EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.27.12

Vista 8 Signals the End of Windows Domination; Microsoft Starts Lying (Fake Numbers), Block GNU/Linux

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Vista 8, Windows at 6:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dead-end company

Summary: UEFI tricks creep in now that Microsoft’s common carrier (Windows) is botched and people explore alternatives that are free and superior

According to this model cited by Forbes, Microsoft may be on the “verge of a sudden collapse” as the company is already unable to hide operating losses, it has debt, and its chiefs leave in droves.

The departure of Steve Sinofsky so soon after the launch of Windows 8 was not a vote of confidence by the maker of the world’s largest operating system. But is it a sign of Microsoft‘s imminent collapse?

Last week, usability expert Jakob Nielsen wrote a devastating critique of Windows 8 on his Alertbox blog. He writes, “One of the worst aspects of Windows 8 for power users is that the product’s very name has become a misnomer. ‘Windows’ no longer supports multiple windows on the screen.… When users can’t view several windows simultaneously, they must keep information from one window in short-term memory while they activate another window. This is problematic for two reasons. First, human short-term memory is notoriously weak, and second, the very task of having to manipulate a window—instead of simply glancing at one that’s already open—further taxes the user’s cognitive resources.”

We wrote about this assessment at the time. It shows that Windows got botched. To make matters even worse, its gets saddled with crapware: [via]

Crapware. Windows laptop and desktop PC buyers are used to all that extraneous preloaded software, but you’d think after all this time and negative press about crapware, we’d see the end of it with new Windows 8 PCs. Wrong. InformationWeek asked several PC makers (Dell, HP, Toshiba, Samsung, Acer, and Lenovo) to list the software that comes preloaded on their new Windows 8 systems, and crapware is still alive and well.

Some types of preloaded software is essential (e.g., hardware drivers) and other perhaps at least sensible (e.g., pen input management tools). Trial software and other third-party software, however, plainly are not only unnecessary but oftentimes problematic. Internet security suites and “system performance boosting tools” can really drag down a system. Windows 8 already comes with anti-malware built-in with Windows Defender, so packing in trial versions of Norton Internet Security or McAfee Internet Security Suite is pretty offensive (you can’t or at least shouldn’t run a third-party suite and Windows Defender at the same time.)

Well, barring third-party money for crapware (which helps lower the cost of a Windows licence), the lies from Microsoft begin as the PR machine struggles to say something positive. As a journalist and online friend showed me a short while ago, “Near the bottom of t[he] story, @Reuters tells t[he] truth ab[out] #Windows8 “sales figures” aka “channel stuffing” pages.” The headline, alas, says: “Microsoft sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses in month: executive” (attributed to Microsoft, taken with a grain of salt).

Those are unused licences and free giveaways that they count as “sales”. Microsoft uses these dirty tricks (or lies) every time Windows is (re)released. The general method is to issue ‘copies’ (whatever that means when it’s all just bytes) and then claim them to have been “licensed” and thus count them. Microsoft is now trying to just dump Vista 8 on the market (it is the common carrier for cash cows like Office), but Vista 8 is just technically inferior and less familiar to users than some free operating systems such as Linux Mint 14. Using UEFI, Microsoft is now hoping to block (from booting) most such operating systems (including old versions), or make it complicated for average users to run them.

A contributor of ours sent us this mail an hour ago: “Over the last weeks, reports like this have been trickling in on the Debian and Ubuntu lists/forums

“I think it will be a big problem come the holidays, when people get their new computers.”

To quote the incident he cites: “I got a new Lenovo T530, I added a SSD as second disk, and now have a win7, UEFI boot on MBR partitionned sdb disk.

“I tried latest beta installer for wheezy (beta4), but it could not boot in UEFI mode”

Yes, perfectly fine binaries are refused the right to run. This begs one to ask, whose computer is it anyway? Here is another new example which says:

There are no physical to virtual disk converters for Restricted Boot, even from non free, Microsoft people like VMWare. Why am I not surprised? http://www.kubuntuforums.net/showthread.php?61188-Dual-Boot-12-10-or-migrate-OEM-Windows-8-to-a-VM-on-same-laptop-in-Linux It would be better to forget about Windows than fool around with dual booting.

Watch how complicated it can get: “So after reading up on the issues with UEFI and enabling/disabling Secure Boot I’m wondering which is the most bombproof way to approach this? If the Dual Boot scenario with Kubuntu 12.10 and Windows 8 /UEFI does not behave (as it has in the past with BIOS and Grub Loader on the MBR) can I do a migration of this OEM installed Windows 8 to a VM in Kubuntu on the same laptop??

“In other words, nuke-n-pave the existing OEM Windows 8 hard drive, install Kubuntu 12.10 on clean HDD, then migrate that OEM Windows 8 image to a VM running on 12.10.”

Will Hill writes: “Turning off restricted boot is a huge, undocumented pain in the neck. A six step process, with two steps found by trial and error, is detailed.

“… these steps are performed without documentation, with no hints and with big warning pop-ups letting the user know what a bad idea disabling Secure Boot is. This is not something the average user is going to know how to do, nor will they likely want to follow through if they read the on-screen messages. … I went back to the merchant’s website and discovered something. There is no mention of Secure Boot, UEFI or Windows 8 certification anywhere on the page.

“Restricted boot is a significant barrier to gnu/linux use and a threat to software freedom. You can boot hardware before you buy it, but even then you can’t be sure. This is what Microsoft has always done with BIOS but this time Microsoft has reserved the ability to deny the user completely. UEFI is non free software with enough networking capability to contact Microsoft or OEMs without the user knowing and it can modify itself. People need free software from the metal up.” [http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20121126#qa via, https://plus.google.com/u/0/112860174577325685245/posts/MFXB2syddZy]

Răzvan Sandu quotes SJVN as writing, “Windows 8 is a one way street for consumer PC users…”

“Or, better,” says Sandu, “DON’T buy Windows at all!”

More importantly perhaps, encourage GNU/Linux distributors to fight UEFI, e.g. with an antitrust complaint — that is — rather than play along with it; secondly, do not allow journalists to quote fake Microsoft numbers that are Vista 8 PR, not without a challenge anyway. Expect Microsoft’s PR agents to be banging on publications to write down those fake numbers in the coming days, creating only an illusion of success. The only “success” Microsoft has had is that this Xmas season many people are unable to install/boot GNU/Linux on the PCs they bought or received as a gift. It’s the gift of corrupt motherboards, fried by Microsoft executives who knew exactly what they were doing.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

9 Comments

  1. mcinsand said,

    November 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Gravatar

    The times are certainly getting very interesting. Since Windows 98, XP has been the only iteration with any traction… and that was the one with such poor performance that it was just the kick in the pants I needed to move to FOSS. Something I have to stress over and over, though, is that the world seems to have forgotten the case of Data General versus Digidyne. It was a good step towards firming up the need to keep OS and hardware markets separate; bundling/tying the two is an anticompetitive measure that would never be accepted as legal in any other market. However, the fossils in the US legal system are still decades behind in technology. If a car company was trying to restrict a car to using only fuel or oil from that company, you can be certain that the DOJ would be sending out summons by the truckload. UEFI is only a band-aid so that MS can pretend to care about security when they peddle a product with insecurity baked in from the ground up.

    And, once more, if MS implodes, so does Apple. Without MS to make Apple look good, there will only be FOSS to let people see how Apple is merely an overpriced, underchoiced, freedom-free, technological straightjacket.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Without MS to make Apple look good, there will only be FOSS to let people see how Apple is merely an overpriced, underchoiced, freedom-free, technological straightjacket.

    That’s just what happened in the phablet market.

    mcinsand Reply:

    For a long time, the market favored both members of the duopoly. MS made Apple look good with Windows’ poor reliability and security. At the same time, Apple made MS look good, with Apple’s purest hatred of freedom and selling anything that is not overpriced/underfeatured. Android offers so much more in features, reliability, security, performance, and innovation, that its domination of the tablet and handset market is certainly no surprise… except to the duopoly, of course.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The duopoly is a desktop one. It happens to be passable to the mobile area, where Google almost enjoys a monopoly now (although when the code is free and there is no coercion it’s not monopolistic)

  2. NotZed said,

    November 28, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Gravatar

    All the crapware is of course a direct result of M$ taking all the profits out of the industry – whatever it is that OEMs are charged for per-pc licenses is just money they have to try to make up somewhere else, and the margins are so thin. You still need to dig shit out of the ground and ship it across the world to make physical hardware, and yet whilst hardware costs continue to plummet through advances in productivity and manufacturing, the cost of commodity software whose value is essentially 0$ is still exorbitant.

    M$ making their own hardware – full of adware itself (so they keep making money even after they rooted everyone on the first sale) – is just another way they’re screwing their long-term partners, who can’t be happy about it. If those get their shit together that will have more impact on the industry than the general public who for the most part simply use what they’re given.

    It’s also rather disingenuous for M$ to turn around and blame the manufacturers for making sub-standard hardware given they just don’t have the margins to play with that either ms or apple do.

    Of course Billy-Gee himself was the one who said hardware will be free in 10 years … 8 years ago.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Do you have the quote offhand?

  3. mcinsand said,

    November 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Gravatar

    Darn. I can’t reply to your reply, however, I would be afraid of Google if not for the core being GPL’d. Android’s free code underpinnings prevent monopolization, which is yet another big plus to the GPL, as well as another point against the BSD license. BSD code is good fodder for proprietary software, since it permits removing the freedom. Although a parasite like Apple can take the contributions of thousands to make a walled garden, GPL keeps the code open. That’s no doubt a huge part of why Linux’ innovation pace leaves BSD in the dust; new ideas stay as part of the community as a whole.

    At least with Android, the mistakes made in Unix’ origins are not being repeated. AT&T had a great operating system on their hands, but they were not going to pursue it commercially for fear of antitrust. However, there were too many pieces where AT&T did not have the appropriate rights to free the code.

    Again, I would fear Google if not for the GPL. They have decided to make free software an anchor to the ecosystem so that even Google, Android’s main backing, cannot not close it up.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Android’s core code (excepting the kernel) is Apache licensed. Google promised China to keep Android free/open, though.

    mcinsand Reply:

    Well that’s a scary splash of icewater! I had it backwards, thinking that there were some Apache-licensed portions without realizing the extent. Apache isn’t really any better than BSD, since a company can prioritize and gut the software, the same way Apple crippled the BSD OS. Granted, the kernel mods are protected and being rolled into the main trunk, but these permissive licenses suck! The best way to protect choice is to license in such a manner that some sleaze of a company does not have the freedom to remove the freedom.

What Else is New


  1. Links 26/6/2017: Lumina Version 1.3.0, Final Linux RC

    Links for the day



  2. EPO Strikes in All Four EPO Sites for Two Days This Month and Next Month, Under the “Respect Staff” Banner

    The impact of the strikes at EPO doubles, as two strikes in two months are scheduled, starting this week



  3. Latest EPO Caricature: Staff Committee Maintains Integrity

    Caricature about double failure of Battistelli last week -- a failure which shall result in a general strike fairly soon



  4. Voter Suppression Tactics by Team Battistelli Serve to Reaffirm View That the EPO is an Authoritarian Regime Which Loathes Voting

    In spite of the dirty tricks employed by Team Battistelli, staff managed to guard the integrity of the staff committee and vote for a strike; the dirty tricks, however, will not and should not be forgotten



  5. Leaked: Job Opening Advertised as Battistelli’s 'Mole' at the Administrative Council, Jesper Kongstad, Leaves in Shame

    Having disgraced the Administrative Council of the EPO, e.g. by protecting the person whom he is supposed to supervise, Jesper Kongstad will leave in 3 months



  6. As Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Ramps Up Its Campaign Against Software Patent Trolls the Patent Microcosm Attacks the Messenger (EFF)

    In an effort to thwart Alice and the EFF (two birds, one stone) the patent microcosm goes behind the scenes and saturates the media with misleading articles, including attacks on the EFF itself



  7. In Sandoz v Amgen, the Federal Circuit is Again Found to Have Delivered Patent Injustice

    SCOTUS continues to disagree with CAFC on everything that it decides to reconsider, even the very latest decision (formally delivered earlier this month)



  8. The Supreme Court Can Reassert the Legitimacy of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Later This Year or Next Year

    What lawyers-centric media characterises as a risk to PTAB may actually be an opportunity to silence critics of PTAB and help it carry on squashing bogus patents



  9. The US Patent Office (USPTO) Should Now be Headed by Drew Hirshfeld, a Patent Examiner Who Rose to the Top, Not a Lawyer Like Joseph Matal

    Donald Trump's Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, pushes to the top the patent microcosm rather than technical people who are equipped with the knowledge and experience to run the Office as well as Michelle Lee did



  10. After Latest Supreme Court Rulings on Patents, Including Impression v Lexmark, the Federal Circuit is Left Disgraced

    Hostility towards the patent microcosm's patent maximalism, as witnessed at the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS), culminated in another decision and will soon result in yet more decisions, as SCOTUS has since then picked more patent cases to look at



  11. IBM, Apple and Facebook Pursue Software Patents in India in Defiance of the Ban

    Multinationals from the United States, or digital colonisers with ambitions to spy on and control finance, continue to behave as though Indian law is not applicable to their operations in India and repeatedly attempt to patent software anyway



  12. Wouter Pors Under Fire for Lying or Manipulating in the Name of the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The argument between Team UPC and other patent professionals (without a lot of eggs in the UPC basket) heats up as Wouter Pors resorts to desperate measures and Bristows belatedly admits constitutional problems in the UK



  13. Systemic Injustice at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Causes Serious Harm to Complainants' Health, Including EPO Complainants

    The high human cost of ILO's failure to fulfill its stated mission while pretending that it has things under control (that is clearly no longer the case, especially as far as EPO cases go)



  14. Links 24/6/2017: GNOME Music Improves, FreeBSD 11.1 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  15. Microsoft and Bill Gates Become More Actively Involved in Their Biggest Patent Troll (and World's Biggest Troll), Intellectual Ventures

    The world's largest patent troll, which reportedly operates (litigates) through literally thousands of shells, has received yet more financial aid from Microsoft and Bill Gates



  16. The STRONGER Patents Act is One Among Several New Pushes for Patent Chaos in the United States

    US patent law is being 'massaged' again, with bills being pushed forth that propose a return to Armageddon, undoing much of the progress made possible by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA)



  17. SUEPO and the EPO's Central Staff Committee Condemn Battistelli's Latest Attempt to Change the Rules in Defiance of Laws

    Staff representatives at the EPO voice opposition to so-called 'reforms' which are neither desirable nor legal



  18. The Tide Has Turned Against the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and It Finally Looks as 'Alive' as TPP

    The UPC is now stuck if not dead because officials are realising -- however belatedly -- that this entire charade was from start to finish just a coup d'état of the patent 'industry'



  19. Potential Targets of European Patent Office (EPO) Whistleblowing

    Priorities for whistleblowing at the European Patent Office (EPO), which operates secretly and occasionally illegally, too



  20. Links 23/6/2017: Wine 2.11 Released, HPC Domination by GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  21. Primer to the Crisis and Scandals at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    An introduction to the chaotic state of what used to be the world's leading patent office and quickly became Europe's biggest embarrassment



  22. Workers of the European Patent Office (EPO) Are Going on Strike Again, Almost 90% Voted in Favour

    Thousands of brave EPO employees chose to cast a vote and make it known that they are in favour of another strike



  23. Benoît Battistelli Has Lost the Election at the EPO

    FFPE candidates (or moles from the yellow union) failed to enter the Central Staff Committee in spite of Battistelli's attempt to help them get in



  24. Emerging Threat to Patent Reforms at the USPTO

    Our plan of returning to coverage of US patent affairs in the wake of powerful lobbies that pursue patent maximalism



  25. You Know That the Unitary Patent (UPC) is in Huge Peril When Its Biggest Fans Admit It's Unlikely to Happen Even Next Year

    The tactics of Team UPC turn ugly as they personally target anyone who stands in their way, even a professor/judge who is courageous enough to state the obvious



  26. More Than Six Human Casualties Under Battistelli at the EPO, But the Human Toll Can Become a Lot Worse

    The bigger or much broader picture detailing the high cost of autocracy and mental torture at the EPO, where lives are ruined not only when these are ended and some key buildings pose severe threat to a lot of workers



  27. EPO's Elodie Bergot Calls Staff Suicide Just 'Passing Away', Pretends to Care

    How the EPO continues to mislead if not lie to staff, even when staff commits suicide -- a growing problem for Team Battistelli, whom some insiders hold accountable for these deaths



  28. The Administrative Tribunal of ILO Will Deliver EPO Judgments in Six Days

    Despite its old age (nearly a century), ILO's tradition when it comes to enforcing the law is anything but sterling, yet one can hope that it will stop its unproductive cat-and-mouse game with the EPO, where compliance is rare and actual judgments (not deferrals/referrals) are even rarer



  29. Links 21/6/2017: Red Hat's Numbers Are Up, New Debian Being Studied

    Links for the day



  30. Another Suicide Reported at the EPO While the Paid-for Media Focuses on 'European Inventor Award' Charade

    Puff pieces for Benoît Battistelli published aplenty while the European media refuses to deal with the reality -- not paid-for illusions -- at the European Patent Office


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts