“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. █
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“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. █
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Summary: Despite severe technical issues in the rushed-out-the-door Vista 10, Microsoft decides to stick with the deadline, only days after reporting billions of dollars in losses
VISTA 10 media SPAM is already everywhere, not just in Microsoft advocacy sites. Microsoft AstroTurfers and PR agencies, respectively, inject the subject into forums and pressure people in the media to write about it in many languages. Microsoft wants to sell us perceptions and it pretends that Vista 10 is “free”, “best ever”, “secure”, and so on.
“Microsoft is trying to rescue the business by going into GNU/Linux-dominated areas, not just mobile devices but also servers.”Andrew Orlowski, a very provocative (at times even trollish) writer, chastises Vista 10 and says that when it comes to mobile devices, it’s “going nowhere fast”. Even people inside Microsoft tell me that Vista 10 is not ready. It’s basically just a brand and many hardware companies don’t care enough to make their products compatible with it. This is going to hurt Microsoft’s bottom line, just as Vista did nearly a decade ago. History repeats itself. Vista too was rushed out the door; Orlowski says it’s the same with Vista 10 and people inside Microsoft tell me that it still crashes a lot (screens of death). It’s well past the prototyping stage, but it still has that Microsoft ‘quality’ to it. Microsoft announced some days ago that it had been losing billions of dollars. The decline of Windows had a lot to do with it and Microsoft knows that the common carrier is where the company must put all its of eggs (without Windows dominance, Office too ceases to matter because it relies on format monoculture). Microsoft cannot hide the losses anymore. To quote a new comment from Needs Sunlight: “Speculating on two explanations which could be about carrying the 1998 debt, it could be that M$ trying to write off some of that debt now. Or it could be that it has carried that debt as long as it can and can no longer keep it hidden and things are blowing up.”
Microsoft is trying to rescue the business by going into GNU/Linux-dominated areas, not just mobile devices but also servers. Don’t call it ‘cloud’, as it serves to mislead and it usually means surveillance. IDG shamelessly promotes ASP.Net and some British media promotes Microsoft mail loss on the 'cloud' as if Microsoft belongs in E-mail, where GNU/Linux and Free software are already dominant and vastly more reliable (Windows plays a role only in pumping SPAM into mail servers). At Microsoft-friendly circles, Microsoft boosters pretend that Microsoft is ‘buddies’ with GNU/Linux (which it is still attacking in many ways), but as we explained the other day, that's just Microsoft trying to take over the competition because Microsoft is losing in a very big way.
Vista 10 will not be a success story but more like a semi-functional system update for Vista 7/8 with newer back doors (more on that in our next post) and decade-old GNU/Linux features, which Microsoft arrogantly copied and now markets as ‘innovations’. █
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The ‘free’ upgrade trick won’t fix Microsoft’s bottom 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. █
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“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:
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Remember what Microsoft itself has said (in its words, click below for original PDF):
Summary: Microsoft and its minions (inside the media) pretend that Vista 10 will change the world, but technical folks from Microsoft say it’s not even stable and nowhere near ready
Vista 10 is nothing to be celebrated. It will mean yet more nightmares for software/web developers, even if they don’t use it at all. At my job I have already encountered people who use IE11 (Internet Explorer 11), which essentially breaks lots of commonly-used stuff (CKEditor for example). It’s like another IE6 and Microsoft makes matters worse by introducing another broken browser, in addition to Internet Explorer. According to The Register, this ‘new’ browser “is built on a fork of the Trident rendering engine that powers IE. Microsoft said it’s stripped out all that legacy code and, certainly, early benchmarks would seem to indicate it’s found a way to speed things up. But when it comes to the standards support developers are accustomed to, Edge reveals its Trident underpinnings.”
“Windows is getting more expensive, not cheaper. Pricing/tariff tricks are making it easier to entrap people, getting them ‘hooked’ (locked in) on Microsoft’s so-called ‘cloud’. The cost of being locked in is very high. Moreover, there is the cost of bad security.”So it’s basically the same rubbish under another name. It’s just marketing, much like “10″ itself (just a brand). Remember that Vista 8 objectively performed (in market terms) a lot worse than even Vista and based on what I hear about Vista 10 (from those working inside Microsoft), the zero-cost delusion around Vista 10 is there for a reason. Microsoft knows that it’s rubbish, so it is willing to give it away as a free ‘upgrade’ to existing users, hoping to game the so-called ‘adoption’ numbers. A lot of them might not choose to ‘upgrade’ (even at zero cost) because, as a Microsoft programmer told me a few days ago, Vista 10 still crashes a lot and it has hardware compatibility issues. Now we have this article from Brad Chacos telling us that Vista 10 won’t change much after Vista 8, except bundle it with more unwanted surveillance online, courtesy of the NSA’s leading partner in crime. “Don’t let that fresh new coat of paint fool you,” Chacos wrote, “Windows 10 may mask the nasty symptoms that made users shrink away from Windows 8, but it doesn’t cure the underlying causes. Windows 10 still advances most of Windows 8’s core missions—and those core missions are what made Windows 8 so controversial to many defenders of the traditional desktop.”
We remind readers not be fooled by the Vista 10 media flood (puff pieces all day long). Microsoft is paying a lot of money right now in order to manipulate/bribe journalists, as always (not to mention the AstroTurfing. As before, Microsoft does this by proxy, shielding itself from embarrassing litigation. Microsoft’s spammy barrage has already begun in CBS (see this ‘advertisement’ from Lance Whitney, who had worked for Microsoft media but did not disclose this conflict of interest). Vista 10 propaganda is going to get a lot worse in the coming days and weeks, that’s for sure. Regarding the forced software updates that we wrote about the other day, Mr. Pogson says that Microsoft “wants to control you by forcing upgrades which let in updates to everything, new “features”, even advertising on the hardware you own.”
Windows is getting more expensive, not cheaper. Pricing/tariff tricks are making it easier to entrap people, getting them ‘hooked’ (locked in) on Microsoft’s so-called ‘cloud’. The cost of being locked in is very high. Moreover, there is the cost of bad security. There are still back doors in there (Microsoft never changed its policy regarding the NSA) and back doors in Vista 10 are hardly even hidden because Microsoft’s ToS/EULA allows them to suck up (‘cloud’) one’s data. Windows is quite an hazardous OS. It used to be said that people believing Windows has back doors are “paranoid”. Now, those who say there’s none are viewed as stupid. When Vista 8 and prior versions (predecessors of “Windows 8″) were released Microsoft publicly bragged about NSA collaborations, even when the release (build process) was imminent. It says a lot, does it not? Prior to the NSA leaks Microsoft used to publicly pose with the NSA to brag about collaboration for ‘security’. This won’t happen with Vista 10 because the NSA is not popular and definitely not trusted anymore. Vista 10 will provide the latest and greatest back doors. The Register chastises GNU/Linux this week, saying that North Korea tracks GNU/Linux installations; well, even if true, they are copying Windows and OS X antifeatures, ‘innovated’ and ‘championed’ by the West. Outside of North Korea there are no such issues. On the other hand, The Register has just shown again that there are too many Windows back doors (having just been exposed to the public, partly thanks to Wikileaks), so Microsoft must fix them. It just can’t keep up.
“It’s 2015, and bad font files in webpages will still pwn you” if you use Microsoft Windows, says The Register. It hasn't been long since the last such flaw.
In summary, everyone should brace themselves for a lot of Microsoft propaganda, including puff pieces and overt lies, nonstop in the coming days. █
“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”
–Bill Gates, Microsoft
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Summary: The Windows monopoly is at risk of being reduced to scraps after Vista 8, Windows Mobile, and Windows RT failed the market
MICROSOFT will never admit this publicly, but the Windows franchise is under existential threat, looking several years down the line (the trend is clear). In fact, a programmer from Microsoft told me (just over the weekend) that Vista 10 still crashes a lot and has hardware compatibility issues. It sounds a lot like Vista.
Windows RT is pretty much dead or dying. Based on this ‘damage control’, the platform is already on its deathbed and “[w]hatever features the new update brings, it’s a safe bet that this update will be the last gasp for Windows RT. Microsoft stopped selling the RT-powered Surface 2 in January and it put the Lumia 2520 out to pasture shortly after it acquired Nokia. Hardly any other vendors even bothered to make RT tablets, and those that did quickly realized their mistake and pulled out.”
“Windows is in so much trouble right now that Microsoft is trying to hijack Android (to the extent possible), blackmail its backers using software patents, and spread a lot of FUD in the media.”Microsoft is now betting the farm on branding, calling Windows “10″ (as in the number 10, which sounds nice but says very little about anything of substance). Microsoft lies about the price, pretending that it is free, and it also tries to characterise it as “open”. According to this article, if you don’t get “Enterprise Edition” (just not limited by design), “You agree to receive automatic downloads without notice” (meaning that additional back doors can be remotely added for the NSA at any time). As FOSS Force put it, going under the headline “Yet Another Reason to Avoid Windows 10″: “It seems they’re still convinced they know what’s best for their users. So much so that the new Windows, due to be released next week, will have users click off on an EULA that pretty much gives Redmond carte blanche to update the system at will, which will include updating apps as well as Windows itself, with no real way to opt out — except for users of the Enterprise edition.”
Windows is in so much trouble right now that Microsoft is trying to hijack Android (to the extent possible), blackmail its backers using software patents, and spread a lot of FUD in the media. Microsoft also resorts to putting GNU/Linux under Microsoft’s control (as we pointed out last week), with or without patents, e.g. using SUSE. Articles by Microsoft boosters such as Kurt Mackie [1, 2] call this “love”, but it’s actually entrapment with total surveillance on GNU/Linux servers because, according to Microsoft, there might be something criminal in there. Microsoft, according to this new article, is scanning every single file, including photos (i.e. surveillance). Forbes (plutocrats’ propaganda) puts positive spin on it, trying to frame it as “Combat The Spread Of Child Pornography”, but that’s just a convenient excuse that so-called ‘cloud’ companies use to snoop on every single thing. Hopefully there won’t be enough foolish (even negligent) companies that give Microsoft (and NSA vis PRISM) access to everything on their GNU/Linux servers. According to some reports, Microsoft now pretends that change of password is what’s required because Skype has yet another gaping hole in it. That’s not really a solution of course, “but the company is yet to close what appears to be a gaping hole in its software.”
The writer, Kelly (usually FOSS-friendly and Microsoft-sceptical judging by her long history), says that “complaints are building up about the lack of communication coming out of the Microsoft camp regarding what seems to be a Skype security flaw.” Making the software insecure by design (or the encryption flawed) comes at a high cost. GNU/Linux users should immediately remove this malicious blob and never install it again. Moreover, nobody should even give Microsoft any leverage over GNU/Linux and Free software. Microsoft is a loser and an informant, hoping that being a surveillance company will give it a new (post-Windows) future. █
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Summary: The United Airlines Web site, which uses Microsoft software, gets cracked, but the corporate media ignores the role of the underlying platform
“United hackers given million free flight miles,” says the BBC right now. Go to the United Airlines Web site and you will immediately see that they use Windows (ASPX is exposed at the URL of the front page, which is bad security practice in its own right). The United Airlines site is hiding behind Akamai (i.e. GNU/Linux), but it still shows a lot about the back end, which suggests that Microsoft frameworks are largely to blame (maybe poor programming, too).
This comes at an interesting time because, to quote other British media, “Microsoft Ends Windows Server 2003 Support But What Now?”
“The bottom line is, nobody should ever trust Microsoft for hosting of any kind of site.”Well, any company that still chooses Microsoft for public-facing site hosting would have to be dumb or seriously irresponsible. Microsoft is now hoping to also become the host of GNU/Linux sites. Microsoft’s booster Pedro Hernandez re-announces Microsoft propaganda right now (“Microsoft Rolls Out Linux Support Services on Azure”) even though it is not new, it is merely entrapment by Microsoft. Microsoft’s propaganda network “1105 Media”, featuring Microsoft’s booster Kurt Mackie, adds to it [1, 2] and promotes hosting by Microsoft. The latest Microsoft Channel 9 propaganda (we saw quite a bit of that recently), goes as far as openwashing Azure.
The bottom line is, nobody should ever trust Microsoft for hosting of any kind of site. The company is incompetent and it puts the NSA’s interests (e.g. back doors) first. █
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