Microsoft

News about Microsoft, Windows, and antitrust matters

Steam's In-Home Steaming Is a Wake-up Call for Windows, Linux Is Growing Stronger

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Gaming

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.

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Catalyst On Ubuntu 14.04 Linux Competes Well With Windows 8.1

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Microsoft
Ubuntu

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.

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Easing Linux Into the Enterprise

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft

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.

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Windows OS 'replaceable' by Chinese counterparts

Filed under
OS
Microsoft

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.

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What Has the Cabinet Office Got to Hide about Microsoft?

Filed under
Microsoft

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....

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Linux Users Can Now Play Windows Games on Steam with In-Home Streaming

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
Gaming

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.

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NVIDIA On Ubuntu 14.04 Has Some New Advantages Over Windows 8.1

Filed under
Microsoft
Ubuntu

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.

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Spyware Driver Notification in Ubuntu Shows Just How Vulnerable Windows Really Is

Filed under
Microsoft
Security
Ubuntu

The biggest problem with any Windows operating system is the security, whether it's about viruses or back doors, and this spyware “message” in a Linux system about Windows drivers shows just how much of a problem security is for Microsoft's OS.

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AMD Radeon R9 290 On Ubuntu 14.04 With Catalyst Can Beat Windows 8.1

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Microsoft

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.

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Linux Live CDs, the One Feature Microsoft and Apple Haven't Copied Yet

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
Mac

There is a silent battle going on behind the curtains between the major operating systems. When it comes to gaming, for example, Windows is still the leader. If we're talking about Linux, then everyone knows that it owns the server market. Mac OS X looks pretty and has a few applications that are still making the system a tool for media production. When it comes to Live systems, neither Windows nor Mac OS X can hold a candle to Linux.

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Linux Lite 2.0 Beta Can Easily Replace Windows XP – Screenshot Tour

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft

Linux Lite is a distribution based on Ubuntu LTS releases, and this is the main reason we don't see builds made for this OS more often. Ubuntu LTS versions are only made available every two years and it takes the Linux Lite developers a while to make the proper adjustments.

In the case of Linux Lite 2.0 it also means that users will get five years of support, which the developers say is the usage time for this distribution. The operating system is said to work out of the box and users should not preoccupy themselves with the installation of drivers or any other components.

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Q4OS 0.5.11 Linux Distro Is an Almost Perfect Clone of Windows XP – Screenshot Tour

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft

According to the developers, Q4OS 0.5.11 is very useful for cloud environments thanks to its low hardware requirements, but users will find it very practical if they are also looking for an operating system that can closely mimic Windows XP, down to the menus and buttons.

The distribution is based on Trinity DE, which is actually a fork of the old KDE 3.x branch. It's not something used in present distros, mostly because the current KDE releases have been moving away from the old desktop paradigm.

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XP users urged to switch alliegance to Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

China's Ministry of Industry and Information of Technology (MIIT) urged Windows XP users in China to switch to domestically made computer operating systems, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday.

"We want users to pay attention to the potential security risk brought by their Windows XP system as Microsoft ceased providing further patch services. At the same time, the ministry will work on developing China's own computer system and applications based on Linux and we hope that the users will give more support to these domestically made products," Zhang Feng, chief engineer of MIIT, told CCTV.

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Kim Komando: Buy a computer for less than $100

Filed under
Android
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Instead you could try an operating system based on Linux. These are free, come with everything you need for basic computing, and will run great on older hardware. If you’re going to give this a whirl, check out Linux Mint. The MATE edition should run better than XP, in fact.

[...]

And in the last few years, it has been made easier for beginners to use, thanks to its whimsically named New Out of Box Software, or NOOBS, system. This helps you install a few of the various operating systems it runs, which are based on the free Linux.

You might still end up doing some tweaking, but fortunately, the Raspberry Pi site has excellent tutorials for beginners.

Via’s APC Rock ($79) and Paper ($99) are similar systems with a bit more oomph.

When you’re poking around for DIY computers, you might come across the Arduino board. While this is a fantastic system for hobbyists, it won’t work as a computer.
Android computers

Android isn’t just for smartphones and tablets.

There are a few companies making Android “sticks.” These are the size of a USB and plug right into the HDMI port on your TV — similar to a Chromecast or Roku Streaming Stick.

However, these run a full version of Android, which means you can surf the Web, install apps and anything else you’d do on an Android tablet.

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Robolinux turns your C Drive into a virtual Windows machine you can run in Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Say you want to move from Windows to Linux… but there are a few Windows apps that you can’t give up, and they don’t work well under WINE. The developer of Robolinux offers a Debian-based GNU/Linux operating system designed to let you run Windows XP or Windows 7 in a virtual machine.

But the latest version of Robolinux goes a step further: It includes a tool that lets you create a virtual machine by cloning your Windows C: Drive, which means it takes just minutes to create a version of Windows that you can run in virtualization in Linux, and it will already have all of your existing programs and data.

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Hewlett-Packard's Radical New Laptop Doesn't Run Microsoft's Windows

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Earlier this week, various press outlets noted that Hewlett-Packard had put up a video on its website showcasing the Slatebook 14 -- a revolutionary new laptop unlike anything Hewlett-Packard has ever released before. In fact, nothing quite like the Slatebook 14 has ever been released by any company.

The Slatebook 14 is a standard, 14-inch laptop, complete with non-detachable keyboard, trackpad, and various ports. But unlike the other 14-inch laptops Hewlett-Packard sells, this one doesn't run Microsoft's Windows but rather Google's Android operating system.

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LibreOffice 4.1.6 Final Released on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X

Filed under
LibO
Linux
Microsoft
Mac

All the supported platforms have received this new update, but this is a maintenance build that’s mostly about bug fixes, which means that it fits perfectly in what has been made available so far, with no major surprises.

“LibreOffice 4.1.6 is the last release of the LibreOffice 4.1 family, targeted to large deployments in enterprises and public administrations, which should always be supported by TDF certified developers. Today, we users can choose between LibreOffice 4.2.3 Fresh, targeted to early adopters and technology enthusiasts, and LibreOffice 4.1.6 Stable targeted to enterprise deployments and conservative users,” said Florian Effenberger, TDF executive director.

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Microsoft will continue to sell Nokia Android phones

Filed under
Android
Microsoft

I can’t help but wonder about the wisdom of blending elements from Windows Phone into Android. The two mobile operating systems are so different that it might come across as a franken-os that just doesn’t fit together properly. If somebody really wants the Windows Phone user interface then doesn’t it make more sense for them to just buy a Windows Phone and skip Microsoft’s Android phones altogether?

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Linux as a replacement for Windows

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

For those not in the know, let us first discuss what Linux is. It is not an application program; it is an operating system, in the same class as Windows or Apple’s Mac OS. An operating system is the piece of software that makes it possible to run any other application or user software on a computer. The operating system manages and provides the ability for programs to access the computer’s hardware, and it provides security mechanisms such as password-protected accounts that control user access. Operating systems have evolved into highly complex, multi-layered conglomerations that are essential to the operation of a computer.

Now then, your question essentially is whether Linux is a viable replacement for Windows. As usual, the answer is “that depends”. Specifically, it depends on what you want to do with the machine, and how much time you’re willing to put into learning about Linux. Where Windows is a vendor-built and supported operating system, Linux is open-source. That means the code base is public, and not supported by a company. Instead, it is supported by the community of users who contribute to its development. Since nobody “owns” Linux the way Microsoft owns Windows, it also means that multiple “flavors” of it exist – at least six or seven depending on how you count them.

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