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Microsoft

When Microsoft Pays Companies to Play Along With the "Loves Linux" Lie

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Microsoft
  • Why Is Corporate Linux Welcoming Microsoft?

    The next largest Linux companies are even smaller.Canonical Software and SUSE are both private companies, so their income is unreported, but both have around 700 employees apiece.

    In other words, what is easy to miss if you are working with Linux and open source regularly is how small their corporate presence actually is. Probably, the average computer user has never heard of Red Hat, Canonical, or SUSE.

    However, when a small company welcomes a megacorporation into its professional association or signs an agreement with one, its name is reported in places where it is rarely heard. By association, it becomes a player.

    For example, take the case of Canonical. Founded in 2004, it has never reported a profit, although its OpenStack division did well enough in 2015 that going public was briefly an option.

  • Trinity Updated, Welcoming Microsoft, Munich Backslide

    Why oh why is the Linux world so quick to welcome our once mortal enemy into the fold? Matt Hartley today said it basically boils down to "the lines between proprietary and free software are blurring" - at least for those wanting them to blur. I imagine they're still pretty bold to Richard Stallman types. Nevertheless, Hartley said for corporate Linux that line is fairly blurry and, for said corporations, Microsoft's new leaf seems sincere. He also said that Microsoft's desire to use Linux proves we've won world domination as we always said we wanted. In addition, Microsoft lends credibility to companies such as Red Hat, SUSE, or Canonical and cooperation might be the best hedge against future patent litigation.

Open-source pioneer Munich debates report that suggests abandoning Linux for Windows 10

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Over a nine year period starting in 2004, the council moved about 15,000 staff from using Windows and Office to LiMux—a custom version of the Ubuntu desktop OS—and other open-source software. At the time, Munich was one of the largest organizations to reject Windows, and Microsoft took the city's leaving so seriously that then CEO Steve Ballmer flew to Munich to meet the mayor.

Now a report commissioned by current mayor Dieter Reiter to help determine the future of IT at the council has outlined a project to make Windows 10 and Microsoft Office available to all departments, and give staff the choice about whether to use Windows or LiMux.

If Windows subsequently became a popular choice, the report says "it could be investigated whether it makes economic sense to continue using Linux as a client operating system".

Read more

Web Browsers

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS
  • Another 40 million people bolt from Microsoft's browsers as mass exodus continues [iophk: "can only truly leave the browser by leaving that so-called OS, because it is tied into the system"]

    Microsoft’s browsers hemorrhaged another 40 million users last month, according to analytics vendor Net Applications, pushing the year’s total number of deserters near the one third of a billion mark.

    Net Applications pegged the combined user share of Internet Explorer (IE) and Edge at 28.4% for October, a fall of 2.3 percentage points. The month’s decline was the second-largest ever for Microsoft’s browsers, behind only May’s plummet of 2.7 points.

    Unlike in most previous months, Microsoft’s bane was not Google’s boon, but instead Mozilla’s. Firefox’s user share jumped nearly 2 percentage points, to 11.1%. Atop an almost-as-large increase in September, Mozilla’s Firefox has stepped away from a precipice, and in two months recovered almost all the losses it incurred during the past year.

    IE has shed 20.2 percentage points in 2016, and the fall shows no sign of stopping, or even slowing. In the last six months, four have recorded declines of 2 points or more, twice the number of the six months before that.

  • Microsoft loses about 40 million Internet Explorer users in one month

    Despite continued updates and improvements to its Edge browser, Microsoft can’t seem to hold on to users as they transition from various versions of Internet Explorer. The latest figures suggest that in October alone, Microsoft shed some 40 million users, with the likes of Chrome and Firefox scooping them up.

    Looking at the latest data from NetMarketShare, Chrome is still the undisputed king of the hill, boasting the kind of percentages Microsoft used to enjoy — with a 55 percent market share at the end of October. It found an extra 0.58 percent from the likes of Internet Explorer, which dropped a surprising 2.5 percent — equivalent to about 40 million users, per ComputerWorld.

  • Chrome/Chromium Now Enabling WebGL 2 By Default On The Desktop

    With the very latest open-source Chromium web-browser development code, WebGL 2.0 support is now being turned on by default for desktop (non-Android) builds.

    With the latest Chromium Git as of yesterday, WebGL 2 is turned on by default for the desktop but isn't yet ready to be turned on for the Android builds. The WebGL 2 support can be toggled via about:flags.

  • Firefox disables loophole that allows sites to track users via battery status

    Mozilla Firefox is dropping a feature that lets websites see how much battery life a visitor has left, following research showing that it could be used to track browsers.

    The feature, called the battery status API, allows websites to request information about the capacity of a visitor’s device, such as whether or not it’s plugged in and charging, how long it will last until it is empty, and the percentage of charge remaining.

    It was intended to allow websites to offer less energy-intensive versions of their sites to visitors with little battery power left: for instance, a mapping site could download less information, or a social network could disable autoplaying video.

Windows Gets Better... for Advertising Microsoft

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Microsoft
  • Here we go again: Microsoft's popping up ads from the Windows 10 toolbar

    When Microsoft’s Windows 10 deadline passed, many heaved a sigh of relief, thinking that Microsoft’s obnoxious popup reminders had finally been laid to rest.

    Surprise! Microsoft’s at it again, reminding users to sign up for Microsoft Rewards (formerly Bing Rewards) by using Edge, Windows 10’s built-in browser. My colleague Brad Chacos was hit by the ad above after hours, reported it, and immediately erased Edge from his toolbar.

    Here’s what we know: The popup doesn’t seem to appear if you use Edge frequently (Brad does not). Personally, I’ve never experienced a similar ad, though I use Edge as well as Microsoft Rewards, meaning there’s no need for such an ad to appear.

  • Microsoft: use Edge or Ads

    Windows 10 felt in many regards like an operating system that was not ready for release back when Microsoft released it. This was the case for the new system browser Microsoft Edge as well, as it lacked a lot of features.

    While it was highly optimized, it felt like a browsing shell more than a full browser in many regards. Microsoft worked on improving Edge, and it did so over time by introducing new functionality such as browser extensions.

  • Windows 10 Serving Edge Advertisements

    These ads appear over the Edge icon in the Windows 10 taskbar, even when Edge is not open. They do appear only when Edge is not the default system browser but that covers the majority of Windows 10 systems.

Latest on CodeWeavers/CrossOver

Filed under
Microsoft
Software
  • The Times Are a Changing

    When did it hit me that the times were a changin’ at CodeWeavers corporate Headquarters (and no it wasn’t when Bob Dylan got awarded the Noble Peace Prize for Literature)? Maybe it was when we introduced CrossOver on a platform not in our sandbox – ANDROID. Or when we lost our COO of 14 years to a new career opportunity, or rearranged the office (everyone had to move offices and have a new office mate), or chalk painted furniture, or had an office pet for a day, or when the conference room moved, or the standard monthly company meeting date moved after 20 years in existence (revolution). AND we bribed attendance with bagels instead of donuts. Or was it when everyone went from a Linux or macOS to a Windows system?

  • Microsoft Office 2013 Working On CrossOver 16

    CodeWeavers announced this week they've hit the milestone in CrossOver 16 development where they have been able to successfully register Microsoft Office 2016 in an internal alpha build of CrossOver 16. With this support in the upcoming CrossOver 2016, Office 2013 is working with all core functionality including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Project.

  • CodeWeavers to Bring Microsoft Office 2013 to CrossOver 16 for Linux and macOS

    On the third day of November 2016, CodeWeavers, the company behind the popular, yet commercial CrossOver graphical user interface (GUI) to Wine, celebrated a major milestone, as they successfully registered Microsoft Office 2013 in the application.

    Yes, you're reading that right, the next major CrossOver release, versioned 16, will bring support for the Microsoft Office 2013 office suite. What this means for you is that you'll finally be able to install, register and use Microsoft Office 2013 on your GNU/Linux or macOS operating system using CrossOver 16, due for release later this year.

Microsoft Fakes FOSS

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS
  • No, Microsoft does not love open source

    I used to follow Microsoft's intellectual property Twitter account in order to see exactly how much Microsoft loved open source as it bragged about all the people it had coerced into signing patent agreements. I guess someone realized that crowing about that was not a great idea, because today the feed tweets puff pieces about how great software patents are and how they drive innovation (through litigation).

    The truth is that Microsoft’s principal open source strategy hasn’t changed and probably never will. The point of open source to Microsoft (or any other company) is to give you an on-ramp to its platform. For Microsoft, that platform is morphing from Windows to Azure, so of course Microsoft has dialed back its rhetoric toward Linux. If you read Microsoft hates Linux, then you probably won’t host your VMs on Azure -- same deal if you have a choice between two virtual private clouds. Duh, Microsoft loves Linux ... on Azure. Why wouldn’t it?

    Microsoft may even be willing to accept open source that's tied to its technologies, but not directly to its platform. Generally these will be “children’s edition” versions like .Net Core. I’m not saying Visual Studio for Linux isn’t progress, but is anyone really itching to run .Net on Linux? I mean, after the outrageous commercial success of Mono (/sarcasm), are any of you going, “Woo-hoo, I want to write .Net code and run it on Linux”? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

    Now, about those lawsuits -- Microsoft likes it both ways: Embrace on one hand, and get tidy patent settlements on the other. People who work at Microsoft say it's a big company, and as with all big companies, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Actually, that would be dismal management -- if “we love open source” was really part of Microsoft's strategy.

    As evidence that Microsoft loves open source and Linux, last year Microsoft noted some long-running lawsuits that it wasn't really winning and dropped them. Repositioning “we cut our losses” to “because we love you” is good PR. Respect! But let’s talk about real change.

  • Hard 'committals', Microsoft open sources cloud hardware [Ed: Yet more openwashing of Microsoft; this is NOT "Open Source" (as per OSI licences)]

Windows 10 market share stalls after free upgrade offer ends

Filed under
Microsoft

Windows 10's market share has stalled, according to all three of the traffic-measurement tools The Register tracks at the start of each month.

Our three sources are Netmarketshare, StatCounter and analytics.usa.gov. All three investigate web traffic to determine operating system prevalence, with the third source only considering traffic to United States Government web sites.

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5 Alternatives To Microsoft Office In Linux

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
Reviews

Microsoft Office is the de-facto standard office suite there in the world, but unfortunately it is not available to we, the “free” folk on linux. Sure there are quite a few number of ways to use it on Linux, either by using a virtual PC or employing ….. Which also allows you to run it on Linux. Either way the experience might not be the best. Fortunately also, this has also allowed for the creation of some very capable alternatives on Linux, and today, we’d take a look at 5 of the very top office suites that are available on Linux.

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Microsoft and EEE

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Microsoft

Update: Convictions Upheld, Sentences Extended In Romanian Microsoft Bribery Trial

Filed under
Microsoft

According to the blog post, the trial ended on October 3rd, and investigators found that more than 100 people, including former ministers, the mayor of Bucharest, and various businessmen were involved in this latest corruption scandal involving Microsoft. More than 20 million euros were paid by Microsoft there as bribes.

[...]

These bribery convictions are just the tip of the iceberg. Multiple news outlets are reporting on investigations of bribery in other countries as well as separate investigations by the US Department of Justice and the US Securities And Exchange Commission.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Lenovo Cloud Director: Open Source Technologies Are The Glue That Binds The Hybrid Cloud
    Hardware giant Lenovo is banking on a future where both public and private clouds are critical in driving IT innovation, and the glue binding those hybrid environments is mostly open source technologies. Dan Harmon, Lenovo's group director of cloud and software-defined infrastructure, encouraged solution providers attending the NexGen Cloud Conference & Expo on Wednesday to explore opportunities to engage Lenovo as its products stock the next generation of cloud data centers. Both public and private clouds are growing rapidly and will dominate the market by 2020, Harmon told attendees of the conference produced by CRN parent The Channel Company.
  • Cloudera Ratchets Up its Training for Top Open Source Data Solutions
    Recently, we've taken note of the many organizations offering free or low cost Hadoop and Big Data training. MIT and MapR are just a couple of the players making waves in this space. Recently, Cloudera announced a catalog of online, self-paced training classes covering the company's entire portfolio of industry-standard Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark training courses. The courses, according to Cloudera, allow you to learn about the latest big data technologies "in a searchable environment anytime, anywhere." Now, Cloudera has announced an updated lineup of training courses and performance-based certification exams for data analysts, database administrators, and developers. The expanded training offerings address the skills gap around many top open source technologies, such as Apache Impala (incubating), Apache Spark, Apache Kudu, Apache Kafka and Apache Hive.
  • Netflix’s open-source project Hollow, NVIDIA’s deep learning kits for educators, and new IBM Bluemix integrations—SD Times news digest: Dec. 6, 2016
  • Open governance enhances the value of land use policy software
    In December 2015, the COP21 Paris Agreement saw many countries commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through initiatives in the land sector. In this context, emissions estimation systems will be key in ensuring these targets are met. Such solutions would not only be capable of assessing past trends but also of supporting target setting, tracking progress and helping to develop scenarios to inform policy decisions.
  • Blender Institute collaborate with Lulzbot in the name of open source
    Blender Institute, a platform for 3D design and animation, are collaborating with Lulzbot 3D printers. This project a continuation of Lulzbot and Blender Institute’s approach to open source and aimed at enhancing collaboration. The Blender Institute in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is an important figure in the Free and Open Source Software community (FOSS). Providing open source design tool software for 3D movies, games, and visual effects. While Lulzbot, a product line of Aleph Objects take an open source approach to hardware through their 3D printers.
  • Bluetooth 5 Specification Released

Remembering Linux Installfests

Ah, yes. I remember the good old days when you had to be a real man or woman to install Linux, and the first time you tried you ended up saying something like “Help!” or maybe “Mommmmyyyyy!” Really, kids, that’s how it was. Stacks of floppies that took about 7,000 hours to download over your 16 baud connection. Times sure have changed, haven’t they? I remember Caldera advertising that their distribution autodetected 1,500 different monitors. I wrote an article titled “Monitor Number 1501,” because it didn’t detect my monitor. And sound. Getting sound going in Linux took mighty feats of systemic administsationish strength. Mere mortals could not do it. And that’s why we had installfests: so mighty Linux he-men and she-women could come down from the top of Slackware Mountain or the Red Hat Volcano and share their godlike wisdom with us. We gladly packed up our computers and took them to the installfest location (often at a college, since many Linux-skilled people were collegians) and walked away with Linuxized computers. Praise be! Read more

What New Is Going To Be In Ubuntu 17.04 'Zesty Zapus'

Right on the heels of Ubuntu 16.10 'Yakkety Yak' is Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus. Ubuntu 17.04 is currently scheduled for release on April 13, 2017 but know that this is only an estimate. One thing to know is that all things being equal, it is going to be released in April 2017. Ubuntu Zesty Zapus will be supported for only 9 months until January 2018 as it is not a LTS (long term support) release. Read
more

Security News

  • News in brief: DirtyCOW patched for Android; naked lack of security; South Korea hacked
  • Millions exposed to malvertising that hid attack code in banner pixels
    Researchers from antivirus provider Eset said "Stegano," as they've dubbed the campaign, dates back to 2014. Beginning in early October, its unusually stealthy operators scored a major coup by getting the ads displayed on a variety of unnamed reputable news sites, each with millions of daily visitors. Borrowing from the word steganography—the practice of concealing secret messages inside a larger document that dates back to at least 440 BC—Stegano hides parts of its malicious code in parameters controlling the transparency of pixels used to display banner ads. While the attack code alters the tone or color of the images, the changes are almost invisible to the untrained eye.
  • Backdoor accounts found in 80 Sony IP security camera models
    Many network security cameras made by Sony could be taken over by hackers and infected with botnet malware if their firmware is not updated to the latest version. Researchers from SEC Consult have found two backdoor accounts that exist in 80 models of professional Sony security cameras, mainly used by companies and government agencies given their high price. One set of hard-coded credentials is in the Web interface and allows a remote attacker to send requests that would enable the Telnet service on the camera, the SEC Consult researchers said in an advisory Tuesday.
  • I'm giving up on PGP
    After years of wrestling GnuPG with varying levels of enthusiasm, I came to the conclusion that it's just not worth it, and I'm giving up. At least on the concept of long term PGP keys. This is not about the gpg tool itself, or about tools at all. Many already wrote about that. It's about the long term PGP key model—be it secured by Web of Trust, fingerprints or Trust on First Use—and how it failed me.