Graphics by Will
Summary: The walware magnet which is Windows is on its way out, giving way to Apple as the arguably greater threat to computing freedom
Richi Jennings, ComputerWorld (IDG) accumulator of news, shows this review or overview of negative Vista 8 news. It is quite telling that even Microsoft boosters can hardly deny the undeniable in IDG. Reuters published a review by John C. Abell, a blogger who says about Microsoft Surface:
The promise of the Surface, and hybrids in general, is that they can credibly replace both a laptop and a tablet. Surface disappoints as either.
One person whom I follow in Diaspora wrote:
#Windows8 will further Balkanize the PC.
I used to think Windows 8 would kill the PC, in the sense that devices running #Android would never really claim the title but nonetheless take over all of its functions, but for the time being at least, it looks a lot like the stupid turf wars of the internet are moving to the hardware space, and for a while at least, it’s going to be mostly bad news for free software:
As with #apple devices, #microsoft devices will become walled off and hostile to #linux. #Android won’t be as hostile, but the user experience on an Android machine turned into a GNU/Linux one will be pretty similar to dual-boot today. Users will have to choose if they want to be brand-affiliated to Microsoft, Google, or Apple.
And none of them will be terribly Linux-friendly.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, in fact, there are some reasons to be very hopeful about this landscape:
First, ALL of these devices are getting cheaper. Microsoft desperately wants to start getting people buying thousand-dollar tablets that run Office, but the smart money is on the sub-$200 tablets, and below. As computing resources get cheaper, experimenting on them feels like less of a risk. Additionally, licensing costs start eating a bigger and bigger share of a shrinking pie.
Second, users are getting sick of stupid turf wars. Even the normal people. Users who thought of Linux as “too hard” also enjoyed the freedom Windows used to offer (compared to the concrete-walled garden of Apple’s operating systems) will have a lot of reason to give free software a try. (This was after all a significant factor in my own slide away from Windows.)
Third, operating systems do less, and browsers do more these days. The very fact that I’m posting this to Diaspora is proof that social networks are a problem, but it’s also proof that the solution isn’t necessarily to pull everything back down into the client. With less of the need-to-have functionality on the client, Linux has a lot less work to do to become “good enough tech”.
Tactically speaking, all this says free software users and advocates should: * Avoid hardware that has bad deals baked into the ROM (UEFI, etc) * Develop cool things on #Android, or better yet on #Linux ARM devices. * Set our parents and grandparents up with a clean linux distro when they throw their hands up at Windows 8 * And as always, welcome rather than agitate.
I’m just saying.
He correctly name Apple as a threat to watch out for. Microsoft is irrelevant in mobile and it even needs to beg developers to give its mobile platform attention:
Despite the usual Microsoft PR, Windows Phone (and infact) many of Microsoft’s many “new ideas”, have been met with apathy from the consumer. Windows Phone has found itself in a catch-22 I believe where the consumer wants the apps and the devs wont come and make the apps they want until they are Windows Phone users. That in addition to the image of Microsoft in the eyes of the mainstream consumer all leads to apathy at best.
Watch this pathetic move. Why would people bother with a mobile platform which has blue screens of death (now the mobile platform too) and security issues? They, unlike the US government, learned about the pitfalls of choosing Windows. From the news: “Two U.S. power companies reported infections of malware during the past three months, with the bad software apparently brought in through tainted USB drives, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT).”
This is a Microsoft Windows issue. And watch this news:
Microsoft can’t be too happy with its security software right now: For the second time in a row, the company’s Security Essentials failed to earn certification from AV-Test, the independent German testing lab best known for evaluating the effectiveness of antivirus software.
As an operating systems company, Microsoft is going down rapidly and it is trying to evolve or expand to new markets in order to survive. Microsoft is the next Novell. █