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. Patent Quality and Patent Scope the Unspeakable Taboo at the EPO, as Both Are Guillotined by Benoît Battistelli for the Sake of Money

    The gradual destruction of the European Patent Office (EPO), which was once unanimously regarded as the world's best, by a neo-liberal autocrat from France, Benoît Battistelli



  2. Bristows LLP's Hatred/Disdain of UK/EU Democracy Demonstrated; Says “Not Only Will the Pressure for UK Ratification of the UPC Agreement Continue, But a Decision is Wanted Within Weeks.”

    Without even consulting the British public or the European public (both of whom would be severely harmed by the UPC), the flag bearers of the UPC continue to bamboozle and then pressure politicians, public servants and nontechnical representatives



  3. Released Late on a Friday, EPO Social 'Study' (Battistelli-Commissioned Propaganda) Attempts to Blame Staff for Everything

    The longstanding propaganda campaign (framing staff as happy or framing unhappy staff as a disgruntled minority) is out and the timing of the release is suspicious to say the least



  4. Links 23/9/2016: Latest Microsoft and Lenovo Spin (Now in ‘Damage Control’ Mode)

    Links for the day



  5. White Male-Dominated EPO Management Sinks to New Lows, Again

    Benoît Battistelli continues to make the EPO look like Europe's biggest laughing stock by attempting to tackle issues with corny photo ops rather than real change (like SUEPO recognition, diverse hiring, improved patent quality, and cessation of sheer abuses)



  6. Journalism 102: Do Not Become Like 'Managing IP' or IAM 'Magazine' (the Megaphones of the EPO’s Management)

    Another look at convergence between media and the EPO, which is spending virtually millions of Euros literally buying the media and ensuring that the EPO's abuses are scarcely covered (if ever mentioned at all)



  7. Journalism 101: Do Not Believe Anything That Benoît Battistelli and the EPO's Management Say (Also Don't Fall for the UPC Hype)

    A survey/review (or an overview) of recent articles about the EPO and why they're wrong (mostly because they parrot the official lies from Battistelli's department)



  8. Patent Law Firms, David Kappos, and IAM 'Magazine' Still Shelter Software Patents by Cherry-Picking and Lobbying

    Amid the gradual collapse of software patents in the United States there are disingenuous efforts to bring them back or maintain a perception that these patents are still potent



  9. Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls Going Places and Suing Microsoft Rivals, Microsoft Wants More 'Linux Patent Tax'

    Microsoft-connected patent trolls like Larry Horn's MobileMedia are still attacking Microsoft rivals and Microsoft wants more money from Korea, after it attacked Linux with software patents over there (notably Samsung and LG)



  10. Links 22/9/2016: Linux Professional Institute Redesign, Red Hat Upgraded

    Links for the day



  11. Links 22/9/2016: Red Hat's Latest Results, GNOME 3.22 Released

    Links for the day



  12. The Patent Law Firms in the US Relentlessly Lobby for Software Patents Resurgence by Placing Emphasis Only on Rare Outcomes

    Decisions against software patents continue to be ignored or intentionally overlooked by patent law firms, which instead saturate the media with the few cases where courts unexpectedly rule in favour of software patents



  13. Links 21/9/2016: Lenovo Helps Microsoft Block GNU/Linux Installations

    Links for the day



  14. Like Big Tobacco Lobbyists, Benoît Battistelli and Team UPC Are Just Chronically Lying and Manipulating Politicians With Their Lies

    Benoît Battistelli and Team UPC continue to meddle in politics and mislead the public (through the press) about patent quality as well the UPC, which is now in effect sunk inside the ashtray of history



  15. The EPO's 'Investigative' Function is Totally Out of Control and Continues to Get Bigger, Whitewashed by So-called 'Review'

    An update on the situation which still causes great unrest at the European Patent Office (EPO), namely abuse of staff by the so-called Investigative Unit (Eponia's equivalent of unaccountable secret services)



  16. Microsoft and Patent Law Firms in the United States Can't Stop Writing About McRo in a Coordinated Push to Resurrect Software Patents

    Microsoft is pursuing more Linux 'patent tax' (using software patents) and patent law firms are preoccupied flooding the media with their shameless self-promotion which is also software patents promotion



  17. For Abuse Like Plagiarism and Malpractice, the US Patent System is Still World Champion

    Low patent quality, abusive litigation (e.g. by patent trolls) and various other elements that globally discredit the USPTO are only symptoms of a wider problem, which is a greedy system motivated by neo-liberal values rather than professionalism and servitude



  18. Links 20/9/2016: GNOME 3.22 Preview, Absolute 14.2 Released

    Links for the day



  19. Links 19/9/2016: Linux 4.8 RC7, KDevelop 5.0.1

    Links for the day



  20. Patents Roundup: Disclosure Requirements, Mobile Patents, Patent Lawyers' Plagiarism, USPTO Getting Sued, and Corporate Domination of the Patent System

    The unwanted elements of the patent system (as it stands at present) illuminated by very recent news and patent court cases



  21. With or Without the UPC (Which Will Probably Never Happen) Battistelli is Crushing the EPO and Ejects Experienced Staff, a Future Without Examination Possible

    A pessimistic but probably realistic take on what is happening at the European Patent Office (EPO), which is undergoing a silent transformation so wide-ranging that stakeholders deserve to know about it



  22. When EPO Liar-in-Chief Benoît Battistelli Defamed His Staff in Parliament, Comparing Them to Nazis and Criminals

    A reminder of the audacity of Benoît Battistelli, who in his capacity as a politician -- a problem in its own right -- slanders EPO staff



  23. After McRO v Namco Case (at CAFC) the Patent Microcosm Works Overtime to Produce Pro-Software Patents Propaganda, Smear the Supreme Court

    Increasingly desperate to convince people to pursue software patents and/or use their software patents to initiate growingly risky lawsuits (high risk of losing), the patent microcosm hugs McRO v Namco while distorting the complete record of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on this subject



  24. Poor Quality Control at the US Patent Office Gives Birth to 'Unpatent' and Gives a Voice to Critics

    The USPTO must up its game on patent quality (not relying on PTAB and the courts correcting its errors after the grants) or face growing backlash that tarnishes its public image



  25. Patent Trial and Appeal Board Under Attack by Law Firms, Which Will Soon Infiltrate It in the Form of 'Bar Association'

    The vultures that are patent law firms keep circling around PTAB and hoping to destroy it, if not from the outside then from the inside, potentially regressing and ruining great progress for US patent quality since Mayo and Alice



  26. EPO President Benoît Battistelli and Team UPC Are Still Lying, Don't Believe a Word They Say

    A rather bulky rebuttal to some of the latest misleading statements from EPO management and law firms that wish to expand/advance their own careers at the expense of the integrity of the European patent system



  27. Links 18/9/2016: Emacs 25.1, Slackel 6.0.7

    Links for the day



  28. Links 17/9/2016: Debian 8.6 Released, More Microsoft Layoffs and Dead Products

    Links for the day



  29. Links 16/9/2016: Uber Uses GNU/Linux, Dell's New Laptops

    Links for the day



  30. Battistelli is Lying About Patent Quality While It Continues to Nosedive at the EPO as Part of His Neo-liberal 'Production' Strategy

    Battistelli, who tries to automate and streamline everything so as to maximise patent grants rather than examine applications properly, is making incredible claims that will almost certainly backfire on him


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