07.25.11

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Windows is Losing Ground, Linux-Hostile/Intolerant Service Pack Kicks In

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 3:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shutting competitors out

Cat behind the fence

Summary: In the operating systems battle, Microsoft appears to be losing and a new operating system update from Microsoft refuses to work alongside GNU/Linux

AS we showed some days ago, sales of Windows keep declining (for several consecutive quarters now) and it is reassuring to see that the corporate press too points that out (it was noted in quite a few places last week, along with the massive losses in Microsoft’s online and mobile divisions). In years to come we are likely to see the desktop becoming less important and Windows declining along with the desktop, whose channel Microsoft tames through kickbacks, predatory deals, and collusion (this site has provided evidence over the years, even leaks).

Daily news, some of which we publish even twice a day (bi-daily digests), ought to show that in the form of Android, Linux is starting to dominate not only phones but also tablets and now notebooks (Acer and ARM). In some sense, this dodges the OEM channel that Microsoft has distorted and sidelines Microsoft’s attempts to also impede dual-booting, as we showed here before [1, 2, 3, 4].

Steven Rosenberg helps show that Microsoft is still unwilling to play fair with GNU/Linux partitions:

Just when I’m thinking, “Windows sucks less than it used to,” here I am with my dual-boot system – Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on one partition, Debian Squeeze 64-bit in LVM (with encrypted swap and home partitions) on another.

Everything has worked well until the arrival of Service Pack 1.

It just won’t install. It won’t install via the Windows Update mechanism. It won’t install after downloading a 900 MB file.

A 900 MB file. For a service pack. Let’s ponder that for a minute.

Perhaps that’s better than wiping the GNU/Linux partition/s, but why is it that after so many years Microsoft still refuses to support a co-existence like GNU/Linux does. Won’t antitrust-prone authorities step in and get involved to assure some sort of compliance? Microsoft does not lack the capacity to get this done. If one person working on GRUB can accomplish the task, so can Microsoft (but it does not want to). Regulatory intervention is probably required here, but in the US, the head of the respective department has just stepped down. Microsoft needs a closer look from federal investigators. They already seem to be missing the offences associated with patent extortion.

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8 Comments

  1. BenderBendingRodriguez said,

    July 25, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Gravatar

    Windows Service Pack 1 is not installing probably because there were many Activation Circumvention exploits based on GRUB :) And M$ went the easy way and disabled SP1 if GRUB is there without checking if the exploit is there or not.

    twitter Reply:

    That is a plausible Microsoft lie. Do you have any links to a statement by the company? Have you ever seen a crack for Windows 7 that uses grub that you can point to?

    I can believe that Microsoft has decided to break any of their software if the company detects grub but I don’t believe that grub would actually be useful for breaking Microsoft’s silly kill switches. Anything that could be done from grub or a gnu/linux partition could also be done from a boot CD or host OS. According to this video, Microsoft gives users all the tools they need to run Windows 7 without activation and I suspect people wanting to torture themselves with Windows will find other clever ways to do it.

    Microsoft is foolish to sabotage dual boot set ups. Anyone still willing to run Windows is Microsoft’s best hope for revenue. Every time Microsoft pulls a stunt like this, they drive more people away.

    If Microsoft makes it difficult to run licensed versions of Windows from a VM, they will have no customers left. Competent IT shops will freeze their legacy XP software in gnu/linux VMs as they migrate away. If Microsoft leaves the door a little more open, foolish companies will make the expensive mistake of Migrating to Windows 7 instead. After the Bing Sting, competent IT people will quarantine Windows to safeguard company privacy. In the long run, this is the only future non free software has.

    BenderBendingRodriguez Reply:

    Well, that is in addition to fooling with foreign bootloaders. GRUB was being used to add a SLIC table to bios thus easily circumventing Windows Vista/7 kernel protections and was fooling the system to think it is genuine (SLIC tables exist in all PCs BIOSes with Windows preinstalled to ease the pain of activation to slaves ekhem customers of M$)

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    M$ has been making problems for dual boot systems for many years now:
    http://www.birdhouse.org/beos/byte/30-bootloader/

    It’s not a surprise that M$ would break things intentionally. Given the bad quality of their engineering it could be an accident, too, but the history shows a pattern of active malice.

  2. assemblerhead said,

    July 25, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Gravatar

    I know MS Service Packs / Updates are hostile to FOSS.

    WinXP SP3 (32bit) develops a strange intermittent error when you install either OpenOffice or LibreOffice. Your desktop theme is intermittently reset to XP OEM with a screen saver at boot up.

    Uninstall the office suite and the error goes away.

    WinXP SP2 (32Bit) does not have this error.

    There is no way this error was an accident.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Do you have a good link handy that describes the hostile effects?

    assemblerhead Reply:

    This is strictly personal experience on my own PC. I worked for years in IT. So I do keep my hands in at home.

    You do tend to notice the unwanted theme when you boot up your own computer.

    You also tend to notice when it no longer is inflicted on you.

    One other thing : Running CheckDisk seems to be the trigger for this intermittent error.

    WinXP SP2 (64bit) does not have this error either.

    As for links, not a clue.

  3. J.H. said,

    July 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Gravatar

    Windows 7 SP1 most likely won’t install because the partition it sits on is not active. If you set it to be active, it will install fine. It will also make the Windows bootloader the default, so a GRUB repair will be necessary afterwards…

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