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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

Filed under
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.

Read more

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

Filed under
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.

Read more

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More in Tux Machines

Linux and FOSS Events

  • Debian SunCamp 2017 Is Taking Place May 18-21 in the Province of Girona, Spain
    It looks like last year's Debian SunCamp event for Debian developers was a total success and Martín Ferrari is back with a new proposal that should take place later this spring during four days full of hacking, socializing, and fun. That's right, we're talking about Debian SunCamp 2017, an event any Debian developer, contributor, or user can attend to meet his or hers Debian buddies, hack together on new projects or improve existing ones by sharing their knowledge, plan upcoming features and discuss ideas for the Debian GNU/Linux operating system.
  • Pieter Hintjens In Memoriam
    Pieter Hintjens was a writer, programmer and thinker who has spent decades building large software systems and on-line communities, which he describes as "Living Systems". He was an expert in distributed computing, having written over 30 protocols and distributed software systems. He designed AMQP in 2004, and founded the ZeroMQ free software project in 2007. He was the author of the O'Reilly ZeroMQ book, "Culture and Empire", "The Psychopath Code", "Social Architecture", and "Confessions of a Necromancer". He was the president of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), and fought the software patent directive and the standardisation of the Microsoft OOXML Office format. He also organized the Internet of Things (IOT) Devroom here at FOSDEM for the last 3 years. In April 2016 he was diagnosed with terminal metastasis of a previous cancer.
  • foss-gbg on Wednesday
    The topics are Yocto Linux on FPGA-based hardware, risk and license management in open source projects and a product release by the local start-up Zifra (an encryptable SD-card). More information and free tickets are available at the foss-gbg site.

Leftovers: OSS

  • When Open Source Meets the Enterprise
    Open source solutions have long been an option for the enterprise, but lately it seems they are becoming more of a necessity for advanced data operations than merely a luxury for IT techs who like to play with code. While it’s true that open platforms tend to provide a broader feature set compared to their proprietary brethren, due to their larger and more diverse development communities, this often comes at the cost of increased operational complexity. At a time when most enterprises are looking to shed their responsibilities for infrastructure and architecture to focus instead on core money-making services, open source requires a fairly high level of in-house technical skill. But as data environments become more distributed and reliant upon increasingly complex compilations of third-party systems, open source can provide at least a base layer of commonality for resources that support a given distribution.
  • EngineerBetter CTO: the logical truth about software 'packaging'
    Technologies such as Docker have blended these responsibilities, causing developers to need to care about what operating system and native libraries are available to their applications – after years of the industry striving for more abstraction and increased decoupling!
  • What will we do when everything is automated?
    Just translate the term "productivity of American factories" into the word "automation" and you get the picture. Other workers are not taking jobs away from the gainfully employed, machines are. This is not a new trend. It's been going on since before Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. Industry creates machines that do the work of humans faster, cheaper, with more accuracy and with less failure. That's the nature of industry—nothing new here. However, what is new is the rate by which the displacement of human beings from the workforce in happening.
  • Want OpenStack benefits? Put your private cloud plan in place first
    The open source software promises hard-to-come-by cloud standards and no vendor lock-in, says Forrester's Lauren Nelson. But there's more to consider -- including containers.
  • Set the Agenda at OpenStack Summit Boston
    The next OpenStack Summit is just three months away now, and as is their custom, the organizers have once again invited you–the OpenStack Community–to vote on which presentations will and will not be featured at the event.
  • What’s new in the world of OpenStack Ambassadors
    Ambassadors act as liaisons between multiple User Groups, the Foundation and the community in their regions. Launched in 2013, the OpenStack Ambassador program aims to create a framework of community leaders to sustainably expand the reach of OpenStack around the world.
  • Boston summit preview, Ambassador program updates, and more OpenStack news

Proprietary Traps and Openwashing

  • Integrate ONLYOFFICE Online Editors with ownCloud [Ed: Proprietary software latches onto FOSS]
    ONLYOFFICE editors and ownCloud is the match made in heaven, wrote once one of our users. Inspired by this idea, we developed an integration app for you to use our online editors in ownCloud web interface.
  • Microsoft India projects itself as open source champion, says AI is the next step [Ed: Microsoft bribes to sabotage FOSS and blackmails it with patents; calls itself "open source"]
  • Open Source WSO2 IoT Server Advances Integration and Analytic Capabilities
    WSO2 has announced a new, fully-open-source WSO2 Internet of Things Server edition that "lowers the barriers to delivering enterprise-grad IoT and mobile solutions."
  • SAP license fees are due even for indirect users, court says
    SAP's named-user licensing fees apply even to related applications that only offer users indirect visibility of SAP data, a U.K. judge ruled Thursday in a case pitting SAP against Diageo, the alcoholic beverage giant behind Smirnoff vodka and Guinness beer. The consequences could be far-reaching for businesses that have integrated their customer-facing systems with an SAP database, potentially leaving them liable for license fees for every customer that accesses their online store. "If any SAP systems are being indirectly triggered, even if incidentally, and from anywhere in the world, then there are uncategorized and unpriced costs stacking up in the background," warned Robin Fry, a director at software licensing consultancy Cerno Professional Services, who has been following the case.
  • “Active Hours” in Windows 10 emphasizes how you are not in control of your own devices
    No edition of Windows 10, except Professional and Enterprise, is expected to function for more than 12 hours of the day. Microsoft most generously lets you set a block of 12 hours where you’re in control of the system, and will reserve the remaining 12 hours for it’s own purposes. How come we’re all fine with this? Windows 10 introduced the concept of “Active Hours”, a period of up to 12 hours when you expect to use the device, meant to reflect your work hours. The settings for changing the device’s active hours is hidden away among Windows Update settings, and it poorly fits with today’s lifestyles. Say you use your PC in the afternoon and into the late evening during the work week, but use it from morning to early afternoon in the weekends. You can’t fit all those hours nor accommodate home office hours in a period of just 12 hours. We’re always connected, and expect our devices to always be there for us when we need them.
  • Chrome 57 Will Permanently Enable DRM
    The next stable version of Chrome (Chrome 57) will not allow users to disable the Widevine DRM plugin anymore, therefore making it an always-on, permanent feature of Chrome. The new version of Chrome will also eliminate the “chrome://plugins” internal URL, which means if you want to disable Flash, you’ll have to do it from the Settings page.

Linux Mint 18.1 Serena - The glass is half full

Linux Mint 18.1 Serena is an okay distro. It has more merit than Sarah, but then, it's also had almost a year to work on polishing some of the issues, and while a few have been ironed out, big quality issues that were never the domain of Mint before still persist. The live session experience is underwhelming, the default theme is not vibrant enough and can lead to ocular exhaustion quickly, there were problems with stability, multimedia playback, and the promise of Spotify never came to be. On the other hand, most of the stuff works out of the box, the repos are rich, the distro can be tamed relatively easily, and at the end of the day, you have a supported, popular system full of goodies and shiny colors with only a slight aftertaste of betrayal in your proverbial mouth. Good, but only if you've just started playing around with Linux. This distro has no flair. It doesn't have the magic and fire of yore. No fire, no nothing. It's not super green. And it must pop pop pop. So I guess, grade wise, 6.5/10 or some such. All in all, 'tis Linux Mint all right, but not the best offering by a long shot. Read more Also: Linux Mint 18.2 Features – What’s Ahead In the Next Release