Je Suis Wintel
Summary: Some of the latest examples where corporate media (funded and run by large corporations) distorts facts, selectively covers facts, and generally serves to protect the Apple-Microsoft duopolist world view
TECHRIGHTS is troubled to see a lot of anti-Android rhetoric in the press as of late. Putting aside the smearing of Lollipop (we have upgraded to it and it works well), there is a lot of rhetoric that comes from Android foes. Some of the rhetoric relies on Apple results which mostly embody business other than mobile devices (Apple operates in many areas) and other kinds of rhetoric rely on a gross distortion of statistics, along with misleading headlines.
HTC (Taiwan), Sony (Japan), Huawei, ZTE (China), LG, and Samsung (Korea) make Android phones that are popular among the people of the world, including big markets like China, but Apple, the sole US company in this market (Nokia is the sole big player — albeit shrinking — in Europe) only counts on the US market to give the illusion of might. Here is the latest example of the US-only FUD (counting only US sales). “In the U.S. market,” says one parts of the article, but the headline is misleading and does nothing to clarify the scope. There are many headlines just like that and after reading English-speaking media one might be left with the impression that Android is losing even though it’s gaining. It is always gaining; rapidly too.
Apple Insider, a pro-Apple propaganda site, published an article titled “Apple Inc’s thermonuclear assault on Samsung vaporizes Android…” (article later deleted on the face of it, or renamed)
Microsoft, in the mean time, is still trying to hijack Android and make a “Microsoft Android” as they have failed to do (despite trying) using Nokia as the hijacked proxy (Yahoo was also hijacked by Microsoft and Facebook was hijacked by investment). Ahonen, a Nokia guru, has just noted that “Microsoft-Nokia is such an irrelevant spec in the market now as they’ve fallen out of the Top 10 smartphone manufacturers, its not worth its own entry.”
Yes, look how much of a ‘success’ this has been. Nokia used to be hugely dominant in this market. Microsoft reduced it to a laughing stock and borderline patent troll. The News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal suggests that Microsoft might be trying to use CyanogenMod as the next anti-Android proxy, following rumours of a buyout last year. The partly Microsoft-owned Facebook already tried that and failed. So has Nokia. They could not hijack Android from Google. Thom Holwerda has a good article that explains why CyanogenMod cannot be trusted and the Wall Street Journal says that “Microsoft is investing in a hot startup that’s trying to weaken Google ’s hold over Android.
“People familiar with the matter say Microsoft is putting money into Cyanogen, which is building a version of the Android mobile-operating system outside of Google’s auspices.
“Microsoft would be a minority investor in a roughly $70 million round of equity financing that values Cyanogen in the high hundreds of millions, one of the people said. The person said the financing round could grow with other strategic investors that have expressed interest in Cyanogen because they’re also eager to diminish Google’s control over Android. The identity of the other potential investors couldn’t be learned.”
So Microsoft is still playing a dirty game while reportedly pushing Outlook and Office (i.e. Microsoft lock-in) into the platform, helped by a mindless media propaganda blitz [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13] where OOXML lock-in is disguised as “open” even though it’s purely proprietary and preys on the platform which Microsoft is actively suing using software patents.
Wintel media outlets hardly covered it when Android was getting LibreOffice but enthusiastically market OOXML/Exchange traps for it. Journalists are shamelessly distracting from much more important news like the new LibreOffice release (4.4) and Free software LibreOffice coming to Android while Google is making its game-changing move to embrace ODF. Therein lies the ‘magic’ of Microsoft PR agencies, which basically drive the media and bamboozle the world. Will Hill told us yesterday that:
SVJN’s conversation on G+ is a hoot. Bruce Byfield adds insult to injury by saying,
You know, of course, that some people will never believe Microsoft can change, even if it releases the source code for Windows and MS Office. To them, such actions would be proof of a clever plot.
Simon Phips, shamefully, perpetuates the lie with a backhanded compliment,
The work these parts of their company is doing seem genuine. My objection remains that they are still sociopathic in the legacy parts of their business. When they stop shaking down embedded Linux companies they deserve the name; until then, they are just aspiring to good marketing karma that they don’t deserve.
SVJN is also promoting the latest FUD, Ghost, which is mostly nonsense, and Windows 10.
The thing about Microsoft’s criminal behaviour (such as racketeering), it goes well beyond patent abuse. It also goes well beyond faking “Open Source”. We spent many years coverage examples to show this. Don’t believe for a second that Microsoft has changed. The news about CyanogenMod merely serves to reinforce our suspicion that Microsoft is still attempting an “embrace, extend and extinguish” (destroy/fragment) strategy against Android. Look what Microsoft puppets like Facebook and Nokia tried beforehand (without success) against Android. █
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Ghostwriting a Qualys horror story for maximal FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt)
Summary: Responding to the media blitz which paints GNU/Linux as insecure despite the fact that bugs were evidently found and fixed
THERE IS something to be said about the “top” news regarding GNU/Linux. It’s not really news. The so-called “GHOST” publicity stunt needn’t be repeated by FOSS sites. It is about a bug which was patched two years ago, but some sites overlook this important fact and stick lots of spooky logos, playing right into the hands of Qualys, an insecurity firm (making money from lack of security or perception of insecurity).
We have watches the ‘news’ unfolding over the past day and a half and now is a good time to explain what we deal with. The so-called “GHOST” (all capital letters!) bug is old. Qualys is going two years ago into bugfixes, giving a name to the bugfixes, then making plenty of noise (all over the news right now). Qualys does not look like a proxy of Microsoft or other GNU/Linux foes, but it is self-serving. Insecurity firms like Qualys probably learned that giving a name to a bug in GNU (SJVN mistakenly calls it “Linux”, but so do many others) would give more publicity and people will pay attention to brands and logos rather than to substance. Just before Christmas an insecurity firm tried to do that with "Grinch" and it turned out to be a farce. SJVN says that this old “vulnerability enables hackers to remotely take control of systems without even knowing any system IDs or passwords.”
Well, it was patched back in 2013. Use of names for marketing is what makes it “news”; the opportunists even prepared a PRESS RELEASE and pushed it into ‘big’ sites like CNN. It has marketing written all over it, just like “Heartbleed” that had strong Microsoft connections behind the disclosure. It is sad that Linux sites fall for this. Phoronix copies the press release as though it’s reliable rather than self-promotional. Michael Larabel writes: “The latest high-profile security vulnerability affecting Linux systems us within Glibc, the GNU C Library.”
It is not “latest”, it is 2 years old. Larabel says that “Qualys found that the bug had actually been patched with a minor bug fix released on May 21, 2013 between the releases of glibc-2.17 and glibc-2.18.”
OK, so it’s not news. FOSS Force cites SJVN to amplify the scare and other FOSS sites are playing along as though this is top news. It oughtn’t be. It is already widely patched (maybe requiring a reboot), so let’s patch and move on (unless it was already patched upstream/downstream years ago). IDG has already published at least three articles about it [1, 2], including one from Swapnil Bhartiya, who is not too alarmist to his credit. He noted that “there was a patch released back on May 21, 2013, between the releases of glibc-2.17 and glibc-2.18. However it was not considered to be a security risk and thus major Linux distributions that offer long term support and get security updates remained vulnerable, including Debian 7 (wheezy), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 & 7, CentOS 6 & 7 and Ubuntu 12.04.”
It affects very specific versions, mostly long-term support releases that already have reliable patches available. It should be clear that some headlines such as this or that clarify the limited scope of impact (not bad reporting) unlike the alarmist trolls.
What Techrights generally found was that early coverage came from so-called ‘security’ sites or blogs of insecurity firms that try to sell their services (e.g. [1, 2, 3]). These set the tone for many.
The response to this bug is proportional to the perceived danger (e.g. due to media hype), not the severity of the bug. Some security news sites [1, 2] focus on names and logos while facts remain only a side issue. This so-called “ghost” nonsense (some lines of code basically) was fixed 2 years ago and as the blog post “long term support considered harmful” explains it: “In theory, somebody at glibc should have noticed that fixing a buffer flow in a function that parses network data has security implications. That doesn’t always happen, however, for many reasons. Sometimes the assessment isn’t made; sometimes the assessment fails to consider all possible exploit strategies. Security bugs are “silently” fixed frequently enough (without evil intentions) that we should consider them a fact of life and deal with them accordingly.”
Some of the worst kind of coverage we found came from The Register with its flamebait headlines (scary headlines for maximum effect) and the troll Brian Fagioli. They are only some among many who are using the name to come up with puns and FUD. Jim Finkle is back to his GNU/Linux-hostile ‘reporting’, bringing this to the corporate media (there is some in the UK also) and LWN quickly cited the GNU/Linux-hostile Dan Goodin. He called “Highly critical” a bug that was patched two years ago.
Debunking some of the latest security FUD we had Fedora Magazine which stated “don’t be [worried], on supported Fedora versions.”
For unsupported version there is a lot more than this one bug that one needs to worry about.
Apple fans were quick to take advantage of the news, despite the fact that Apple is leaving systems vulnerable for many months, knowingly (like Microsoft does, until Google steps in).
See, with proprietary systems one knows for a fact that there is no security. With GNU/Linux is an open question and it depends on what measures one takes to keep it secure. For Apple and Microsoft security is not at all the goal; back doors and unpatched flaws are not really as “interesting” and important for them to patch as helping spying agencies. Google is not at fault here, Google just saw that Apple and Microsoft had no plans to plug serious holes — a patch evidently wasn’t going to be made ready before the public finds out about it, owing to Google. Apple chooses to blame Google; same as Microsoft. They should only blame themselves both for the bugs and for negligence after the bugs were highlighted to them. There is no room here for properly comparing GNU/Linux (Free/libre) to OS X or Windows (proprietary) because evidence clearly shows that the latter are not interested in security and not pursuing security when it is trivially possible.
What we find curious amid the latest FUD campaign is that Apple back/bug doors are not as widely publicised as a GNU bug that was patched 2 years ago and mostly affects LTS systems (which already have patches available). “Nothing I can think of,” said a reader of ours about this media hype, “but the LTS model followed by RHEL and Ubuntu have different goals and purposes than the short, fast development cycle like OpenBSD.”
Nobody is forced to use an LTS release and those who choose it must be aware of the potential risk.
Regarding the other FUD that flooded the press in recent weeks, targeting for the most part Google and Android, our reader XFaCE wrote the following:
I assume you want to write about that new Android vulnerability. Basically I can see the narrative being pushed through three points
- Microsoft supported Windows XP/7/etc. for years, why doesn’t Google support old Android versions
- Google told Microsoft about a very old bug in their software, so they are hypocritical
- Heartbleed bug was fixed way back for 4.1.1
For the last point, it’s a bullshit comparison because
a) 4.1.1 was one point release where upgrading to 4.1.2 fixed the issue (it was already fixed back when 4.1.2 was released)
b) The fix was one file, as evident by XDA members patched it themselves on phones manufacturers refused to upgrade to 4.1.2 SOURCE: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2712916
c) As shown by the link, a lot of manufacturers DIDN’T update certain 4.1.1 devices to 4.1.2, hence proving Google’s point. The fix there was SIMPLE, but the OEMs didn’t bother to do it
With Webview, not only is webview involved, but so is the webkit rendering engine, so the fix for all those previously releases is much more complicated
As for the second point, Google did catch it, with KitKat, and furthermore made KitKat supported on more low-end devices so theoretically older 512mb or less devices could be updated
For example, HTC said (when Jelly Bean 4.1 came out) that they would not update any device with 512 mb of RAM (SOURCE: http://www.cnet.com/news/htc-one-v-and-desire-c-will-never-get-jelly-bean/ ), so naturally when KitKat came out, they updated those devices because the OS officially was designed for such low ram devices
“Later this year, the entry-level smartphone the HTC Desire 500, should also be seeing the KitKat update. However, the One X, One X+, One S, and One V will be left in the dust and will be receiving no more official updates from HTC.”
So the OEMs are at fault for not upgrading the devices, not Google, which leads to point 1 – Google doesn’t control the Android OEMs like Microsoft does OEM pay Microsoft for the support whereby Microsoft controls all updates, Google doesn’t get paid or have the agreemeent in that way
OEMs like HTC could easily fix this by porting Kitkat to those devices, but they won’t cause they want you to buy a new HTC phone or whatever phone brand
Techrights did not cover that (except in daily links) because it should be self-evident that free-of-charge Android upgrades make it inhernetly different from proprietary software and keeping up to data typically ensures security. A lot of the analogies (Android and Windows) were inherently flawed and the FUD rather shallow. █
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“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
Summary: ‘Free’ drugs (a proprietary software analogy) the new strategy of Microsoft in its latest battle against Free software, especially in schools where choice is a rarity (if not an impossibility), with the premeditated intention of forming dependency/addiction among young people
The Microsoft marketer from the CBS-run ZDNet says that GNU/Linux has now successfully pushed the price of Windows down to $0. No wonder the company is laying off many employees and fighting with the IRS over its tax violations. Microsoft is a company in rapid decline and there are many ways to show this. Just because Microsoft pressures and even bribes people to pay lip service to Vista 10 doesn’t mean it’s real news or that FOSS sites should cover it too (but some do). It’s more of a distraction or a decoy amid a lot of negative publicity for Microsoft. Vista 10 is not ‘free’, neither gratis nor libre. That’s a lie perpetrated by Microsoft and propagated by Microsoft-friendly media. As Pogson put it in his rebuttal: “Freedom isn’t just about the price. An operating system isn’t a service. One needs software on a device to make it seem intelligent, nothing more. Bundling that other OS with every kind of device on the planet doesn’t make any sense at all.”
Microsoft has been trying to infiltrate the FOSS community and even infiltrate GNU/Linux (the winners at Microsoft’s expense). Here we have Microsoft’s proxy Xamarin producing yet another Microsoft entrapment for GNU/Linux users (Mono) and here we have Microsoft trying to repurpose Free software as Microsoft lock-in. When Microsoft says “open source” it means proprietary plus some exploitation of FOSS in the Trojan sense, based on its silly press releases that it pushed even into CNN, (i.e. paid for by Microsoft handsomely). For those who missed it, Microsoft is now trying to push proprietary software with OOXML lock-in, which Microsoft committed crimes for, into Moodle. Microsoft’s ally in schools, Blackboard (proprietary), also tried to accomplish that when it acquired the competition (Moodlerooms). It is capture by proxy (Microsoft uses its own proxy) and it serves to highlight an inherent vulnerability in the ‘openness’ of Free software (it leaves itself open to Trojan horses unless it is willing to put up some resistance). Microsoft did the same thing to Linux (proprietary Hyper-V through Novell as the bribed proxy) and it is becoming a serious issue. The media too plays a role in it (see the paid press releases above) and Bill Gates’ bribes to The Guardian are clearly paying off because this wicked paper is now portraying Gates as a champion of education with another mindless advertisement/puff piece. This is often about imposing Microsoft software on schools. Gates has already made it explicitly clear that he views children the same way drug dealers view them. It’s market share. It’s money. “In other news,” wrote a reader to us, “he is attacking Moodle quite heavily. I guess the goal is to make it 100% tied to MS Office, Sharepoint, Exchange and all the other crap.”
“Microsoft has been been trying to infiltrate the FOSS community and even infiltrate GNU/Linux (the winners at Microsoft’s expense).”“Wired still sucks up to Bill,” he added, linking to this latest puff piece. Gates has spent over a billion dollars so far bribing news sites, blogs, etc. so we have grounds for suspicion that Wired too (Condé Nast) has an unstated conflict of interest. Another news site of Condé Nast has employed full-time Microsoft boosters and one of them, Peter Bright (Microsoft Peter), is now openwashing Internet Explorer despite admitting that “Internet Explorer is closed from end to end.”
Watch out as Microsoft and Bill Gates try to hijack school curriculum to impose Microsoft as part of what’s obligatory (imposed from above). The attempt to make Moodle connected to the NSA PRISM-complying (Microsoft was first in PRISM) OOXML-spreading Microsoft Office is just the first step. █
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From documents just released by Der Spiegel, via Edward Snowden (click to zoom)
Summary: The world is leaving Microsoft’s common carrier (Windows) behind, so Microsoft, which is shrinking, tries to conquer Free software and GNU/Linux
Microsoft Windows has been facilitating/enabling GCHQ (like ‘NSA UK’) and NSA with back doors, including — perhaps passively — so-called ‘crash reports’, as revealed by new documents (published over the weekend). Microsoft bug reports are now being used against their reporters, selecting “targets” using this ‘volunteering’ effort. How nice is that? No wonder China is banning Microsoft software while Russia heads down a similar path (abolishing x86 in government).
Recently in the news there was some noise from Microsoft boosters and sympathisers who spoke about giving Microsoft control over GNU/Linux servers. It is a dangerous and dumb idea as it’s more or less like a Linux-to-Windows migration, merely self-serving (to Microsoft) and dangerous to one’s freedom. We already responded to this noise last week, but it carried on until the end of the week. It is clear why Microsoft is so eager to take control over GNU/Linux and Apache. Despite the fact that Netcraft is being gamed by Microsoft, Netcraft still shows that Microsoft continues with its losses on the Web (see January 2015 Web Server Survey) [via], declining to almost single-digit market share. It is also evident that Microsoft as a company is shrinking (people inside Microsoft tell us that) and Gates-funded papers like this one from Seattle help spin staff backlash:
A group of workers employed by a Microsoft contractor successfully organized a union — a rare feat in the tech industry — and is now bargaining with its company over a contract.
A reader told us that Microsoft is basically “still doing the permatemp thing” that helps hide layoffs. The above article from the Microsoft-friendly press does not tell the full story. Microsoft has basically outsourced a lot of its labour and put it on contract, so there is no termination, no layoffs. There is no long-term obligation to such staff.
“Microsoft has basically outsourced a lot of its labour and put it on contract, so there is no termination, no layoffs.”Finally, speaking of Microsoft spin, Adrian Bridgwater calls “Community Service” Microsoft indoctrination of students. We don’t know if he is being deliberately thick or just trying to entertain readers. This relates to what we wrote some days ago about Microsoft preying on children. Microsoft is trying to fill GitHub with .NET projects, even at the expense of CodePlex. There is a charm offensive over this and Microsoft's booster Mr. Anderson wrote that “Program Manager Kasey Uhlenhuth explains that the Roslyn team is not only moving the repository, but also switching to git internally.”
Just wait until propagandistic firms like the Microsoft-connected Black Duck claim that .NET and Microsoft-centric licences are on the rise, based on some figures from GitHub. That’s just a case of Microsoft infiltrating its competition. █
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“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
Summary: As Linux becomes the dominant kernel at Windows’ expense Microsoft pulls old tricks including media manipulation, AstroTurfing, co-opting schools (making Windows obligatory for future generations), and EEE (embrace, extend, and extinguish)
THE so-called ‘PC’ — a term which refers to a long-lived form factor (but only one among many these days) — is not the sole focus of today’s computer industry. Overall, putting together all form factors, Linux is the victor and a lot of the press said this after CES 2015. Our daily links contain examples of articles which speak about this. PCs are not even necessarily where the big money is. Far less so than ever before…
While it may be common to say that GNU/Linux has single-digit (percentage) market share in desktops, the opposite is true in some areas and Microsoft remains in single-digit market share in phones. As Ahonen put it the other day:
So then the Evil Empire. Whats Microsoft up to? Well, they were at one point the biggest player from the computer industry and for much of the past decades have been the most profitable of that industry. They did see mobile coming early on, Bill Gates launched Microsoft into the mobile OS wars and Windows Mobile at its peak was the world’s second most used OS on smartphones with 12% market share (slightly less than the level where iPhone currently is in 2014 – if you want a warning from history haha).
Steve Ballmer then threw all that away with his silliness starting with ‘no migration path’ (why on earth not, after Microsoft – which managed to migrate DOS users to Windows on the PC, how could that same Microsoft make such an elementary blunder). So today Windows Phone OS has under 3% market share of new sales, and all those phones were essentially given away – sold at a loss – and even after that we just heard last year that one in three Windows based smartphones had never been activated (likely most were simply manufactured, shipped to retail and never sold). So the real market share for Windows in smartphones is dismal now, at 2%. It is the most toxic of any ‘ecosystems’ and developers are abandoning the sinking ship. It is now only a question of time when will Nadella shut down (or sell) the Lumia unit.
Microsoft has totally lost it and Android is totally winning, not just in phones but increasingly in tablets, TVs, etc. Microsoft’s attacks on Android failed miserably and according to reports like this, Microsoft is giving up its anti-Google Jihad that makes it so publicly known how much of a loser Microsoft became. As the British press put it: “MICROSOFT HAS APPARENTLY PUT THE HOARY old Scroogled campaign in a sack, filled it with rocks and thrown it off a cliff.
“Scroogle, a riff on Google and Scrooge, a fictitious miser, was a Microsoft marketing whizz that used to shine a negative light on a rival and, by association, a positive light on its own gear.”
Microsoft, being a propaganda company, did manage to bamboozle many people into accepting Vista 7, but Vista 7 is now pretty much dead [1, 2] for many people who will refuse to embrace Vista 8 — an operating system which failed in the market more miserably than Vista. How many are going to turn to Chromebooks, Android devices, and so-called ‘PCs’ with GNU/Linux?
Microsoft’s propaganda does not end with the ‘Scroogle’ de-emphasis; Sue Gee in the Microsoft-centric propaganda site “i-programmer” (misleading name) is now preying on children. Microsoft is “infecting teachers,” to use a term that a reader of ours used to describe it and the end goal is to impose Microsoft software on helpless children who cannot resist. This shameless pro-Microsoft site basically publishes what looks more like a Microsoft advertisement than an article, hailing Microsoft slavery as “skill”. It wasn’t alone, either. Hypocritically enough Microsoft uses the term “technology trap” to describe the alternatives and ITWire’s Microsoft booster lays out there yet another Microsoft puff piece, stating: “It’s back-to-school buying season, and both Intel and Microsoft have decided to inject some life back into the Wintel alliance and promote Windows-powered devices as the ideal back-to-school student technologies.”
Preying on children as their last resort? To avoid the “technology trap” as they put it? What a nerve they have…
“Preying on children as their last resort?”Speaking of propaganda pieces, watch ZDNet‘s Microsoft advertiser, Mary Jo Foley, paying lip service to the Microsoft “loves Linux” nonsense, as does the Microsoft-friendly Pedro Hernandez (there is history there), who advertises Microsoft surveillance over GNU/Linux servers.
The company now offers an Azure Data Center Migration Solution and expands support of its Migration Accelerator to include Linux servers and virtual machines.
This has virtually nothing to do with GNU/Linux, except Microsoft’s attempt to embrace, extend and extinguish it. These tactics worked for Microsoft before, but they are not working anymore. Just look what happened to Novell. █
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Don’t pay even a penny to Tuxera
Summary: Tuxera heralds Microsoft’s tax era in Android and Linux; thus it should be left to rot
AFTER Microsoft’s crude patent attack on users of FAT such as TomTom (some surrendered and paid Microsoft, but TomTom took it public and into the courtroom) an incognito company called “Tuxera” made a pact with Microsoft to help spread the patent trap. There is now this press release from Tuxera, once again targeting Linux and Android with proprietary file systems:
Tuxera Inc., the market leader in file systems, streaming and network storage technologies, today released Tuxera Flash File System for Linux and Android, which is optimized to run on flash storages such as eMMC and SD. Tuxera Flash File System is based on Tuxera’s widely deployed and robust file system technologies with special flash optimization and extended features.
We strongly urge everyone — including technology companies — to avoid Tuxera. The company now acts mostly as a Microsoft proxy, helping Microsoft to derive revenue from GNU/Linux and Android (Microsoft tries doing that in some other ways too right now). Microsoft does not own Linux and has contributed nothing to it, except perhaps litigation, muckraking, and extortion. Paying even a dime to Tuxera basically helps Microsoft crush its opposition.
Privately, going a year back, Techrights and its community of readers silently fought a battle (over E-mail) with Tuxera over GPL violations. The Conservancy got involved too. We never wrote an article about it, but our suspicion of Tuxera certainly grew at the time. Tuxera is not a Free software player but a parasite. █
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Only OEM inertia and brand awareness keep driving Windows ‘sales’ (rentals)
Summary: The era of Windows monopoly is ending or has ended because Microsoft can no longer compete with the better-priced Linux-powered rivals
FOR A MERE 250 pounds we recently bought a laptop plus tablet bundle (both HP-made and of high build quality). The laptop runs GNU/Linux and the tablet uses Android (i.e. Linux-powered). No Windows required. Microsoft cannot compete with such pricing, it can only pretend to.
According to a media site that received money from Microsoft (not disclosed), HP’s attempts to make a Windows-based Chromebook competitor is terrible. This isn’t the first time this year that we see sources close to Microsoft speaking of the rise of Chromebook and the problem of the relatively bloated Windows. Vista 8 was terrible not just because of bloat. The article states: “Setting up a Chromebook and getting to work with the most up-to-date software takes about three minutes, maybe five if you’re slow. That’s not the case with the HP Stream 13, although it’s much improved over computers from just a few years ago.
“It took me about 10 minutes before I could use the Windows laptop since it was going though various setup processes. Ah, but the updates.”
And that’s just the beginning. The headline says that “the $229 HP Stream 13 isn’t a Chromebook killer” and it’s easy to see why. This is how Simon Phipps put it: “It’s a mistake to try to squeeze Windows into hardware designed for ChromeOS. You end up with a laptop that’s so under-powered it’s best for cloud-hosted applications (as the HP/Microsoft TV advertising in the UK implies). But you still have to maintain anti-malware software, apply updates, manage drivers, buy upgrades and so on.
“So you have sbought yourself the functionality of a Chromebook but with the upkeep of Windows. Why on earth would anyone think that was a good deal?”
GNU/Linux in its classic form (e.g. with GNOME or KDE desktop) may not be gaining in terms of installed base fast enough, but with operating systems like ChromeOS, Android, SteamOS, FirefoxOS, webOS, Tizen, Sailfish OS etc. Linux sure is taking over the digital world, not only in the back end (servers, routers, ‘dumb’ embedded devices, and supercomputers). CES 2015 shows plenty of evidence of that right now, even if the “L” word isn’t always mentioned/advertised.
Microsoft says it ‘loves’ Linux not because it really loves GNU/Linux but because GNU/Linux inevitably became a dominant, undefeatable force. Even Microsoft’s biggest customers use GNU/Linux. Microsoft loves Linux like Russians love Putin. █
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“Spiral of death” clings onto Microsoft for a change
Summary: The demise of Windows is demonstrated by various data sources and Microsoft now makes its bread and butter available to Windows rivals before even bothering with Windows itself, showing Microsoft’s own recognition of this trend
IT was Vista 8 that really killed the Windows franchise, following the already-terrible Vista. Is Microsoft saving the other cash cow, Office, now that Windows is quickly becoming irrelevant, thanks to a large degree to Android and other mobile operating systems? It is evident that Google — not just Free software office suites — gives a big challenge not just in operating systems but also in office suites, especially now that it is embracing OpenDocument Format (ODF).
The demise of Windows is measurable. The other day we showed a Windows- and Microsoft-friendly firm, Net Applications, demonstrating quick demise of Vista 8. It’s not just Net Applications indicating this. “StatCounter reports that 8.* has peaked and is in decline,” notes Robert Pogson today. He has followed StatCounter closely for several years now and produced perhaps hundreds of graphs based on StatCounter. “I have some influence in my family’s choices,” he writes, “but I was teaching up north most of the year when my family was growing up, starting professional careers and making choices in IT. Most of them use GNU/Linux. Most of them use Android/Linux, but none use that other OS, not one.” The same is true in our house.
“There is no denying that Microsoft is in serious trouble.”Windows is becoming such a fringe player that even Microsoft starts to ignore it. According to this new report:
Range of Office and Windows Phone announcements coming soon following iOS and Android launch
A senior Microsoft Office spokesperson has reassured Windows Phone fans that, despite a dearth of new products recently, the company is still very much behind its mobile platform.
What it basically says is that Microsoft brings Office first to Google’s and Apple’s platforms. There is not yet a version for Windows (Phone)! Over the past few weeks I have been speaking a lot with a Microsoft developer who told me that Microsoft was silently shrinking, cutting ties with external workforce (does not count as layoffs) and squeezing about a dozen people in a single office (they used to all have an office of their own). The company even moves into smaller buildings. There is no denying that Microsoft is in serious trouble. The common carriers — and hence the cash cows — are dying. The company’s friends at IDG now badmouth a move  from Windows XP (a lot of people still use it) to GNU/Linux for the most ridiculous reasons, showing the company’s great reliance on propaganda and non-technical brainwash. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
While VDI, Linux and BYOD might look like an attractive alternative to trudging down the Windows Client path once again, they all come with considerable baggage.
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