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01.16.13

New Fedora Suffers From UEFI While Desktops Suffer Steep Decline and Sales Drop

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Red Hat, Vista 8, Windows at 4:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Hat’s launch of Fedora 18 impeded after Christmas sales produce many defective, Microsoft-laden boards

Christmas planet

Summary: Although or because the desktop loses its old relevance, Microsoft makes it abundantly difficult to install non-Windows operating systems

MONOPOLIST EXTRAORDINAIRE Microsoft forces obsolescence by tying hardware to software, adding yet more evidence to its abusive track record. We had a lengthy guest post about this recently. It frightens Microsoft when people control their hardware. Here is another new report about it:

Microsoft is suddenly serious about tackling RT Jailbreak, a slick tool that unlocks Surface tablets using a hack publicised just days earlier.

A spokesperson for Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group, tasked with Windows security, told The Register that Redmond is “actively investigating” the RT Jailbreak Tool v1 cooked up last week. Microsoft will take “appropriate action as necessary”, the spokesperson said, but provided no further details.

Let’s just say that if you bought hardware from Microsoft, then you can — as long as you do so responsibly to reduce risk to others — burn it in a big fire. Or less radically than that, you can install whatever you wish on the disks/memory, but this is becoming hard. Microsoft relies on all sorts of crazy laws like DMCA to try to police what one achieves with hardware one supposedly owns, challenging the very premise that you own something when you buy it (physical product, not the licensing of copyrighted material). This is where customers suffer. It is a serious idealogical war whose purpose is to give all power to the super-powerful (retaining power), always at the expense of the rest. People who do this with their lobbyists rely on apathy or the sense of helplessness which reduces potency among the opposition. Every little would help to challenge the idea that machines are produced and sold in a state which deliberately excudes Linux. And why? Because Microsoft lawyers crafted some outrageous contract and then forced it on OEMs (or bribed them to accept it) so as to make the market less competitive. Legal manoeuvres don’t make “fair” competition, they make collusion, extortion, and sometimes corruption (or authorisation, i.e. legalisation, thereof).

Similarly, Microsoft and Apple have been trying to normalise (as in make people perceive as “normal”) the practice of patent extortion, “ownership” of algorithmic ideas, “ownership” of shapes like rounded rectangles, or even the shape of an apple.

Dealing today with the subject of UEFI, the new Fedora is still unable to boot on some hardware which is Microsoft-tainted:

Three days before its scheduled release, Fedora 18 still has some issues when confronted with a computer that is running Windows 8 with secure boot enabled, if one goes by the latest testing image available online.

The Fedora project announced on January 9 that it would be releasing Fedora 18 on January 15, US time.

While the image mentioned above can now be installed on a secure boot-enabled machine unlike the last time I tried with the previous testing image, one cannot reclaim space from a hard drive, that has plenty to spare, for installation.

During the installation procedure, once one chooses the option of reclaiming space, one is presented with the hard drives in one’s machine.

But after choosing one of these, and then selecting any partition on said disk, the reclaim space option remains greyed out. The only option available is to delete the partition – and this cannot be done unless one wants to blow away Windows 8 altogether.

Jan Wildeboer says: “A Linux user struggles with Windows. No live CD? No package management? Driver issues? Boot loader madness? While this…”

Jan is part of Fedora and the post he promotes in Google+ says: “I called a friend of my friend’s I knew had some experience with Windows before. He told me that I could download a free copy off torrent sites, and get a matching “activation key”. I don’t know what that is, but I thought free is still better than paying $200 for a system I know nothing about.

“So I got an .iso file. I was lucky enough to find a copy that already includes this “activation key” thingy. I decided to boot it and see what it does.

“Unfortunately again, the bootloader did not offer me the live version at all, and went straight on to install the system. The installer was easy enough…. or so I thought until I reached the partitioning software. “What is this thing?” I thought to myself. It didn’t recognize any Linux partitions. There was also no option of resizing a partition to make room for Windows.

“Not discouraged by the poorly conceived middle-ages partitioner, I rebooted into GParted Live and quickly resized one of my partitions and made two 10GB partitions. One for user files and one for system files.”

So Vista 8 makes it hard to install GNU and Linux in more ways than before. To quote further:

Friend plugged his USB stick in, and… you are guessing. Yes! Windows had to install yet another set of drivers for the new stick. What on earth is wrong with that OS…

We installed a whopping 18MB of codecs, and then the trusty VLC video player, and we enjoyed the show for a while.

It was time to do some work. I’d already come to terms with the fact that Windows didn’t have a terminal emulator, didn’t come with Firefox, and Vim was somehow not as nice as it was on Linux. But what about mail? I couldn’t get Outlook to import my email. I asked around, but nobody was able to help either. Friend finally took off, saying he had better things to do than fiddle with an OS he knows very little about.

Someone has to rewrite all this crap. No LiveCD? No codecs? No software? No package manager?!?!?! Hello, this is like 2013, not 1993. I can’t even imagine what would have happened if I had to compile something from source. I have no idea where I would find a compiler…

My tablet can do many things better than Windows desktops, which do not even have basic codecs. Microsoft’s partners at Gartner confirm a Windows decline, as does Canalys, which predicts a sharp fall. The growing market of tablets is not working out for Microsoft, which is being left out in the cold; it is being rejected in this market segment, leading to yet another type of downgrade (there are more this month):

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s fiscal second- quarter earnings will be less than previously expected due to weak demand for personal-computers and the company’s new tablet, Surface, according to Brent Thill, an analyst at UBS AG.

This was also covered here and Samsung may be fleeing the market:

Uh-oh, Windows RT, Samsung’s got second thoughts

Mike Abary, the head of Samsung’s PC and tablet business in the U.S., tells CNET that the company will not be releasing its Windows RT device in the U.S. because retail partners don’t see strong demand and because the value proposition for Windows RT isn’t clear to consumers.

Windows on phones brings yet more failure to the world of mobility, where BSoDs become a reality and phone users are asked to reinstall:

I have always found BSOD errors on large screens to be amusing, but there was never any WTF factor for me as I had experienced many and knew they are fairly easy to figure out. This is different.

Late on Friday I spotted a tweet from F-Secure CRO Mikko Hypponen that I found absolutely hilarious. He had posted it in the morning, and it essentially it showed a Windows Phone with a standard error message.

Here’s the line that caught his eye: “Insert your Windows installation disc and restart your computer.” Really, and where exactly would one do that?

Check it out for yourself….

A phone asks for a disc. Priceless. Microsoft has become a joke without even intending to.

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