Ben NanoNote is a “palmtop” computer based on an existing design (apparently for a pocket dictionary product) that was intended to offer a portable computing experience supported entirely by Free Software, not needing any proprietary drivers or firmware whatsoever. Had the Free Software Foundation been certifying devices at the time of its introduction, I imagine that it would have received the “Respects Your Freedom” certification. So, it seems to me that it is a worthy candidate for a Free Software porting exercise.
  • Samsung Announces Galaxy Tab Active2, a Rugged Android Tablet for Mobile Workers
    Samsung announced today the Galaxy Tab Active2 rugged Android tablet designed for mobile workers conducting business outdoors in industrial locations, under harsh weather, and other difficult conditions.

Games Leftovers

  • Atari reboots Ataribox as Atari VCS, teases April pre-order date
    Legendary game company Atari set retro hearts aflutter last year when it launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for something called the Ataribox, a living room device running Linux and supposedly combining the features of a PC with a video game console -- complete with some Atari classic games. But the December 14 pre-order date Atari set was abruptly canceled after an unspecified technical issue, and it looked like the Ataribox would never reach any actual customers. This week, however, the company has emerged at the Game Developers Conference with some very similar hardware, albeit with a new name.
  • The Rocket League 'Spring Fever' event is live promising lots of flower power
    Ready to earn some more cosmetic items? The Spring Fever event in Rocket League [Steam] is now live and you can earn yourself some new items using Flowers you earn while playing like this:
  • Epic Games releases the assets from Paragon, for Unreal Engine developers
    In a move that's both surprising and rather welcome, Epic Games has decided to release the assets from their FPS MOBA Paragon for Unreal Engine developers, since they're shutting it down. This will include 20 AAA-quality characters, with their respective skins, animations, VFX and dialogue, along with over 1,500 environment components from Paragon. Here's where it's a bit insane, this all cost Epic Games around $12 million! It's pretty insane how much it costs to make AAA-like games now—eye watering.
  • Game engine Construct 3 adds a remote preview, new runtime is coming to improve game performance
    I'm a huge fan of drag and drop creation tools like Construct 3 [Official Site], that allow you to create games by building simple events sheets and it seems they've continued making Construct 3 more awesome to use.
  • Open-source re-implementation of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 'OpenRCT2' has a fresh update
    Miss the days of playing RollerCoaster Tycoon 2? Miss them no more, as OpenRCT2 [GitHub, Official Site] is alive and well with a fresh update. Like many open source game engines, it allows you to play RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 on systems not designed for it—like Linux. Naturally, it comes with tons of improvements like user interface theming, fast-forwarding gameplay, multiplayer and so on.
  • Zombasite - Orc Schism, the expansion to the action RPG is out adding more content
    Here's one I sadly missed, released back in December (oh my!), Zombasite - Orc Schism [Steam, GOG] is an expansion to the dynamic zombie apocalypse action RPG.

GNOME: GitLab Migration and More

  • IMPORTANT: GitLab mass migration plan
    I know some fellows doesn’t read desktop-devel-list, so let me share here an email that it’s important for all to read: We have put in place the plan for the mass migration to GitLab and the steps maintainers needs to do.
  • ED Update – week 11
  • Reflections on Distractions in Work, Productivity and Time Usage
    For the past year or so I have mostly worked at home or remote in my daily life. Currently I’m engaged in my master thesis and need to manage my daily time and energy to work on it. It is no surprise to many of us that working using your internet-connected personal computer at home can make you prone to many distractions. However, managing your own time is not just about whipping and self-discipline. It is about setting yourself up in a structure which rewards you for hard work and gives your mind the breaks it needs. Based on reflections and experimentation with many scheduling systems and tools I finally felt I have achieved a set of principles I really like and that’s what I’ll be sharing with you today. [...] Minimizing shell notifications: While I don’t have the same big hammer to “block access to my e-mail” here, I decided to change the order of my e-mail inboxes in Geary so my more relevant (and far less activity prone) student e-mail inbox appears first. I also turned off the background e-mail daemon and turned off notification banners in GNOME Shell. [...] Lastly, I want to give two additional tips. If you like listening to music while working, consider whether it might affect your productivity. For example, I found music with vocals to be distracting me if I try to immerse myself in reading difficult litterature. I can really recommend Doctor Turtle’s acoustic instrumental music while working though (all free). Secondly, I find that different types of tasks requires different postures. For abstract, high-level or vaguely formulated tasks (fx formulating goals, reviewing something or reflecting), I find interacting with the computer whilst standing up and walking around to really help gather my thoughts. On the other hand with practical tasks or tasks which require immersion (fx programming tasks), I find sitting down to be much more comfortable.

OSS, Openwashing and FUD