11.07.20

Self-Hosting Instead of Choosing ‘Masters’ to Swap Between

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Servers at 3:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Three doors: Why clown computing? I can do it my own way

Summary: The ‘clown computing’ model or the dependence on “big” and supposedly “trusted” brands is a growing problem; people need to learn how to emancipate themselves and leverage tools which offer complete autonomy

THE GIT instance that we use is locally hosted (by the site) and we’ve looked into things like Gitlab, albeit it’s sort of dual-licensed and many people let the company (Gitlab) manage everything. There are Gitea-based alternatives out there, but Gitea is still not getting rid of GitHub (it said it would do this… for years), just like Gitlab was using Microsoft for hosting… until Microsoft bought GitHub and it needed a better marketing message.

“The term/name “Git” isn’t necessarily helpful either, e.g. when people think of it as synonymous with Microsoft/GitHub.”WELL OVER a decade ago we stressed that for true software freedom we need to do better than just swapping “masters” (like Apple and Microsoft or IBM and Microsoft). Back then the word “masters” wasn’t — at least not yet — considered politically-charged and it served as a helpful metaphor. Choosing IBM and IBM software (typically proprietary back then, e.g. Lotus) over Microsoft’s wasn’t really the solution, it was more of a “lesser evil” choice (like choosing Biden over Trump).

So-called ‘clown computing’ is a new wave of proprietary software (or service as a substitute for actual software). The FSF is a bit late in addressing this threat, but better late than never, correct? People ought to talk about the topological issues (relationship between the user and governments/corporations). That applies to trust models as well. People are giving far too much control to self-serving psychopaths and then wonder why projects like YouTube-DL (which do nothing illegal) can be censored across mirrors/forks/branches as well. Why all the centralisation in the first place? Why GitHub?

Remember that in ‘clown computing’ the users are clowns and all the computing is controlled by Gods or “masters”. Is that true love? Those “masters” love power — or control over other people. Microsoft loves “Open Source” when it is hosted in GitHub, i.e. stuck inside Microsoft’s monopolistic and proprietary prison. At whose mercy is it?

A bunch of stormsTwo decades ago I advocated/promoted very heavily this thing called “LINUX”, only later to realise the considerable role GNU had played. A lot of things that people call “LINUX” are actually GNU (many GNU programs are wrongly being called "Linux commands"). Brands aren’t necessarily helpful when people over-obsess over mere brands, emphasising pedantic points that misdirect and obfuscate. The term/name “Git” isn’t necessarily helpful either, e.g. when people think of it as synonymous with Microsoft/GitHub. In order to reduce the likelihood or prevent/mitigate new GNU/Linux users ‘ruining’ things by demanding DRM, ‘Secure Boot’ or Chrome (along with other such malicious stuff) more GNU/Linux advocacy ought to focus on educating/informing people regarding Software Freedom (capitalised, but it is a concept, not a brand/trademark). To attain it we need to focus a lot less on brands and more on underlying substance.

10.27.20

Taking Our Efforts to the Next Level in an Increasingly Proprietary and Hostile Web

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Red Hat, Security, Servers, Standard at 10:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Google, Microsoft, and Web users

Summary: Web users are being repressed by mechanisms of mass manipulation, control and restrictions; the Web may not be going away any time soon, but architectural and topological issues need to be overcome (the sooner, the better)

ASIDE from the new (winter) banner, a new footer, and a new multi-level menu at the top, there’s also growing emphasis on IRC for communication and coordination (we’ve changed some things accordingly). The site is now accessible using a text editor alone (albeit some editors depend on a standalone fetcher such as wget or curl) and HTTPS via reverse proxy may be coming soon (this would likely require setting up a new and totally separate container). Focus on infrastructure is very important to us, seeing how prevalent back doors became (governments shamelessly demand these even out in public), how much public support there is for Web censorship (of all the “bad” stuff of course, “go Google, go silence all those people we don’t like! Make them go away!”) and even software censorship (youtube-dl should never ever consider Microsoft as a reliable code host, nor should Fedora, whose decision-making (cat-herding in his own words) leader said some hours ago: “full disclosure: I own a small number of shares of Microsoft”).

“The way things are going, the Web is swiftly moving into a dark era of weaponised social control media, mass surveillance (for manipulation), mass censorship (at all levels) and DRM (whose circumvention is treated as a crime).”Fedora has a new release (33), but it's still overwhelmingly Microsoft-hosted and that's a problem. The managers also seem to have outsourced a lot of Fedora to Amazon. Considering some of the biggest IBM and Red Hat contracts, it’s getting hard to trust CentOS/Fedora/RHEL with real security (including privacy from the US government, i.e. Donald Trump and his ilk). More of our operations have been switched over to Alpine and (quite likely) will be moved to the Netherlands some time soon. A lot of people probably considered this “paranoid” a decade ago. But ‘mission creep’ should never be underestimated. The way things are going, the Web is swiftly moving into a dark era of weaponised social control media, mass surveillance (for manipulation), mass censorship (at all levels) and DRM (whose circumvention is treated as a crime). Don’t worry, GitHub will look after software freedom… or not.

“DRM is the future.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

10.21.20

Ways and Means to Reduce One’s Dependency on Google’s Various Monopolies and Near-Monopolies

Posted in Antitrust, Free/Libre Software, Google, GPL, Microsoft, Servers at 10:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

LibertyBits 2019 - 18 - Richard Stallman - Mass Surveillance
Richard Stallman just weeks before he was pushed out of his office to help MIT save face

Summary: Getting rid of Google means a lot more than embracing DumbDumbGo (DDG) or some other sites that spy just like Google; we’re taking stock of some options

THE legal action against Google wasn’t misguided. It was likely selective, however, guided in part by Microsoft lobbyists (years in the making). Putting Microsoft’s role aside, Google is a problem. Monopolies are a problem. Market dominance reduces the incentive to improve and can harm people in a variety of ways.

Maybe by mere coincidence, only hours before the lawsuit was unveiled Planet OpenSUSE had this post entitled “Migrating away from Google services” (we’ll come back to it later).

“One popular alternative to Google or rather a YouTube sieve (offering the same material sans the surveillance and ads) recently shut down.”Now, let’s consider practical solutions to the Google problem. Monopolies like YouTube for instance…

Yesterday Debian announced its “donation for Peertube development,” noting that “[t]his year’s iteration of the Debian annual conference, DebConf20, had to be held online, and while being a resounding success, it made clear to the project our need to have a permanent live streaming infrastructure for small events held by local Debian groups. As such, Peertube, a FLOSS video hosting platform, seems to be the perfect solution for us.”

One popular alternative to Google or rather a YouTube sieve (offering the same material sans the surveillance and ads) recently shut down. APIs and lawyers had also similarly killed Scroogle (not to be mistaken for Microsoft’s rogue AstroTurfing campaign). We’re talking about invidio.us here, being a YouTube alternative. But it was Free software-based (GNU Affero General Public License, version 3.0), so other instances of it still exist. It should be noted that some are unsavoury and are linked to bad people, some are not.

yewtu.be is one alternative of interest — at least until Google’s lawyers shut it down using threats. In yewtu.be one can escape annoying Google ads, spying (JavaScript) and spurious pop-ups urging viewers to “log in” (it got a lot worse recently). yewtu.be also supports embedding videos, searching (however limited, better insert direct YouTube URLs into the search box as a starting point).

Scroogle screenshotRegarding search, the decentralised approach works better because Startpage turned into a scam; along with other so-called ‘private’ search engines it was quietly passed into the claws of surveillance giants. The same is true for DumbDumbGo (DDG), where many people still dumbly go to spew/infuse personal information (because of empty promises and plenty of misleading marketing campaigns). SearX instances keep going up and down, but the one which nowadays works reliably (and has worked for months) is searx.feneas.org (not recommended on the basis of deep research into how they handle their data).

Google News is a near-monopoly when it comes to indexing news in (almost) real-time. I’ve never managed to find a solid and reliable alternative to it. Google News isn’t consistent either (more and more spammy results in it over time), so I rely on it a lot less. Google News is pretty much the only Google service I cannot fully get rid of.

Apparently many people out there still rely a great deal on Blogspot, GMail and various other non-essential ‘services’ (to which plenty of good alternatives exist). People who can’t figure out how to get rid of Blogspot and GMail are probably a ‘lost cause’ when it comes to ridding them of Google. Seriously, how hard can it be to just open an E-mail account somewhere like GMX or ProtonMail? Then telling people, over time, about the new address? I myself haven’t had such issues since 2003 when I registered my own domain and managed all my mail there (about 20 E-mail accounts to separate the wheat from spam/chaff, mostly with aliases).

Going back to the post from Planet OpenSUSE, it says this:

My inbox tells me I started using GMail around 2004. The oldest mail I can find in my archive is from 16 years ago. After Gmail, Google Photos, Keep, Docs, Drive and Fit followed.

I have reasons to stop. Whether your reasons are privacy, the U.S. as a data harbor, GMail becoming sluggish, karma for killing Inbox, fear about getting your account locked, or you found a better email provider, the objective of this post is not to convince you about my reasons but to help you with a migration plan and showing you alternatives.

Breaking the dependency on Google services is really hard. This dependency was a showstopper and motivator at the same time. If you are locked-in at this level, something is wrong.

This is correct. Take time and invest effort to become technically and technologically independent, or at least less prone to abuse (censorship, surveillance and so on).

Google isn’t the most harmful company to us GNU/Linux/BSD users who value software freedom. But Google poses a great threat to privacy — probably a more potent and long-lasting threat (in that particular domain/aspect) than Microsoft ever will.

Like we’ve said countless times before, getting rid of Microsoft isn’t enough. If we get rid of one brand only to be abused by another, then we’re simply not aiming correctly. To a lot of people out there, their ‘activism’ (or principle) boils down to “I’ll swap Microsoft with Apple” (basically defecting between brands). Right now in Manchester they have a massive marketing campaign (billboards and all) associating iPhone with “privacy”; we always get a kick out of it, as if iPhone users covering their faces with a tracking device (with microphone and multiple cameras, not to mention back doors) is “privacy”… Apple is just ‘pulling a DumbDumbGo’.

Image credit: By Ewald, Fair use

Microsoft’s IIS Has Collapsed Again This Past Month (and IIS Will Not and Cannot Survive This Way)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Windows at 7:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pandemic (COVID-19) is killing what’s left of Microsoft in Web servers (share of active sites charted below)

Active sitesSummary: Netcraft shows that Microsoft’s decline further accelerates in the Web servers space; IIS is becoming financially unviable

THE (latest) servers’ survey from Netcraft was released again yesterday. The 3 images below are all from Netcraft, but some tell the story better than others (the one above is the important one, so it has been set aside). Some comments are needed for clarify, as “active sites” is the important chart (much of the rest is too easy to manipulate for money, as Microsoft in fact did several times, e.g. the GoDaddy deal that’s intended to help Microsoft give a mere illusion of big presence/magnitude). Microsoft’s share a month ago was 4.08% and now it’s 3.89%. That’s steep decline. In just a few weeks.

As Netcraft put it yesterday:

Other notable changes this month include an 8.10% reduction in the number of domains powered by Microsoft web servers, which fell by 1.73 million to 19.6 million. Much of this was caused by the continuation of parked GoDaddy domains migrating from GoDaddy’s own hosting infrastructure to OpenResty servers in Google Cloud, resulting in the number of OpenResty-powered domains rising by 1.92 million to 36.4 million. The only market in which Microsoft increased its share was within the top million websites, where it gained 319 additional sites to reach a share of 7.20%.

Microsoft suffered very major losses during the pandemic, as we noted several times earlier this year. The graphs below help capture (visually) some of these other losses.

“…the way things are going, IIS might be discontinued some time in the not-so-distant future.”We don’t want to spend too much time debating the cause of this; instead, let’s just say that — as we’ve been saying for months — the way things are going, IIS might be discontinued some time in the not-so-distant future.

wss-computer-share

wss-domains-share

wss-top-1m-share

Microsoft is steadily declining and it has no strategy for reversing this trend. From a purely financial perspective, it’ll only be a matter of when — not if — Microsoft gives up.

09.25.20

Response to Eric Raymond (ESR) on “Last Phase of the Desktop Wars”

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Vista 10, Windows at 10:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Liberty matters; to Microsoft it's all about control/coercion

Statue of Liberty

Summary: Eric Raymond (ESR) talks about Microsoft’s “embrace”; but there are many misunderstandings and misconceptions in his blog post, as we’ll explain patiently, based on known facts

THE co-founder of the OSI (an anti-Free software organisation), ESR, has just published Last phase of the desktop wars?

“ESR is thick-skinned, so he can certainly take the criticism.”The article is full of some strange slant/take on positivism; as if we should be happy about Microsoft, or as if Microsoft is “embracing” this thing called ‘Linux’ (GNU) with good intentions. I found myself shaking my head a lot (side to side, not top to bottom) while reading it; there are many factual errors there, which makes it hard to read without face-palming a bit. “ESR forgot to take the pink glasses off,” MinceR said in IRC and XRevan86 “stopped reading at the mention of MS Edge being ported,” he has just said. We’ve decided to respond. Of course chromium-browser already supported GNU/Linux since the very beginning, so the ‘port’ from Microsoft is a joke. It’s a PR stunt from which we have nothing to gain (GNU/Linux users won’t touch it); Microsoft used it to bombard the media with proprietary software (spyware) marketing on the same day Firefox 81 was released; guess what media paid attention to (vapourware, not an actual release of an actual FOSS browser). But we’ll get to that in a moment…

ESR is thick-skinned, so he can certainly take the criticism. Constructive hopefully…

I spoke to him before (online) and he’s responsive, albeit abrasive at times. We won’t remark on his professional or his political views (he tried to ‘cancel’ RMS more than 2 decades ago and nowadays he promotes militia nonsense); we’ll focus 100% on the substance (or lack of it). Reply in full, in-line, just like the Halloween Documents that he published with editorial interpretations. A lot of the reply below is based on an IRC debate, which is still ongoing.

Without further ado (and quite frankly with respect):

The two most intriguing developments in the recent evolution of the Microsoft Windows operating system are Windows System for Linux (WSL) and the porting of their Microsoft Edge browser to Ubuntu.

As noted above (prematurely perhaps, as that part was particularly off-putting), the core of this browser has long supported GNU/Linux (not just “Ubuntu”) and mostly because of Google and code that it had repurposed; that had nothing to do with Microsoft, which merely ‘borrowed’ other people’s work, initially removing GNU/Linux support (similar to what Microsoft did to Skype).

Regarding “Windows System for Linux” [sic], it’s a deliberate misnomer. There’s no Linux in WSL. WSL2 does have Linux, but hardly anyone uses that. It has been a devastating failure for Microsoft (their Project Manager got really stressed when we spoke about it and presented evidence) and last night we finally saw reports about Microsoft ‘fixing’ it after breaking it almost a fortnight ago. Only a crazy fool would do any serious work on WSL/WSL2.

These Microsoft ‘toys’ are widely seen as experimental laughing stocks among actual users of GNU/Linux. They’d never touch that stuff; at best, they’d run virtual machines with GNU/Linux in them (using something like VirtualBox). WSL/2 is like 2 decades behind (Cygwin).

ESR calls these “intriguing developments” (Microsoft giving up on MSIE and Edge, redoing the whole thing using someone else’s product, just like with WSL/2). The word “intriguing” can be (mis)interpreted in all sorts of ways; if by “intriguing” he meant something negative, then fine. But let’s press on with the next paragraph:

For those of you not keeping up, WSL allows unmodified Linux binaries to run under Windows 10. No emulation, no shim layer, they just load and go.

Wow. Welcome back, 2001. Cygwin. Sort of…

I experimented with Cygwin when I was still a teenager.

Microsoft… bringing you the distant past… today.

Aside from that, today’s PCs come with so much RAM that one can just run these “unmodified Linux binaries” in a virtual machine (with no noticeable performance toll).

Microsoft developers are now landing features in the Linux kernel to improve WSL.

Read as: Microsoft is taking control of the competition. It even bribed the Linux Foundation several times to keep it off-guard. It hired some kernel hackers to make sure it has key positions in development and inside the Technical Advisory Board of the Linux Foundation.

Some accomplishment, eh?

And that points in a fascinating technical direction. To understand why, we need to notice how Microsoft’s revenue stream has changed since the launch of its cloud service in 2010.

He then goes along with a likely bogus narrative. Many companies do “clown computing” these days; few are actually profitable (AWS is, as the network effect helps, along with brand recognition and lock-in). Many shut down for financial reasons. I’d know; I’ve seen that at my nighttime work (datacentre and service/product closures, forcing migration/relocation with little prior notice).

Ten years later, Azure makes Microsoft most of its money.

Stop right there!

This is what Microsoft claims. While refusing to disclose underlying figures. Microsoft whistleblowers say it operates at a loss and likely constitutes fraud (defrauding the shareholders and more).

So the same ESR who published the Halloween Documents suddenly believes what Microsoft is saying? Come on, Eric, turn back on your critical skills and assess counter-arguments with corresponding evidence.

The Windows monopoly has become a sideshow, with sales of conventional desktop PCs (the only market it dominates) declining. Accordingly, the return on investment of spending on Windows development is falling. As PC volume sales continue to fall off , it’s inevitably going to stop being a profit center and turn into a drag on the business.

Ariadne responded to this in IRC, saying that “the thought that PC sales are declining is a fallacy…”

She said “people are still using PCs…”

“Remind him of Minecraft Bedrock,” XRevan86 noted.

“I’m starting to suspect Teams is an experiment in which they’re trying to find out how long can they delay messages before people give up on Teams,” MinceR added.

Microsoft’s products and services are still rather shoddy.

Ariadne then noted that “NT is a problem though [as] writing drivers and subsystems for NT is a huge pain in the ass. It is possible that NT could be replaced down the road with a Linux kernel. That much I would believe. But POSIX? Yeah right :) [...] if you are going to make developers transition to new APIs, you would get them to transition to whatever the present state of the art is, not POSIX… I guess what I’m saying is that we could see a windows OS based on Linux kernel, in the same way that android is based on Linux kernel, but otherwise unrelated to UNIX environment… the shortcomings of NT are becoming more and more visible.”

“If something like that would occur,” XRevan86 responded, “it would definitely happen in such a way it wouldn’t make anyone happier than Microsoft.”

I agreed with MinceR when he said: “maybe they don’t care anymore, they’re just looking to do damage [...] they’ll just tell gkh [Greg K-H] to declare a stable ABI and if it stops Linux development, they don’t care…”

“Free kernel,” as XRevan86 called it, “completely useless to everyone else.”

“I suspect that is the plan anyway,” Ariadne responded.

XRevan86 recalled the “extend/extinguish” going months back: “It was funny hearing about the DirectX 12 shim for WSL as “Microsoft ported DX12 to Linux, they care!” [...] If Microsoft will port their calculator to GNU/Linux, everyone will lose it. Albeit that’s very unlikely.”

oiaohm said “it’s more interesting [to talk about] the DX12 userspace libraries from Windows being brought on top of Linux [as] there has been some talk [regarding whether] Microsoft is pondering DX12 work on the Linux DRI layer. (Mind you this could be evil profit)”

More on that in a moment (or in raw IRC logs, to be published tomorrow).

“Anyway,” XRevan86 concluded, “I think we can all agree MS Edge coming to GNU/Linux is not the Sign of Microsoft moving Windows to Linux.”

Ariadne responded with “absolutely not [as] even if Windows were to use a Linux kernel in future, they would still use their own APIs just like Android…”

“MS Edge has been available on Android all this time,” XRevan86 said.

“DX12 coming it Linux would not surprise me,” oiaohm said. “Of course it most likely will come with you have to pay fee to Microsoft.”

“That would make them less appealing than FOSS,” XRevan86 replied. “Probably not a fee. Not at first anyway.”

More in IRC logs. Let’s move to the next on to the next paragraph.

Looked at from the point of view of cold-blooded profit maximization, this means continuing Windows development is a thing Microsoft would prefer not to be doing. Instead, they’d do better putting more capital investment into Azure – which is widely rumored to be running more Linux instances than Windows these days.

At a loss. Say former insiders. There’s even a formal complaint filed with the SEC.

We’ll soon be able to publish some Microsoft leaks.

Our third ingredient is Proton. Proton is the emulation layer that allows Windows games distributed on Steam to run over Linux. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s getting close. I myself use it to play World of Warships on the Great Beast.

Nothing new. WINE has long been able to make this DRM mess run (more or less), not that it’s a favourable thing for GNU/Linux or software freedom.

The thing about games is that they are the most demanding possible stress test for a Windows emulation layer, much more so than business software. We may already be at the point where Proton-like technology is entirely good enough to run Windows business software over Linux. If not, we will be soon.

Computers get more powerful over time and old computers are discarded. The performance aspects don’t matter today (like emulation layers’ penalties or compatibility layer in WINE’s case) like they did 10 or 15 years ago. The translation toll is lessened relative to other parts of the rendering pipeline. Also, graphics cards with their drivers for Linux are rapidly improving (workloads on GPUs) and they offload all that stuff onto proprietary silicon chips. Not an ‘OS thing’…

So, you’re a Microsoft corporate strategist. What’s the profit-maximizing path forward given all these factors?

Patent blackmail. An hour ago MinceR recalled that “manufacturers already bundle a ton of Microsoft crap with their android devices…”

I told him that this is “as part of patent settlements,” recalling that as recently as last year Microsoft still sued a large OEM/manufacturer (Foxconn) over patents in relation to ChromeOS and Android (Linux). “Microsoft blackmails them into bundling,” I reminded him, “because they’re still a bunch of gangsters and if you say this, you’re racist, as Ballmer is out…”

He agreed.

How many billions of dollars per year does Microsoft make by blackmailing companies using ridiculous software patents, or settling with them by means of Microsoft bundling (and/or other business favours)?

It’s this: Microsoft Windows becomes a Proton-like emulation layer over a Linux kernel, with the layer getting thinner over time as more of the support lands in the mainline kernel sources. The economic motive is that Microsoft sheds an ever-larger fraction of its development costs as less and less has to be done in-house.

The simple reality is, Windows is becoming obsolete as more people now use Android (than Windows). But that does not mean that WSL/2 somehow becomes a basis for Windows itself. It’s just a failed experiment. Nobody uses WSL2. Almost nobody (about 150,000 people worldwide last we checked). Remember that WSL is not Linux and it doesn’t even have Linux in it. It’s Windows.

If you think this is fantasy, think again. The best evidence that it’s already the plan is that Microsoft has already ported Edge to run under Linux. There is only one way that makes any sense, and that is as a trial run for freeing the rest of the Windows utility suite from depending on any emulation layer.

Once again he goes back to this Microsoft “ported Edge to run under Linux…”

No, Edge was thrown out (except as a brand) and Microsoft took a codebase that already supported GNU/Linux.

Not much done there. ESR perpetuates Microsoft propaganda here. Or PR ploys/stunts.

“If you think this is fantasy, think again,” ESR said. XRevan86 responded with: “*thinks* nope, still pure fantasy…”

Similar to the one SJVN was spreading in the Microsoft propaganda site, ZDNet.

“What the hay is he smoking,” XRevan86 added.

MinceR thinks “he failed to recognize what happened to Linux, which is extra weird because I thought he’d at least notice the CoC issue…”

“So now Microsoft will have two consumer-oriented projects for GNU/Linux: Edge and Skype (client), both are based on Google’s cross-platform code,” XRevan86 said. “Big flipping deal.”

“You missed Teams,” oiaohm wrote. XRevan86 agreed and MinceR said it “doesn’t work properly anywhere…” (they’re mostly rebranding and pretending to ‘add’ GNU/Linux support — for the illusion of ‘growth’ or ‘market share’).

So, the end state this all points at is: New Windows is mostly a Linux kernel, there’s an old-Windows emulation over it, but Edge and the rest of the Windows user-land utilities don’t use the emulation. The emulation layer is there for games and other legacy third-party software.

Pure nonsense. WSL/2 isn’t at the core of Windows. It’s just some toy added on the side — a ‘side dish’ like Cygwin.

Economic pressure will be on Microsoft to deprecate the emulation layer. Partly because it’s entirely a cost center. Partly because they want to reduce the complexity cost of running Azure. Every increment of Windows/Linux convergence helps with that – reduces administration and the expected volume of support traffic.

Azure is a failure. We need to stop helping Microsoft’s propaganda. They keep googlebombing “Linux”, so perhaps some people are led to absorb lies. Even people who should know better.

Eventually, Microsoft announces upcoming end-of-life on the Windows emulation. The OS itself , and its userland tools, has for some time already been Linux underneath a carefully preserved old-Windows UI. Third-party software providers stop shipping Windows binaries in favor of ELF binaries with a pure Linux API…

No, they can just target proper GNU/Linux instead. Many already do.

…and Linux finally wins the desktop wars, not by displacing Windows but by co-opting it. Perhaps this is always how it had to be.

You got it the other way around, ESR. Who is co-opting who?

Ariadne said, “I do believe Microsoft are shopping for a new kernel [...] that much seems plausible [as] you have to keep in mind that Linux provides, even for Microsoft, lower capex and opex [...] than redesigning NT to scale properly to these hundreds of cores systems being sold today…”

Just because Microsoft can take advantage of the Linux kernel doesn’t mean that GNU/Linux somehow ‘wins’; unless we’re led to think that the Free software movement boils down to some kernel made in 1991 (8 years after the GNU Project) and running Office/Skype on Windows is “winning”…

09.23.20

Microsoft Lost More Than 15 Million Web Domains in One Month!

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Windows at 3:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

On a positive note…

Man and helicopter

Summary: Microsoft’s presence on the Web is being reduced to ridiculously low levels; sooner or later Microsoft will turn from ‘king’ of parked (unused) domains to master of nothing

DO NOT lose sight of the big news about Lenovo (expanding the line of hardware with GNU/Linux pre-loaded) or the Firefox 81 release (which the press didn’t bother mentioning, instead spamming “Linux” feeds with Microsoft’s proprietary software/vapourware, which is neither original nor available… and very few GNU/Linux users would ever bother with). There’s this major shift going on that not a single press outlet has been covering this year and it’s about Web servers. The latest report/survey from Netcraft takes note of Microsoft’s ‘deep dive’ — a sharp dive that’s part of an ongoing trend.

“With about 5,000 Microsoft layoffs this past summer one wonders if there’s plenty more to come.”For a couple of decades (almost) Microsoft was getting to game the numbers by hoarding parked domains, making IIS seem more prevalent than it really is. Bruce Perens condemned them for this distortion of statistics more than a decade ago. Well, guess what happened…

Microsoft down sharply in all categories assessed, but here’s what happened when it comes to domain names, including those worthless parked ones:

Approximately 15 million domains have switched from Microsoft web server software to OpenResty, a web server which adds LuaJIT support to nginx. This represents a 5.97 percentage point drop in Microsoft’s market share of domains, and, accordingly, a 6.71 percentage point increase for OpenResty. OpenResty now powers 34.5 million domains, giving it a 13% market share and gaining it third place behind nginx and Apache. This huge swing is driven by GoDaddy migrating its customers’ parked domains from GoDaddy’s own hosting infrastructure to Google Cloud.

Microsoft also experienced a large loss of 49,600 web-facing computers (-3.1%), unrelated to the GoDaddy OpenResty migration. The largest increase in web-facing computers was seen for Apache (+19,100), though this was not enough to re-take the lead from nginx, which became the largest web server vendor by this metric last month.

Long story short, in 2020 IIS (and Windows) have totally collapsed when it comes to Web hosting — and by extension servers at large. With about 5,000 Microsoft layoffs this past summer one wonders if there’s plenty more to come. Watch out, IIS team. You’re increasingly dealing with a niche market that rapidly diminishes.

08.26.20

Microsoft Totally and Utterly Collapsing in Web Servers This Month

Posted in Microsoft, Servers at 2:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: On Web Servers, Microsoft’s Collapse Continues More Rapidly Under COVID (a Million Domains Lost in the Past Month) | Linux Foundation Newsletter is Microsoft Windows and Proprietary IIS

Netcraft August 2020
“As well as a marked decrease in total sites this month of 22.14 million (-15.8%), Microsoft also suffered in other metrics this month. The number of domains served using Microsoft software dropped by 8.27 million (-18.4%), and 19,000 fewer web-facing computers (-1.2%) are running Microsoft web servers. Microsoft also lost 633,000 active sites (-7.3%),” says Netcraft today (published 4 hours ago in the monthly report)

Summary: Microsoft has been reduced to very few Web servers and only about 4% of the market; as we noted earlier this month, this lock-down as a whole has been a disaster for Windows and IIS; it might not be long before IIS is altogether discontinued

08.13.20

On Web Servers, Microsoft’s Collapse Continues More Rapidly Under COVID (a Million Domains Lost in the Past Month)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Windows at 5:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A dying breed, but the corporate media never talks about it

Ruined wall
Windows firewall

Summary: Even though the Microsoft-sponsored media repeatedly refuses (or strangely enough just ‘fails’) to report on it, the days of Microsoft’s IIS are likely numbered; it won’t be long before less than a million computers run it

THE corporate media does not like to talk about it (nothing for its advertisers to gain from it), but according to these latest statistics sooner or later there will be nobody left to use and pay for IIS except the Linux Foundation (yes, it uses Microsoft on some servers).

“…sooner or later there will be nobody left to use and pay for IIS except the Linux Foundation…”Microsoft has already lost more than 5% of its share in just two months [1, 2] and it’s again down from 4.52% to 4.51% of active sites (parked domains statistics are easy to game ‘on the cheap’, as Microsoft does routinely). In the past few weeks Microsoft lost 500 or so sites among the top million busiest sites (so they dumped Windows or perished, falling outside the one-million range with nothing to replace them), there are 1,000 IIS servers fewer than last month, and about 1,000,000 domains fewer than a month ago. Netcraft says that “Microsoft trails in third position with a total of 1.6 million web-facing computers, around half that of nginx and Apache.”

“Microsoft has already lost more than 5% of its share in just two months…”Actually, both nginx and Apache, on their own, have more than twice what Windows/IIS has and it’s important to remember that Microsoft has efficiency issues, so it’s possible that a lot more Windows servers are needed for dealing with the same loads.

Why isn’t the media ever mentioning this? Obviously, there’s nothing to be gained financially when your sponsor is Microsoft. Sites like ZDNet, the IDG network and others are heavily bribed by Microsoft. They’re not even good at hiding it. Sometimes they openly admit this.

A reader pointed out to us this new IDG ‘spam’ for Microsoft (upselling Windows Server), asking “where is the guide from Canonical for moving to Ubuntu?” Or “where is the guide from Red Hat for moving to RHEL?”

“Why isn’t the media ever mentioning this? Obviously, there’s nothing to be gained financially when your sponsor is Microsoft.”Like we showed earlier this morning, sometimes it feels like those companies 'defected' in some sense and basically quit competing with Windows because Microsoft pays them to act this way. Similarly, Microsoft seems to have bribed some major Web hosts to put parked domains on IIS (to make Microsoft seem vastly bigger than it really is). Bruce Perens spoke about it over a decade ago.

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