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Microsoft

New Computer Blues

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
-s

Looking around the BIOS let me set the Secure Boot to boot other OSes. It wouldn't let me just disable it completely. I set the boot order to boot the DVD drive first and tried to run those Linux live disks. Mageia 4 wasn't going to let me change the video driver from VESA no matter what. Cinnamon crashed once loading NVIDIA drivers in Mint 17. openSUSE behaved the best in giving me nice video support. I figured I'd install openSUSE and use it until Mint 17 came out in the KDE version.

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Windows 8 ban encourages domestic developers

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Instead, the Chinese government is calling for the increased purchase and development of domestically developed operating systems, specifically those created on Linux. Although the ban of Windows 8 does not directly affect the general public, Sina News reports that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is pushing for domestic users to gravitate from Windows XP to domestic operating systems too. It's not too far fetched an idea, either–China has a long history of successfully developing domestic software. The messaging software QQ, for example, is more popular than the foreign-developed MSN, since it was specifically developed to cater to Chinese people's sensibilities.

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Woolworths smashes Windows and switches to Chrome OS

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Microsoft

Retail giant Woolworths has announced a massive IT transformation program, confirming it will phase out its huge collection of Microsoft Windows desktops in favour of 8000 Google Chrome OS machines.

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Reports Cites Google Surpassing Microsoft in Browser Market Share

Filed under
Google
Microsoft

ADI technology analyst Tyler White speculated that two underlying market forces are boosting Google's numbers. “First, device defaults matter,” White said. “Internet Explorer leverages its Windows OS dominance to gain share as the default Web browser for the majority of people online. Today mobile OS is more important, giving Google and Apple a leg up with default status on Android and iOS.”

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Has Microsoft really changed its attitude toward open source?

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS

Okay, I hate to be a Negative Ned here, but I'm firmly in the "trust but verify" camp when it comes to Microsoft and open source. Yes, a new CEO and other changes may be helping Microsoft to adjust to living in an open source world. But change never comes easy or fast in such a large organization, so I think the jury is still out on whether or not Microsoft has really changed for the better when it comes to open source software.

Also, I've never forgotten the company's "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategy that they used in the past to destroy competitive software products. That alone is reason enough to keep a wary eye on Microsoft's involvement with any open source project. Perhaps the company really has changed, but maybe it hasn't. I think it bears watching for at least another few years to see if enduring change has really set in or not.

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China puts Windows 8 on TV, screams: 'SECURITY, GET IT OUT OF HERE!'

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

China has stepped up its war on Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system with a report in state-backed media that questions the security of the software.

In a one and a half minute segment aired on China's CCTV television channel, journalists reported that the Chinese government is concerned by the security of the Windows 8 software and is increasing efforts to develop its own rival system.

"Microsoft would no longer open its Windows 8 source code to the Chinese government, however the security scheme of the Windows 8 operating system is designed to provide better access for Microsoft to users' database. For China it's a big challenge for our cybersecurity," said Yang Min, a professor at China's Fudan University, through a translator.

"Your identity, account, contact book, phone numbers, all this data can be put together for big data analysis," explains another academic, Ni Guangnam. "The US has a law that requires anyone that has this data to report to the government. The data might be a good way for the US to monitor other countries."

This report follows the Chinese government banning Windows 8 from a chunk of its public sector PCs in late-May.

In March 2013, El Reg reported that Canonical had partnered with various Chinese government agencies to develop and support a Linux distribution named Ubuntu Kylin for the country. Given this television segment, we imagine installations of that OS are about to increase.

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Also: China escalates rhetoric in campaign to ban Windows 8

Microsoft's China Syndrome

Filed under
Android
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

The history of Linux in China is chequered. Android is doing extremely well there, even if it tends to be varieties that are more or less independent from Google (no bad thing.) But on the desktop, GNU/Linux has had a pretty disastrous showing. That's strange, because you would think that the Chinese authorities would jump at the chance to adopt a free operating system that was independent of the US, and which could be inspected for NSA backdoors even before the current Snowden leaks showed why that would be a good idea.

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Windows ban may open door for China's domestic OS

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

With Windows 8 now banned from being installed on Chinese government computers, domestic operating system (OS) developers are itching for a niche in the world's biggest PC market.

The country's relatively large OS developers, including China Standard Software Co. and NFS China among others, have fresh opportunities, but their products face long and tough tests.

Windows 8 was banned from all desktops, laptops and tablet PCs purchased by central state organs last week. The announcement made by the Central Government Procurement Center did not make clear whether other Windows products were prohibited as well.

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Did Blue Pup jump the shark with its Windows 8 Metro interface?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

When Windows 8 was first released many people were shocked and even horrified by the garish Metro interface. Some even left Windows for Linux or shifted back to Windows 7. Now you can experience some of the...er...magic of the Metro interface in the Blue Pup distro (a Puppy Linux spin), according to LinuxInsider.

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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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Leftovers: Gaming

Leftovers: Software

today's howtos

ACPI, kernels and contracts with firmware

This ends up being a pain in the neck in the x86 world, but it could be much worse. Way back in 2008 I wrote something about why the Linux kernel reports itself to firmware as "Windows" but refuses to identify itself as Linux. The short version is that "Linux" doesn't actually identify the behaviour of the kernel in a meaningful way. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the kernel can deal with buffers being passed when the spec says it should be a package. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the OS knows how to deal with an HPET. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the OS can reinitialise graphics hardware. Read more