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 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  2. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  3. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  4. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  5. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  6. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  7. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  8. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  9. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day



  10. Links 21/7/2016: An Honorary Degree for Alan Cox, Looks Back at DebConf16

    Links for the day



  11. EPO USA: Under Battistelli, the 'European' Patent Office Emulates All the Mistakes of the USPTO

    Conservative Benoît Battistelli is trying to impose on the European Patent Office various truly misguided policies and he viciously attacks anyone or anything that stands in his way, including his formal overseers



  12. Links 19/7/2016: ARM and Opera Buyout

    Links for the day



  13. Large Corporations' Software Patenting Pursuits Carry on in Spite of Patent Trolls That Threaten Small Companies the Most

    With unconvincing excuses such as OIN, large corporations including IBM continue to promote software patents in the United States, even when public officials and USPTO officials work towards ending those



  14. Battistelli Has Implemented De Facto EPO Coup to Remove Oversight, Give Himself Total Power, and Allegedly Give UPC Gifts (Loot) to French Officials

    Benoît Battistelli's agenda at the EPO is anything but beneficial to the EPO and suspicions that Battistelli's overall agenda is transitioning to the UPC to further his goals grow feet



  15. EPO Social [sic] Report is a Big Pile of Lies That Responsible Journalists Must Ignore

    A reminder of where the EPO stands on social issues and why the latest so-called 'social' report is nothing but paid-for propaganda for Battistelli's political ambitions



  16. Links 18/7/2016: Vista 10 a Failure, FreeType 2.7

    Links for the day



  17. Exploiting Perceived Emergencies/Disasters, Suspending the Rule of Law, and Suspending Judges: How Erdoğan is Like Battistelli, Except the Coup

    Pretexts for crackdown on law-abiding people or figureheads who are remote and independent the hallmark not only of Erdoğan but also the EPO's President, Benoit Battistelli



  18. The Impotence of Gene Quinn

    Attacking the enforcer of Alice v CLS because it's doing harm to his source of income, which makes him angry



  19. After the FTI Consulting-EPO Reputation Laundering Deal's Expansion in Germany Süddeutsche Zeitung 'Forgets' That the EPO Even Exists

    Relative apathy if not complete silence regarding the EPO at Süddeutsche Zeitung following reports of FTI Consulting's deal expansion (media positioning in Germany), with hundreds of thousands of Euros (EPO budget) thrown at the controversial task



  20. Benoît Battistelli and Persistratos

    Reminds you of someone?



  21. Whistleblower Protection Desperately Needed at the European Patent Office

    EPO scandals are not publicly accessible or known to many people and not many such scandals are known at all because people are afraid of Battistelli's Fabius Maximus strategies



  22. Microsoft and Its Patent Minions at Nokia Still Have Patent Stacking Ambitions Against Android/Linux OEMs

    Weaponisation of European companies for the sake of artificial elevation of prices (patent taxes) a growing issue for Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and those behind it are circulating money among themselves not for betterment of products but for the crippling of FOSS contenders



  23. [ES] ¿Que si la EPO Bajo Battistelli Se Arruina Sin Posibilidad de Reparación Como la UPC?

    La última evidencia alrededor del hundimiénto de la reputación de la Epo y su calidad de trabajo, así como la caída del sistema que Battistelli trata forzadamente de imponer (una carrera al fondo)



  24. [ES] La EPO de Battistelli, Quién Quiebra la Ley, Subvierte el Curso de la Justicia y Rechaza Obedecer las Ordenes de la Corte Dice lo Impensable en Medio de los Actos de Terror

    Los terribles ataques hace un dia en Francia están siéndo explotados por el caradura de Benoît Battistelli para comedia negra o un verdaderamente absurda afirmación en la sección de “noticias” de la EPO



  25. [ES] La EPO de Battistelli Continúa Cortejando a Officiales de Países Pequeños y su Propaganda de Beneficiar a las “PYMEs de Aquellos Países”

    El caradura de Benoît Battistelli prosigue desfilando en los países pequeños que tienen delegados al Consejo Administrativo (CA) y los explota para propaganda barata, no sólo para que lo apoyen en las reuniónes del CA



  26. Links 17/7/2016: Lithuanian Police Switches to GNU/Linux, Blockchain on LinuxONE

    Links for the day



  27. This is Why Benoît Battistelli Has 0% Approval Rating Among 'His' Staff at the EPO

    The EPO expresses solidarity regarding (mostly) French people but does so only in English as the real purpose is to manipulate the media and justify the EPO's sheer abuses and unprecedented oppression against staff



  28. Law Professors Try to Put an End to Patent Trolls So Patent Trolls-Funded IAM 'Magazine' Complains

    Many professors suggest a method of stopping patent trolls (restrictions on venue shifting), so patent trolls-funded propaganda sites and think tanks strike back and distract even further, putting forth a wish list or a 'reform' that's designed to give them more money and incredibly protectionist power



  29. The Importance of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and High-Quality Patents (Not Software Patents)

    Strong patents rather than strong patent enforcement (i.e. ease of legal abuse) help discern the difference between successful economies and self-destructive economies



  30. With 'Friends' Like IBM and Its 'Open' Invention Network We Legitimise Software Patents Rather Than End Them

    Another reminder of where IBM stands on patent policy and what this means to those who rely on IBM for sheltering of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) or small businesses (SMEs) in a post-Alice era


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