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07.28.15

Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 10:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“LH [Longhorn/Vista] is a pig and I don’t see any solution to this problem. If we are to rise to the challenge of Linux…”

Jim Allchin, Windows manager, not long before Vista’s release

Summary: Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters

The other day we noticed some ‘damage control’ (advice) from a Microsoft advocacy site regarding many crashes in Vista 10. People from Microsoft had told me about this quite a while back. Pogson calls Vista 10 “Another heavily advertised consumer-product is looking more like Vista every day. Forced updates of an incredibly complex piece of software from Day One is a recipe for disaster.”

Right now (earlier today) even the British media wrote about it. Microsoft insiders told me that too, as they know it’s a huge issue, not just based on personal experiences. Why did the press not mention this until a day or two before the release? Does the press not confidentially speak to Microsoft developers? If so, what does this tell us about the press? Mostly PR these days…

Microsoft is in serious trouble because Vista 10 is a dud with back doors and front doors. Even Microsoft’s hardware business, be it phones or consoles like XBox, is becoming more of a failure (Sony is winning the consoles war). According to this other new reports, the forced automatic updates (can install new back doors at any time, without giving the option to opt out) will discourage gamers from exploring Vista 10. Valve, which is headed by a Mirosoft veteran, already abandoned Windows in favour of Debian GNU/Linux, simply because Vista 8 was so terrible.

Vista 10 is a faulty piece of software and also a back door facility (into one’s physical hardware). No responsible business should even consider adopting it, not even as a ‘free’ (gratis) update. Microsoft is already losing billions of dollars and laying off thousands of staff every month, not to mention abandoned/discontinued products. There is no safety in counting on Microsoft.

07.25.15

Vista 10 (Windows 10) Has NSA Back Doors and Front Doors

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Vista 10, Windows at 2:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Michael S. Rogers
“I don’t want a back door. I want a front door.” — Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), April 2015

Summary: Vista 10 to bring new ways for spies (and other crackers) to remotely access people’s computers and remotely modify the binary files on them (via Windows Update, which for most people cannot be disabled)

MICROSOFT never cared about security. A former Windows manager, Brian Valentine, said explicitly that Microsoft products “just aren’t engineered for security.” Last year we also showed how back in the 1990s Bill Gates and his staff had already collaborated quite intimately with the NSA, well before Snowden’s NSA and GCHQ leaks helped confirm this (with hard evidence and subsequently media reports).

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), which is unfortunately headed by a guy from Microsoft, is going into bed with the NSA right now, despite the negative publicity that may accompany/come with such a move. Microsoft, much to our surprise, is still working with the NSA on Windows, and it does this also for Vista 10. One new article about Microsoft’s purchase of an Israeli (i.e. spy-friendly as we explained says ago) company says that “[a] big reason for this is the company’s collaboration with the National Security Agency (NSA).”

“Yes, Microsoft still keeps the NSA in the picture.”Microsoft is still thinking that enough people foolishly believe NSA collaboration is ‘for security’ rather than for ‘national security’, i.e. back doors. A Windows-powered site reminded us some days ago that NSA “worked with Microsoft on security aspects of the Windows 7 operating system and later for Windows 8 and 10.”

Yes, Microsoft still keeps the NSA in the picture. This actually surprised us because it’s a PR disaster. Why does Microsoft still want to be seen working in cahoots/collusion with the NSA? In proprietary software, back doors or “national security”, i.e. not real security, are the cause of many costly issues. Software is designed to be penetrable rather than secure. Is there anyone who still honestly thinks that Vista 10 won’t have back doors? Microsoft never stopped its relationship with the NSA and it is obviously still working with the NSA, despite knowing the negative publicity this can bring. A Darwin Award goes out to anyone who still thinks that Microsoft is not helping the NSA exploit its software (because “national security” and other such excuses), despite the Snowden-provided documents that show exactly that.

Earlier today the developer of GNU Telephony wrote that at Microsoft “they created the perfect environment for such demands to be met, forced updates is a front door for govt malware and spying” [and indeed, as The Register revealed last week, they had even removed the ability to stop/block these updates in most “editions”. Over ten years ago it was reported on the Web that even when you toggle off automatic updates Microsoft still does it.]

Looking back at news only a few days old, HP has reported 4 new vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, and not for the first time. To quote IDG: “HP’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) doesn’t cut much slack with its 120-day disclosure policy. When ZDI knocks on your door and says you have a security hole, you get 120 days to fix it or risk full public disclosure. That’s what happened — again. With ZDI and Microsoft — again. Over Internet Explorer — again.”

“The only way to avoid MSIE is to ditch Windows since it is built-in and impossible to remove” iophk said to us. Will Hill wrote: “There are still vendor supplied IE6 specific software that will not work outside of IE. One of my vendors at work told me one of their pieces of software might work with IE8 but no other browser, including the IE 11 that Microsoft had shoved onto most of the computers. This just highlights the fact that vendors who use Microsoft don’t care about their customers and that Microsoft does not care about anyone.”

“In proprietary software, back doors or “national security”, i.e. not real security, are the cause of many costly issues.”Going only 3 days back, there is this news that Hacking Team helps governments take over Microsoft Windows through back/bug doors, exploiting fonts. “Unpatched systems,” wrote Paul Hill, “can be affected if the user opens a document of webpage that contains an embedded OpenType font file. As the font drivers in Microsoft systems runs in kernel mode it means that an attacker could gain access to the entire system with the ability to add and remove programs and create new user accounts with admin privileges.”

Windows recently suffered from other font-related holes, and not for the first time, either. It’s an easy access point for the NSA into Windows (Microsoft tells the NSA before patching such holes). All versions of Windows are vulnerable and they have all been found vulnerable (without fixes) for decades.

What will the world look like after this back doors ‘leader’ and ‘champion’, Microsoft, is gone for good? Well, we need to ensure that NSA partners like Red Hat [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] don’t compromise GNU/Linux, too. Social engineering, bribes, blackmail, anonymous patches, etc. are the classic tricks of this trade.

07.23.15

Microsoft Has Run Out of Attempts and Vista 10 Will Definitely Fail

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 11:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The ‘free’ upgrade trick won’t fix Microsoft’s bottom line

The finishing line

Summary: As Microsoft admits billions of dollars in losses just days before Vista 10 is pushed as a ‘free’ upgrade, there is no concrete sign that financial recovery is imminent, for the bigger cash cow (Office) suffers a similar fate

MICROSOFT thinks that the world is stupid and that given enough media propaganda the world will eventually believe that Microsoft is doing just fine. Microsoft is not doing fine (just ask anyone who works at Microsoft, except in the PR department).

“Vista 10 is not free and it never will be. AstroTurfing and PR is all that is. ‘Free’ upgrade is just a substitution of binaries; it’s like system update that bears with it a new brand and new number.”Microsoft is now suffering billions in losses and is therefore trying to abduct the competition. After Microsoft killed the Finnish giant Nokia the abusive company from Redmond is trying to deflect every bad news to Nokia. It grossly rewrites the recent history of Nokia and uses the corruptible elements in the press to bamboozle the public (as well as some journalists) into the belief that it’s all just a “Nokia” issue. A lot of the corporate media (even financial press) spoke about the layoffs as a “Nokia” thing [1, 2, 3], even though it clearly isn’t the case. It is Microsoft that’s dying, not Nokia, which still gets broken to pieces [1, 2], including patents that are passed to Android-hostile entities like patent trolls, at Microsoft’s directions. Microsoft just desperately tried to cling onto Nokia (especially the internationally-respected brand), trying in vain to rescue Windows Mobile (or Windows Phone, or KIN, or whatever they rename to). Microsoft already killed other companies, Danger for example (the company of Android's founder), by doing this same destructive routine. Mobile Linux is something that Microsoft cannot keep up with, no matter the number of coups and acquisitions. Watch the CBS-run CNET painting all these issues as mobile-only issues. Nonsense! Vista 10 will soon be officially released (there is media spam already, as we foresaw) by what’s essentially a dying company and as one writer put it, “Microsoft Takes a Hit Before Windows 10 Launch”. His summary: “A quarter of layoffs, write-downs, and exec shuffles in a huge loss ahead of the Windows 10 launch.”

AdWeek, essentially a PR rag, has just published an article titled “Microsoft Tries to Give Away Its Operating System”. It must be Ads Week, not AdWeek, because this headline is a lie. Vista 10 is not free and it never will be. AstroTurfing and PR is all that is. ‘Free’ upgrade is just a substitution of binaries; it’s like system update that bears with it a new brand and new number.

“Little By Little,” says Pogdon, “The World Is Freeing Itself From Microsoft”. Even patent extortion against Android/Linux is not enough to keep Microsoft going:

I’d guess this means the Android/Linux cash-cow has dried a little. Oh, and they wrote off Nokia…

It’s a big problem not just for Windows, one among two big cash cows, whose cost is reduced (not long-term cost) so as to remain competitive. “The more consumers that Microsoft puts on its Office 365 subscription rolls, the less it makes from each customer, data the company disclosed Tuesday showed.” That’s according to a Microsoft sceptic from IDG (one of the very few on that network). iophk noted that this article is “[m]issing a mention of LibreOffice or even the OpenDocument Format.” Nevertheless, it does show that the biggest cash cow too is in trouble, in part because it faces pricing pressure from competition like Google Apps and standards like ODF. Microsoft is going down the same path as Novell right now, living off its legacy while it still lasts.

GNU/Linux Circles Ought to Stop Promoting Visual Studio, Which is Neither Cross-Platform Nor Free Software

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 11:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“In the future, Microsoft wants Windows to run everything, from PCs to phones to cars to appliances. This is a terrifying prospect. If it happens, I’d be far more afraid that machinery everywhere would grind to a halt, planes would fall out of the sky, and civilization would crumble as a result of crummy embedded Windows design than any Y2K problem.”

Paul Somerson, PC Computing

Summary: Media carries on openwashing Visual Studio and perpetuating the illusion that it is not tied to Microsoft Windows

TECHRIGHTS has already responded to the Visual Studio openwash the other day (also mentioned this other openwashing effort), having already warned about it five years ago, earlier this year, and earlier this month. It’s not about .NET or Mono, it’s about Visual Studio, which is purely proprietary with no imminent opening of anything, not even Visual Studio Code, which some Linux sites foolishly promote [1,2] (there are better programs which are neither from Microsoft nor are proprietary).

IDG has done this promotion of proprietary Visual Studio for platforms other than Windows. It’s only towards the end that discrimination against non-Windows platforms is very evident:

The software also can easily hook into Microsoft’s software for managing team projects, Team Foundation Server 2015 and Visual Studio Online, both of which provide the base for a speedy, devops-styled development environment.

Well, this is Windows software. There is no parity at all between platforms. Visual Studio is still a proprietary program for Microsoft Windows, don’t let Microsoft paint it as cross-platform, not without a challenge. Microsoft is still aggressively attacking GNU/Linux, it is not playing nice with it.

“Eradicating Windows and slapping Linux on your computer sure isn’t as easy as it used to be,” writes Chris Hoffman this week, alluding to ‘secure boot’ in UEFI. This is the type of abuse Microsoft promotes (and now escalates further by removing the “on”/”off switch from some UEFI implementations on future computers — those coming with Vista 10 bundled). As an important reminder, UEFI lockdown is getting even worse, demonstrating that Microsoft hates Linux. With more such headaches on the horizon, affecting anyone wishing to at least try or explore GNU/Linux (not very technical people), Microsoft clearly has lots of hidden hate for Linux. There’s no “love”, just opportunistic PR. Anyone who actually thinks that Visual Studio will “play nice” with GNU/Linux has clearly not been paying attention (or paid attention only to puff pieces).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Ubuntu Make 0.9 Brings Support For The Arduino IDE And Enhancements For The Microsoft VSC
  2. Install and Run Visual Studio Code on Ubuntu Linux 15.04

Spinning Proprietary Software Dangers as Dangers of Free/Libre Software

Posted in Deception, FUD, GPL, Microsoft, Security at 10:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The “legally-binding” and “transparency” conundrums grossly distorted

Vintage marriage license

Summary: News sites mislead their readers, teaching them that the biggest dangers associated with proprietary software are in fact problems exclusive to Free/libre Open Source software

FOR Microsoft to ever pretend to care about security would basically mean to lie, blatantly. Microsoft works hand in glove with the NSA and it has, on numerous occasions, admitted that true security isn’t the goal. Its actions too show this repeatedly. Known flaws -- or holes, or bug doors, or whatever one frames them as -- are not being patched unless the public finds out about them.

In order to bolster security perceptions and to give an illusion that Microsoft actually cares about security and invests in security, the company has just hired some staff in Israel (acquisition is one other way to frame this). The media calls it “security provider”, but given Israel’s record on back doors, cracking (e.g. Stuxnet development), wiretapping etc. this is rather laughable. A lot of Microsoft’s so-called ‘security’ products are made in Israel, and some companies in this military-driven industry facilitate and cater for spies using back doors, usually under the guise of ‘security’ (they mean “national security”). We wrote about this in past years.

“This proves that security through obscurity is a myth that merely encourages people to rely on poorly implemented programs with shoddy security, whereupon developers choose to hide the ugliness of the code.”We were rather disturbed to see this bizarre article yesterday. Titled “Hackers targeting .NET shows the growing pains of open source security”, the article is a big lie. The headline is definitely a lie. .NET is PROPRIETARY (still), it has holes in it, and some fool tries to use it to call Free/libre software “not secure”. Let’s assume for a second that .NET code becoming visible to the world exposes many holes, indeed. It proves exactly the opposite of what the headline says then. If anything, it shows that Microsoft keeping the code secret assured low quality code and bred vulnerable code. Once shown to the world, these holes are being exploited. This proves that security through obscurity is a myth that merely encourages people to rely on poorly implemented programs with shoddy security, whereupon developers choose to hide the ugliness of the code. A lot of the claims from the article come from a FOSS foe, Trend Micro, but they can be framed correctly to state that, if anything, a public audit of .NET now shows just how terrible proprietary software can be, having never been subjected to outside scrutiny.

In other disturbing headlines we find another inversion of the truth. The Business Software Alliance (BSA), or the EULA police, has done a lot to show how dangerous proprietary software licences can be. Nevertheless, Slashdot with its pro-Microsoft slant as of late [1, 2] gives a platform to Christopher Allan Webber.

“Is this another false “I really like the GPL except” post,” asked us a reader. To quote the author: “The fastest way to develop software which locks down users for maximum monetary extraction is to use free software as a base” (oh, yes, those greedy Free software developers!)

The article has a misleading/provocative headline (hence we provide no direct link) and Bruce Perens, who had already accused Black Duck of FUD against the GPL (“I think it’s 100% B.S.,” he said three years ago), responded to the piece by stating:

I help GPL violators clean up their act, it’s my main business.

Every one has had a total lack of due diligence. I will come in and find that they have violated the licenses of 21 proprietary software companies (this is a real customer example) by integrating their code into their main product, just like the GPL code. Some of them only had an “evaluation” license, some not even that, some wildly violated the terms of any license they got.

Most of them are in silicon valley. They seem to have the attitude that they will clean up their legal problems when they’re rich, and nothing but getting their product out of the door matters until then.

They don’t ask me to feel sorry for them. I bill them a lot, and in the end, they’re clean and legal.

When it comes to legal risk and licensing, nothing beats proprietary software. It’s risky, it’s expensive (lock-in makes the exit barriers considerably higher), and it is very hard to obey or comply with, especially when you are low on staff and funds (must renew licences all the time). Contrariwise, it is very easy to comply with copyleft; there is no renewal work required and no renewal fees. All one is required to do is to maintain the copyleft of the code used. The rules are very simple.

07.22.15

Amid Billions in Losses, Microsoft Tries to Conquer the Competition (Which Already Wins)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 10:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Grabbing GNU/Linux revenue and share

Bank robbery

Summary: The ‘Embrace, Extend, Extinguish’ strategy goes a few steps further as Microsoft looks to dominate developers, devices and servers that are running Free/libre software

AS we have just shown, Microsoft suffers billions in losses because GNU/Linux and Android crush it. Microsoft’s reaction seems irrational as it’s not sure whether to just keep attacking GNU/Linux and Android (as it still does) or pretend to embrace it. Xamarin, the steward of Mono (along with Microsoft), integrates more closely with Microsoft and hopes to make developers (not just Windows developers) dependent on Microsoft. Microsoft wants “developers developers developers developers” (Ballmer’s words) and that’s where Xamarin comes in.

“Perhaps we are seeing the very end of Microsoft these days.”Yesterday we remarked on the latest advertising (in news form) for Microsoft as a GNU/Linux host. Microsoft’s Channel 9 (the last remaining channel) has been openwashing Microsoft quite a lot recently and now it joins the advertising effort:

Corey Sanders, Director of Program Management on the Windows Azure Compute team sits to chat about recent Linux announcements on supportability as well as MOAR stuff on ARM Templates (this time from a partner).

Like we explained yesterday, it would be very dumb to let Microsoft control GNU/Linux instances, but Microsoft’s acceptance of this route is a sign of defeat.

An argument that can never be won when dealing with anti-GNU/Linux trolls is about “year of Linux”. It often goes like this never-ending moving-goalposts list of demands:

2002: “Nobody uses Linux.”

But look, everyone uses Google and many other servers, which mostly run GNU/Linux.

2007: “Nobody uses Linux on the client side.”

Actually, many people’s devices and phones run some form of Linux.

2012: “Nobody uses Linux on the proper screen.”

Android (Linux) is used extensively not only on phones but also tablets.

2014: “Nobody uses Linux on desktops or laptops.”

Actually, Chromebooks are gaining popularity and they have GNU/Linux in them.

2014: “But Chrome OS is not really Linux.”

It’s also simple to install ‘proper’ GNU/Linux on them (my wife did that twice).

2015: “Microsoft does better than GNU/Linux. Windows is so much better!”

Even Microsoft is trying to make money by offering GNU/Linux support and hosting.

And on it goes…

Perhaps Microsoft’s current efforts to become a GNU/Linux host are due to GNU/Linux being a majority market share platform (especially in the back rooms). The same is true for Android on mobile. Perhaps we are seeing the very end of Microsoft these days.

Microsoft Losing Billions of Dollars is Not News

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 9:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Calculator

Summary: Few remarks on Microsoft’s latest admission that it is losing a lot of money

The latest Microsoft layoffs, which are misleadingly being framed by the corporate media as a “Nokia” thing [1, 2, 3], have financial impact as well. Microsoft has just publicly admitted that it is losing billions of dollars.

“Recall how Microsoft bribed its own staff (a whistleblower) after getting caught in financial fraud…”British media claims this to be “biggest loss in [Microsoft] history”, but the biggest losses are perhaps in the past, as there’s fraud that is many years old. We have written a lot about Microsoft’s financial misconduct for many years. It is not speculative. Recall how Microsoft bribed its own staff (a whistleblower) after getting caught in financial fraud [1, 2] — an often-overlooked issue these days (Microsoft is claimed to have lost $18,000,000,000 in 1998). This may seem like very old news, but it is definitely relevant to today’s massive Microsoft losses. Microsoft has paid millions of dollars to gag several CFOs since then. They must keep up the dodgy accounting.

Nokia is destroyed because of Microsoft, but Microsoft’s losses aren’t to be blamed on Nokia. What kind of a Nokia “CEO” is being appointed with the formalised promise of a $20 million bonus to sell the company? Only Microsoft’s Elop, probably the world’s most famous mole, managed to do this together with Ballmer. Microsoft now pays the price for misguided entryism that has achieved nothing but destruction of Nokia’s Linux efforts.

07.21.15

Don’t Ever Rely on Microsoft for Hardware, Hosting, Especially When it Comes to GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft at 3:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft doesn’t know what it’s doing (except rebooting)

Servers

Summary: Warning signs over Microsoft hosting, as well as reliance on Microsoft for maintenance of hardware

THE lying, dishonest and corrupt company says that it “loves Linux”. How ridiculous a statement. Microsoft clearly targets dumb people who are willing to give Microsoft control over GNU/Linux instances. Will Microsoft find enough dumb people? It remains to be seen. As a famous saying goes, never underestimate the power of dumb people in large numbers.

Yet another British ‘cloud’ site now promotes/advertises Microsoft as a GNU/Linux host. The article (if it can be called that), essentially an advertisement from Clare Hopping, says that “Azure customer support for Linux and other open source technologies were focused on determining whether customer problems were with the Azure platform or not. If not, then it would be left to the developer or the third party platform to solve issues.”

“Microsoft recently left British members of Parliament without access to E-mail for several days.”Is this the kind of host people were really looking for? There are many fine GNU/Linux hosts and Microsoft cares about GNU/Linux like BP cares about turtles in the Gulf of Mexico. Embrace (devour), extend (stab), extinguish (swallow) is what this move from Microsoft is all about. Watch a Microsoft advocacy site (the “Windows Club”) promoting this utter nonsense which includes full surveillance on every file (Microsoft uses “child pornography” as an excuse for this).

People ought to know by now never to rely on Microsoft for anything at all. Microsoft gained traction not because of technical merit; bribery, blackmail etc. had a lot more to do with it. It’s a company of organised crime and collusion with covert agencies that break the law, too.

According to this report, many people are still pursuing compensation for damages caused by the horrible Xbox 360 console. “No matter how hard Microsoft tries,” explained the author, “it can’t defeat a judicial order requiring it to face a proposed class-action lawsuit claiming that the Xbox 360 renders gaming discs unplayable because the console scratches them.

“The decision (PDF) Monday by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals sets the stage either for litigation over the allegations or a Supreme Court showdown.”

Microsoft, of course, is trying to dodge responsibility. Does anyone consider such a company to be a reliable host? Microsoft recently left British members of Parliament without access to E-mail for several days. Prior to that Microsoft had blackmailed British politicians. Microsoft cannot even fix their E-mail hosting (time-critical) in less than 3 days! If this is how Microsoft treats British members of Parliament, why would it do any better for ordinary members of the public?

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