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02.21.09

Best ‘Feature’ of Vista 7 is Finally Found: It ‘Deletes’ GNU/Linux Partitions

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 9:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7
Antifeatures inside

MICROSOFT MAY not be competent enough to produce a robust operating system, but it deserves credit for at least being consistent. Since the very early days of DOS and through the early days of Windows, Microsoft was very capable of deliberately destroying (attorney Conlin called it “technical sabotage”) the operating systems of superior competitors like OS/2 and DR-DOS. Such behaviour lives on to this date, namely in Windows Vista.

All the evidence — including detailed explanations — we already provided one month ago, so repetition is not necessary. However, here is some unsurprising news: Vista 7, just like all of its successors, is reportedly nuking GNU/Linux even when it needn’t. The complaint comes from an IDG-owned blog:

When I installed the Windows 7 beta on Disk 1, I hoped that it would ignore Disk 0 completely. No such luck: it found the Vista boot block, ignored the grub menu, and created a new Windows boot menu for itself and Vista on Disk 0. (I probably should have unplugged the Samsung disk for the installation. Now I think of it.) The Ubuntu ext3 and swap partitions are still there, but I can’t boot to Ubuntu.

There is actually a lot more that could be our focus today if Vista 7 scrutiny is the subject at hand. According to several reports, early suggestions that Microsoft was rushing Vista 7 through the production line are correct. Here is a new discussion from The Register:

Microsoft has moved to contain growing criticism from beta testers that it’s railroading the Windows 7 and Windows Live test programs, leaving bugs unfixed.

There is more in IDG:

Development team responses like “won’t fix” or “by design” seem to be the the norm for even serious issues, leading many testers to conclude that the product was feature complete (i.e. no longer subject to significant modification based on tester input) long before they received their first code drop.

[...]

I’ve long felt the Windows 7 development process was a bit too opaque. After the near transparency of the Vista soap opera — where we all tuned in weekly to learn of the latest axed feature or slipped ship date — Windows 7 has been a veritable “black box.” Most of us knew nothing about the new version until we received our pre-release PDC builds, and by then much of the OS’ design and feature set was already frozen.

And as for the public “beta” charade, more than one person has accused Microsoft of using the threat of limited availability and a fixed cut-off date as a kind of PR stunt, a way to generate buzz by showing how much pent-up demand exists for their new baby.

[...]

Wake up, folks. It’s all been a big lie.

That last sentence is key: “It’s all been a big lie.” Boycott Novell said exactly that last year. There are other nasties which get unraveled by The Register:

Microsoft plans to issue non-update update for Win 7

[...]

“These updates allow us to test and verify our ability to deliver and manage the updating of Windows 7. We typically verify servicing scenarios during a beta,” he said.

LeBlanc was at pains to emphasise that the updates wouldn’t actually update anything. Instead they would “simply replace system files with the same version of the file currently on the system,” he said.

It becomes more likely than not that Vista 7 will be a minor improvement over Vista once the hype is over. It’s hard not to do better than Vista, whose image was defeated even by its predecessor from 2001 (XP). Why not just upgrade to GNU/Linux, which is right here right now? Not tomorrow, no ifs and maybes with regards to features. GNU/Linux is about what we already have, Windows is about what Microsoft might have (and probably won't ever have). Does anyone still remember WinFS?

“GNU/Linux is about what we already have, Windows is about what Microsoft might have (and probably won’t ever have).”Hype is deceiving and Vista 7 never existed. People only toyed around with a beta, whose resemblance to the final product will remain an enigma for a long time. It’s unknown until release.

Betas of Windows Vista back in 2006 (or Longhorn prior to that) sure impressed some early testers, reviewers, and adopters. The backlash only started to come in 2007 when marketing was unable to counter an insurgence of authentic rants.

Expert users who love Windows tend to become Microsoft’s privileged ‘guinea pigs’, but they are not average users. What happens with Vista 7 right now is eerily similar to false promises about Vista. It’s almost a reflection of what used to be, even with similar memes like "will kill Linux" being tossed around.

Vista

Microsoft was sued for the second time over its failures with Windows Vista and this could soon become a class action. This came one year after a first class action over a marketing scam and collusion around Vista — action that recently lost its status as “class action” but carries on nonetheless.

Here is a good headline from Masnick: Next, Microsoft Will Release An Even Worse Operating System To Jack Up The Prices On Vista…

The launch of Vista has been a massive disappointment for the company, not a part of a nefarious strategy to jack up the prices on XP.

Regular readers might remember Edelman, a Microsoft-hired marketing gun that bribed influential bloggers for positive reviews of Windows Vista. Well, according to PR Watch, Edelman has moved on to advocating for companies that kill people.

The major military contractor ITT Corporation has hired the PR firm Edelman, to promote the company “in the defense in the defense and commercial markets, as well as raise awareness of its ongoing CSR,” or corporate social responsibility, efforts.

According to this report, there is no ethos that can stop Edelman from inflicting great damage upon society. Need it be wondered why IDG’s PCWorld pondered boycotting Edelman, whereas Microsoft hires Edelman on a regular basis/contract?

Novell News Summary – Part IV: SCO Update, Report Coming Up, Teaming Deal

Posted in Finance, Identity Management, Mail, Mono, Novell, SCO, Security, UNIX at 8:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell-SUSE event

SCO

GROKLAW is still keeping quiet, but this does not mean that the Novell-SCO feud stays invisible. SD Times has a report about the latest in this case.

Novell has filed an objection to the SCO Group’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan that would involve a public auction of SCO’s assets.

The objection was filed yesterday, which was the deadline for companies to submit objections to SCO’s disclosure statement. Novell did not provide further information on the objection because the attorney working on the case was unavailable for comment. A Novell spokesman confirmed that the objection is rooted in what the company considers an inadequacy of SCO’s disclosure statement.

Finance

Apart from some blurbs about Novell, there was almost nothing but this overview from Joe. It’s previewing the “earnings” announcement (“losses” would be more like it).

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell News Summary – Part III: Xandros Hopes to Return from the Slump Using ARM

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Windows, Xandros at 6:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A leg up with Arm, without Microsoft

XANDROS is a company that we boycott because of its patent deal with Microsoft and assistance to OOXML. Xandros also swallowed Linspire [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], which magnifies the issues with it. Linspire is no more by the way. As we stressed very recently, whatever Microsoft touches, Microsoft ruins. Companies must learn this quickly because history has been very consistent.

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell News Summary – Part II: SUSE in China and DreamWorks

Posted in Novell, SLES/SLED at 5:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“MOSTLY normal” would be a reasonable term to use to describe SUSE’s progress over the past week. Novell’s spinners had some words to drop about “service pack”, but their essay was actually contributed by Michele Casey, who is not among the spinners but a product manager. Michele wrote:

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell’s Jaffe on Novell’s Linux Strategy: .NET, Mono, Moonlight, Nothing About OpenSUSE

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 4:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono, ECMA, Microsoft

NOVELL’S TECHNICAL OFFICER has just outlined the company’s “Linux” strategy (he refers to GNU/Linux). He makes it rather clean that, just as we showed some hours ago, Microsoft technologies are being promoted at the expense of the rest. Here is his summary, in full:

Linux’s ultimate success as a platform lies in getting the right number of exciting applications to Linux. Novell invests to make SLES the prefered landing point for Linux applications. Throughout Mono framework, we also make SLE the perfect landing point for .Net based applications. The payoff is evident with Moonlight—our relationship with Microsoft brings this application to Linux.

OpenSUSE is not mentioned even once! Novell serves Microsoft's interests now that it’s run by former IBM (and Microsoft) executives.

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

Novell News Summary – Part I: OpenSUSE 11.1 Reviews and Regrouping

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, OpenSUSE at 4:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SUSE Linux 6.0

Events

LAST week was a fairly quiet one, maybe due to FOSDEM ending. Some recordings of FOSDEM are now available and this is announced in the OpenSUSE Web site.

This year Juergen and me (tom) went to FOSDEM to do the video recordings of the talks in the openSUSE developer room. Last year we had some problems with the sound quality, so this year we brought some more equipment, amongst others 2 head mics for the speakers, one mic for the audience, an 8 channel mixer and speakers for the audience.

Zonker ought to be giving a talk at SCALE 2009 right about now.

Recent setbacks have not been treating OpenSUSE so well (nor has Novell), which led to unrest. Adding to these problems, download.opensuse.org was going down for several hours today, as Peter informed colleagues and others in the opensuse-announce mailing list:


download.opensuse.org is undergoing database maintenance today (Saturday
afternoon morning, 21st of February).

Since I don't know when this message will be moderated, I may already 
be finished when you read this.

Basic functionality is there, but if you encounter some errors please
just retry in a few hours.

Please contact admin at opensuse.org with any queries.

It’s all back now.

There was very little more that we could find about OpenSUSE apart from an HOWTO here and there.

Reviews

The GNU/Linux-hostile Jim Lynch reviewed OpenSUSE 11.1 and so did Jason Brooks, Eric Mesa, and Jack Wallen. Snippets below from each in turn:

It’s been quite a while since I’ve played with openSUSE. Back in the day it was pretty much my favorite Linux distribution. Oh sure I flirted with other distros and I enjoyed using them, but openSUSE always had its own special appeal. As a result, I couldn’t resist downloading openSUSE 11.1 and giving it a shot.

 

As in previous SUSE releases, OpenSUSE 11.1 seems to err on the side of complexity (or bloat, depending on your point of view) when it comes to packing in its desktop-focused features. For instance, my OpenSUSE installation gave me more configuration options for setting up my display settings than I’m accustomed to seeing from Red Hat or Ubuntu releases, but I had to use a combination of two separate, partially overlapping display settings tools to arrive at my desired setup.

 

After reading through LXF, I tried loading openSuse 11.1 with the failsafe settings and it worked in VirtualBox. So I’ll now be reviewing openSuse 11.1. Here’s the screen as it booted up.

[...]

So, openSuse is a good distro to check out. Their release engineers are doing a great job. As with last time, the only cause for hesitance is their pact with Microsoft as that may be a deal-breaker for some users out there.

 

If you are looking for an enterprise-ready Linux distribution that is primed for migrating users from Window to Linux, Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is the perfect solution. But one issue you will have to prepare to over come is the installation. Creating an automated installation with AutoYaST will become a necessity if you are planning on doing any large-scale roll outs. Outside of that, you can not go wrong with SLED as your next enterprise desktop operating system.

Miscellaneous

Novell’s OpenSUSE Weekly News came a lot later than usual.

In this Week:

* Special Edition about FOSDEM2009
* OpenOffice_org 3.0.1 final available
* Jan-Christoph Bornschlegel: Product Creation with the openSUSE Build Service
* Henne Vogelsang: Fosdem talk about collaboration features and Contrib
* kamilsok: installing 64bit Java on openSUSE 11.1

News from the past week should be assembled soon as it’s not there yet. The above is for the week prior to the last, so there’s catching up to do.

Quote of the Day: PC Market Struggle Bad News for Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, HP, Microsoft, Windows at 12:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Hewlett-Packard’s financial results could mean more trouble for Microsoft as the PC market continues to struggle, a financial analyst said Thursday.”

Analyst: HP Results Bad News for Microsoft (IDG)

GNU on televisionThere goes Microsoft's bundling advantage. GNU/Linux is beautiful, light, and versatile. It can run on almost any hardware and can be copied without restriction.

Analysts have recently insisted that Microsoft's layoffs were insufficient.

Did Microsoft ‘Pull an EDGI’ on Catalonia’s GNU/Linux Migration Plan?

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

THE routine looks awfully familiar:

  • Country/region listens to citizens’ desire and heralds a migration to GNU/Linux
  • Microsoft spots this country/region which migrates to GNU/Linux
  • Microsoft’s leaders make quiet visits to the country/region
  • Microsoft announces a bargain new deal that’s shrouded with secrecy and the migration to GNU/Linux is ended
  • In some case, those who advocated GNU/Linux lose their job and/or get smeared

Steve BallmerWe saw this in many places before, with personal involvements from Bill Gates and even Steve Ballmer, who had eggs thrown at him for it (the picture on the right was taken seconds afterwards).

Orlando Ayala is another executive chief who embarks on such anti-GNU/Linux crusades and in order to understand how it all works, one ought to learn about Microsoft’s EDGI, which is pretty much an anti-GNU/Linux programme. Anti-trust action exposed its internals, but it was settled too quickly to actually tackle the issue:

Some months ago we discussed Microsoft’s illegal deals which exclude competition at government level and it’s unfortunate to find that Microsoft may have just done this in Catalonia as well.

Strike Against Free Software: Microsoft Enters Catalonian Schools

It was a pretty personal deal between Steve Ballmer and president of the Generalitat de Catalunya José Montilla.

[...]

Minister of education Ernest Maragall had announced in April 2008 that hundreds of schools would be switched to GNU/Linux. The main reason, he said at the time, was the illegal use of proprietary software.

Needless to say, Catalonia pays for all the hardware and Microsoft offers the ‘privilege’ of not using GNU/Linux, i.e. Catalonia is allowed to make copies of Windows, which cannot be owned anyway (just licensed until the kids graduate).

Residents of Catalonia should be up and arms. They can demand to see the details of what Microsoft did to take away their children’s’ freedom, i.e. turn them into Microsoft clients at a young age, even with the government’s assistance.

If you do not handle a thug by detaining it, then it will carry on roaming the streets doing more of the same. This really ought to require investigation because it’s a repeated offence.

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