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Microsoft Windows is Dying, British Government Should Spend No More Money on It

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Vista 8, Windows at 4:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kicking a dead horse no more


Summary: Time for the Establishment in the UK to abandon the out-of-support Windows XP (from 2001) and join the next generation of computing, which increasingly revolves around GNU/Linux and Free/libre software, supported by truly British companies

“Windows 8 market share grows just 2.5 percent in year since Windows XP’s demise,” says this new report from the British media, which bases its claim on Microsoft-friendly or Windows-centric sites (these are the sites that relinquish their logs and betray visitors’ privacy). Windows “XP use takes the biggest dip to 15.93, down just over one percent,” it says, showing that Vista 8 is not being adopted despite being the latest version of Windows.

“Pirate Party UK (PPUK) is probably the only political party that would actively promote GNU/Linux if it got elected or at least earned some seats.”Microsoft is clearly in a state of crisis as governments refuse to adopt Vista 8. Some parts of the British government are still clinging on to Windows XP (as foolish and irresponsible as that is); we recently wrote about the Met and about the NHS. Now it turns out that “Windows XP support deal [is] not renewed by [the British] government, which is an important step. They should migrate to GNU/Linux because currently they waste about ~$10,000 per Windows desktop per year, according to some estimates. Surely GNU/Linux can be both cheaper and more secure than that, but the cited article spins that in an alarmist fashion to make it sound as though the British government has no choice but to pay Microsoft some more. “The government has not renewed its £5.5m Windows XP support deal with Microsoft,” it says, “despite thousands of computers across Whitehall still running the ancient software, leaving them wide open to cyber attacks.”

“No. Use of Windows itself leaves PCs open to attack,” iophk remarked about it. Right now they should move to GNU/Linux, which is becoming a standard not just in the server room but also in devices such as phones and tablets. Large OEMs in the UK now distribute laptops with GNU/Linux preinstalled and supported.

Ignore the Microsoft propaganda which seeks to make the only choice a choice between versions of Windows. See this kind of propaganda from Mark Hachman again (one of the most recent Microsoft boosters in IDG), who probably played along with some kind of a PR campaign, based on our humble assessment. We see the same kind of marketing spam (disguised as ‘articles’) in other corporate media sites, grooming Microsoft and promoting Windows as though it’s still loved, despite Vista 8 marking the end of Windows monoculture (people are gradually moving elsewhere — other form factors and operating systems).

There is an election coming very soon and a new government will take form/shape, maybe a coalition government. Taxpayers’ money will hopefully not be wasted supporting a criminal company like Microsoft anymore; it’s time to end this heist, which depended on back room deals, lobbying, and various abuses that we have shown here before. Technically speaking, Windows in the government makes no sense at all. From a financial point of view, it’s more like suicide. Pirate Party UK (PPUK) is probably the only political party that would actively promote GNU/Linux if it got elected or at least earned some seats.


Microsoft Embracing, Extending, Extinguishing the Linux-centric Arduino and Raspberry Pi, Making Them Windows Devices

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 2:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When food becomes FUD


Summary: Raspberry Pi and Arduino carry water for Microsoft as part of the publicity stunts for Vista 10, the operating system which Microsoft tells investors is “marketing”

More Microsoft infiltrations (the "embrace, extend extinguish" type) were announced in this week’s Microsoft conference. They’re paying for it. It goes further than Android, which Microsoft is now trying to engulf by assimilation (this article from a Microsoft-leaning site called it “huge news”).

Today’s other news (not about Android) says “Microsoft woos makers: Windows 10 for RPi 2, Arduino”, which means taking them away from Linux. Microsoft is “Embracing, Extending, Extinguishing” (the old trick), as was done previously to OLPC. Arduino and Raspberry Pi are making a huge mistake here, but Microsoft is almost certainly paying them to play along. Back in the days we wrote that “Raspberry Pi Represents the Rise of Freedom-Respecting Embedded GNU/Linux” and months ago, right after Raspberry Pi climbed to Microsoft’s bed we wrote that “OLPC Lessons Not Learned: Imposing Microsoft Windows on Young Students Using Embrace, Extend and Extinguish of Raspberry Pi“.

Microsoft is still bribing (or ‘incentivising’, to use a euphemism) those who are spreading Linux, using the guise of ‘deals’. The bribed are selling out for a quick buck, just as Novell did back in 2006.

Raspberry Pi may soon be increasingly used as just a Windows terminal, based on articles from Microsoft boosters [1, 2, 3]. Is this a good thing? If Raspberry Pi becomes just a terminal for Windows, then what’s the point of Linux? Microsoft is now working to remove Linux altogether, making Raspberry Pi just another Windows computer. See articles like “Get your Windows 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 2 while it’s hot”, among others [1, 3, 4, 5, 6]. “Microsoft releases Windows 10 IoT developer tool for Raspberry Pi 2,” according to one source, so it’s all about spreading Windows to a lot of devices.

Arduino sells out just like Raspberry Pi, based on reports like this . To quote: “During Build 2015 this week Microsoft and Arduino have announced a new partnership that will provide makers, hobbyists and developers with the ability to use an “Arduino Certified” Windows 10 software package.”

What a misuse of the word “Certified”. Nothing needs to be Linux-certified, it’s just Microsoft marketing jargon. Also see articles like “Microsoft goes big on Arduino boards” and “​Windows 10 gets ‘Arduino-certified’ with two new open source libraries”. There is nothing “open source” about it. Gross openwashing.

This is all part of the Vista 10 marketing blitz, which Microsoft itself admits is all about marketing, not substance. It’s a big pile of lies.


Windows Recipes for Disaster (Met Police and Fukushima)

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 4:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Microsoft Windows mentality and strong dependencies continue to cause immeasurable damage that costs people a lot in terms money and in terms of health

London police (Met Police) continues to waste money on a platform with back doors (accessible by a foreign nation), according to this report from The Inquirer.

“THE UK METROPOLITAN POLICE,” it says, “has confirmed it will be seeking an extended support deal with Microsoft, after it was revealed that it is still running a staggering 35,000-plus machines powered by Windows XP almost 13 months after the operating system was degraded to end of life.” They are paying vast amounts of money to merely maintain a terrible operating system which is unfit for purpose. What a heist! Microsoft makes a lot of money from obsolescence. It’s the same in the NHS. They must both migrate to GNU/Linux to justify the amount of money they cost British taxpayers, never mind privacy aspects. London police has been stuck with Microsoft Windows for quite some time and there have been security-related incidents due to it. How much is too much? It’s a matter of national security, not just cost.

In other news, Fukushima’s nuclear facilities used a 10 year-old operating system, Windows XP, during the meltdown in 2011, according to this other report from The Inquirer. “Fukushima nuclear plant ordered to upgrade from Windows XP” says the headline, so presumably they mean other versions of Windows rather than GNU/Linux. People who think that it’s acceptable to run Windows in nuclear facilities should recall BP, whose platform caught on fire due to Windows (at least the alerting failed, due to Windows blue screens of death). With GE’s involvement in Fukushima’s nuclear facilities it might be worth noting that GE recently dumped Windows when it comes to its CT scanners, which emit a lot of radiation. Someone who works at GE told me about this migration some months ago. They are moving to GNU/Linux.

“These need to be looking at FOSS,” wrote to us iophk, “including transitioning suites like Zentyal The exit costs need to be included in any upcoming assessments of considerations.”


Microsoft’s Plot to Associate Windows with ‘Open Source’ is Proving Effective, Despite Being Just a Big Lie

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Windows at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.” ~Joseph Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels

Summary: A look at the latest headlines which can lead to a false perception that Microsoft is now in bed with ‘Open Source’

A couple of days ago we wrote about Microsoft’s successful attempts to associate Windows with "Open Source" (Free/libre software renamed) so as to get chosen by politicians who pursue “Open Source”. Mono has become a key part in the plot to openwash .NET and Windows development (proprietary), whereas something which we called googlebombing has been used to give the impression that Windows is going “Open Source”. Even more than a week later (it started with Condé Nast’s Cade Metz) there are still headlines along those lines. One GNU/Linux proponent says that “Linux is not going anywhere, no matter how progressive Microsoft thinks it will become.” He (Nestor) said, quite correctly in fact, that the “power of the Linux platform doesn’t reside in the fact that it’s open source, although it does play an important part. It’s all about the community of developers who want to make things better, and most of the time they don’t want anything in return, other than recognition for their work. This is not something that you see in the Windows dev community that aims to make money.” The headline is a bit loaded; it says “Why It Doesn’t Matter for Linux If Windows Becomes Open Source” as if there is actually a chance of it happening; this serves Microsoft’s googlebombing strategy. So does Nestor E. Arellano, who ended up reposting the Microsoft openwashing from J. Peter Bruzzese, the Microsoft MVP who recently became IDG staff too (for Microsoft promotion). IDG is openwashing Windows and so do other circles. Without opening up a single line of code Microsoft has now left many people with the impression that Windows is “Open Source” or is going “Open Source”. How cleverly-implemented a propaganda campaign.

“Without opening up a single line of code Microsoft has now left many people with the impression that Windows is “Open Source” or is going “Open Source”.”For those who think that Windows is “Open Source”-friendly, read this new rant from ownCloud. Despite SUSE/Novell roots, the project is dumping Windows. In its own words: “The Windows Server platform has caused a lot of headaches and has required many work-arounds. For one, there is only support for 32bit PHP on Windows Server, so it is not able to reliably deal with files larger than 2 Gigabyte – a pretty fundamental limitation. On top of that, the Windows platform suffers from file name encoding problems that can not be dealt with properly, causing file syncing problems especially with the client and occasional file operation fails, broken user avatars and even issues with the handling of encryption keys – all things that have the potential to lose user data.”

Here is an article about it which said: “On April 15, the development team behind the powerful ownCloud self-hosted cloud server, have announced that the upcoming ownCloud Server 8.1 application will no longer support the Microsoft Windows operating system.”

So, not only is Microsoft Windows not “Open Source”; it is also hostile towards or compatible with “Open Source” applications. The world does not need “Open Source” Windows. It doesn’t need Windows at all.

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Microsoft Windows Remotely Crashed, Remotely Hijacked, But Still No Logo and No Branding for the Bugs

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 6:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Windows maintains its reputation as a back doors haven, but the media is still not highlighting the severity of this issue, instead focusing on accidental bugs in Free software, even very old (and already fixed) bugs

AS our previous post stated, there is an effort to keep insecurity debates around Free software, even if by going a whole year back to the "Heartbleed" brand. “More branded bug FUD” can be found here, according to a reader of ours. So why are journalists still so stubborn and so eager to keep us talking about Free software as the risk when Microsoft deliberately makes its software insecure as if the priority is to keep remote access (by anyone) in tact (some countries now recognise this)? Why are there no brands for Microsoft's critical bugs these days? Free software is a big threat to the Security State, not to security, so a large number of moles can be suspected or even assumed. How many SSL flaws have already affected Microsoft and how many of them got “branded” in the same way as the OpenSSL bug? Some journalists don’t even name Windows, to spare Microsoft the embarrassment.

“Some journalists don’t even name Windows, to spare Microsoft the embarrassment.”Another back door/bug door in Windows has just been found. As iophk told us yesterday: “No logo or name?” No, it’s Windows. Remote access by anyone is a given any day.

As this article noted the other day, “Microsoft abruptly ended advance notification of security patches in January.”

In other words, Microsoft does not even inform those affected by serious bugs anymore. And in other news (yesterday), “HTTP ‘pings of death’ are spewing across web to kill Windows servers” (not the first of this kind).

To quote the article: “The SANS Institute has warned Windows IIS web server admins to get patching as miscreants are now exploiting a flaw in the software to crash websites.”

“For Microsoft,” says an IDG report, “the vulnerabilities just keep popping up, and appear to be surfacing more quickly than ever before.

“Like last month, Microsoft issued a fairly large number of security bulletins for April Patch Tuesday—11 bulletins addressing 26 vulnerabilities. Last month brought 14 bulletins from Microsoft, covering 43 vulnerabilities.”

Remember that Microsoft does not even report all the vulnerabilities. It games the system by making up bogus numbers (silent patches).


Microsoft is Still Googlebombing the Term Open Source and Fooling Politicians Who Now Think Microsoft is Open Source

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Windows at 11:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pretending to be a journalist, actually a Microsoft ‘asset’

Todd Bishop and Bill Gates
Todd Bishop meets his maker

Summary: Microsoft’s attempt to assimilate (to confuse) bears some fruit and the Microsoft-linked media plays a considerable role in it

SOME READERS of ours, commenting on a recent headline, were not yet familiar with the term Google bomb, which was mentioned here over the weekend. When we say that Microsoft is “Googlebombing” (iophk’s interpretation of it) we mean to say that it is trying to make proprietary software come up (highly ranked) in search results for “open source”. It’s rebranding or reinvention by confusion and ambiguity.

Microsoft’s booster Todd Bishop (we have written a lot about him over the years, including financial support from Microsoft) continues this ugly campaign by openwashing a Windows font (yes, font!). Well, to be accurate, this font isn’t even a part of Windows, but it doesn’t prevent Bishop, who literally meets and chats with the highest-ranked Microsoft officials (like Brad Smith the other day), from spreading these misleading headlines in Microsoft-linked media, only to be repeated by other Microsoft boosting Web sites.

“It’s rebranding or reinvention by confusion and ambiguity.”We have grown rather tired of seeing Microsoft’s reckless and shameless attempts to associate itself with the competition. That’s how Microsoft hopes to devour the competition. We were disappointed to see complicity — not merely a waste of space — in Linux Journal today. It’s about .NET. Linux Journal is labeling it “FOSS” despite the reality which very is different, as explained here repeatedly before. Those who insist that Microsoft .NET is “Open Source” should try to fork it (not possible), then redistribute. Good luck with the patents. Phoronix also helped the openwashing of .NET a day or so ago. Microsoft is using other people’s code to openwash .NET, so Michael Larabel jumped into the trap and made a story out of it. “They also intend to improve LLVM’s support for C#,” he writes. This is more like an “embrace and extend” approach. Microsoft is trying to make Free software merely a client (or tool) of proprietary software. What’s there to celebrate?

Based on what Martin told us yesterday in the IRC channels, Microsoft is now pressuring governments in Europe to adopt proprietary software with data in NSA PRISM (Azure) by pretending it’s Open Source. The “look but don’t touch” interpretation of ‘Open Source’ by Microsoft is, based on sources, now being used to bamboozle governments in Europe. If people who demand Free software (“Open Source” they say) don’t understand what it means — let alone understand technology on general — then they’re easy to fool. The pressure (lobbying) from Microsoft in Europe is capable, combined with enough openwashing and Googlebombing (misleading headlines), surely fools EU politicians. Microsoft is reportedly (the reports are not in English) using back room (closed doors) deals in East Europe to sell back doors (pun intended) to the EU, reminding us that Microsoft is still fighting very hard against Free software and GNU/Linux. Microsoft is also fighting very hard to keep it all secret, bias the media, and so on.

Don’t be Microsoft’s “useful idiot”. Microsoft is not a friend, it’s a predator.

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Back Doors/Bug Doors in All Versions of Microsoft Windows Need a Name, a Logo, and Branding Too

Posted in FUD, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 10:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft gets a free pass for insecurity

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

Summary: All versions of Microsoft Windows are found to have been insecure since 1997, but the bug responsible for this is not named as candidate for back door access, let alone named (with logo and marketing) like far less severe bugs in Free/libre software such as OpenSSL

WHILE many journalists still refuse to call out Windows (see this new piece from Dan Goodin, who writes about crackers hoarding Windows hosts by the millions — in botnets — while mentioning the word “Windows” only once, very deep inside the article), some have no choice by to acknowledge that not every single computer runs Windows and therefore we should call out Windows when it’s clearly to blame.

“This wouldn’t be the first time it happens; recall how Google had to alert Microsoft for 3 months about a serious flaw while Microsoft did absolutely nothing (as if the intention was to keep Windows insecure, albeit secretly, very much like Apple).”Although there is no “branding” yet (as Microsoft buddies from a a Microsoft-linked firm like to do to Free/libre software bugs), there is a very serious bug in all versions of Windows (even the one still in development) that Microsoft’s allies at the NSA must be very happy about, especially as the bug is 18 years old (meaning that Windows has allowed remote access since 1997, or around the time Microsoft was seeking to appease the US government after it had shamelessly broken many laws).

The bug was found not by Microsoft but by this team (press release), which probably has no access to Windows source code. This wouldn’t be the first time it happens; recall how Google had to alert Microsoft for 3 months about a serious flaw while Microsoft did absolutely nothing (as if the intention was to keep Windows insecure, albeit secretly, very much like Apple).

ISPs should now restrict or ban Windows use, as it poses a huge risk (botnets and DDOS, never mind risk to all data stored on machines running Windows). Here is some early coverage of this [1, 2], some correctly emphasising that it’s a 18-year-old vulnerability [1, 2].

Let’s see if this starts a big debate about the insecurity of proprietary software (as other bugs with “branding” did to Free software, by means of gross generalisation). This “New Security Flaw Spans All Versions Of Windows” (similar wording in this headline). 18 years, eh? It even predates 9/11. It’s older than some readers of this Web site.

Watch this disgraceful piece titled “Will Microsoft’s Security Measures in Windows 10 Tarnish Open-Source Development?”

Yes, it’s more propaganda; The disingenuous openwashing of Windows continues, as we’ll show in our next post.

“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”

Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive


GNU/Linux is Crushing Windows, So Microsoft Leaps Ahead to X+2 Vapourware (Two Versions Ahead Into the Future)

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Windows at 5:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“In the face of strong competition, Evangelism’s focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Summary: Microsoft continues to pile up bogus claims and empty promises in an effort to stall migrations to GNU/Linux

THE unethical strategy of today’s Microsoft revolves around distortion of truth, targeting in particular the selling points of alternatives, such as GNU/Linux. Microsoft lies about Windows being “free” (gratis), being “Open Source” (libre), and being ‘like’ Linux or lightweight.

Microsoft’s longtime friend and propaganda site Neowin now proceeds to version X+1+1 (or X+2) vapourware marketing. It happened or at least started almost a week ago. Microsoft has a seemingly clever plan. There is even a logo and an image. Not a product. A plan. Logo. Image. Vapourware basically. We expected the media to debate it in the coming days and use it to badmouth GNU/Linux. We stated this publicly at the time and we were soon proven correct. This post will present a comprehensive summary of some of this latest Microsoft propaganda.

Is Microsoft freezing the market? Well, it wants us to wait several more years for a version of Windows that is not even developed yet.

Cade Metz, who was behind the “open source Windows” publicity stunt (as noted earlier this morning), has seemingly been appointed Condé Nast’s Microsoft propagandist (unofficial role). Another stunt right now is titled “Microsoft Is Making a Stripped-Down Windows to Rival Linux”. It was widely spread (very quickly in fact), not only by Microsoft boosters.

In the war against GNU/Linux, Microsoft’s PR network (Microsoft has a vast peripheral army of PR companies that it summons to fool the world and derail the competition) wants us to believe that Windows is free, cheap, open source, etc. All are lies of course, but here again we see the lie about Windows becoming light. In the future. Maybe. That’s what Microsoft promises. As it did before. They even call it “Nano Server” (article by Timothy Prickett Morgan) and misuse the word “containers”, probably making Docker (with Red Hat roots) blink a couple of times.

Ben Kepes, Joab Jackson and a whole large group of Microsoft boosters and Microsoft-connected sites disseminated this nonsense. Mary Jo Foley did her best, joined by Microsoft boosting Web sites and boosters whose only agenda has always been to promote Microsoft. This was not, however, contained (pun intended) within the Microsoft propaganda network and we found it spilling elsewhere [, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14], contributing to that awkward perception that Windows is “light”, much like GNU/Linux servers. Don’t believe the nonsense. Remember all the promises Microsoft previously made in respect to future versions of Windows.

“The purpose of announcing early like this is to freeze the market at the OEM and ISV level. In this respect it is JUST like the original Windows announcement…

“One might worry that this will help Sun because we will just have vaporware, that people will stop buying 486 machines, that we will have endorsed RISC but not delivered… So, Scott, do you really think you can fight that avalanche?”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft

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