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Found 71 results

  1. Windows 10 Had More Vulnerabilities than Windows 7 Last Year This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s less secure though Specifically, the study shows that last year, Microsoft addressed a total of 729 vulnerabilities in its software, more than the 703 confirmed for 2015. What’s a bit worrying, however, is that this is nearly the double of the vulnerability count in 2014, when Microsoft found and fixed 383 security flaws. The research also indicates that Internet Explorer continues to be the Microsoft application with the biggest number of vulnerabilities, with an all-time chart indicating that the browser was affected by no less than 1,261 flaws. Surprisingly, however, Windows 10 is the runner-up, with Microsoft’s latest operating system getting the second spot with 705 vulnerabilities. Windows 10 was launched in July 2015 and 2016 was its first full year on the market. Windows Server 2012 is third with 660 vulnerabilities, while Windows 7 comes next with 647 flaws. Windows Vista is fifth with 621. Users not exposed despite the bigger number of vulnerabilities What’s essential to know is that although the number of vulnerabilities increased in Windows 10, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the latest operating system is less secure than its predecessors. Most of these vulnerabilities were privately reported to Microsoft and they were fixed before any exploits went public, so users weren’t exposed to any attacks. At the same time, Microsoft is also paying particular focus to making Windows 10 capable of mitigating zero-day vulnerabilities even when no patch is available. Recently, the company revealed that Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which was launched in August 2016, managed to cope with attacks aimed at exploiting unpatched vulnerabilities in the operating system, keeping users secure until Microsoft actually delivered a fix. Furthermore, Microsoft has already started downplaying Windows 7, explaining that it’s less secure than Windows 10 and pointing to the security features that its latest operating system has and which are missing because of the obvious technical limitations on its predecessors. Source
  2. Tails 3.0 Anonymous Live OS Enters Beta, Ships with Linux 4.9 and GNOME 3.22 It will only work on 64-bit desktop and laptop computers The next version of the Tails 2.x series will be 2.11, currently scheduled for launch in early March, but it looks like the development of the Tails 3.0 major release continues in the background, and now users can get their hands on the Beta build. Tails 3.0 Beta comes two and a half months after the Alpha milestone released last year in November, when the project's developers announced that they would drop support for 32-bit systems, allowing the amnesic incognito live system to run only on 64-bit PCs. As usual, we took the Beta version of Tails 3.0 for a test drive to see what's new, and we can report that it's based on the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" operating system and it's powered by the long-term supported Linux 4.9 kernel. GNOME 3.22 is the default desktop environment with redesigned Greeter However, probably the coolest new features of Tails 3.0 is the revamped Tails Greeter, a small dialog that will pop-up when you run the live system for the first time on your computer, helping you set up the default language, keyboard layout, formats, and other settings. Of course, Tails 3.0 will come pre-installed with all the anonymity tools that you love, including the recently introduced OnionShare utility for anonymous file sharing. The latest Tor and Tor Browser applications are also included to keep your identity safe from hackers and hide from government agencies. Numerous bugs have been squashed in this new pre-release version of Tails 3.0, but many known issues remain unresolved, and you can read all about them before jumping on the beta testing bandwagon in the official release notes. Without further ado, you can download the Tails 3.0 Beta Live ISO image right now, write it on a USB flash drive, and take it for a test drive on your modern, 64-bit computer. If you decide to stick with it, please keep in mind that it's a pre-release version, not suitable for production use, despite the fact that it will receive security updates. Source
  3. Linux Mint 18.1 Released The Linux Mint team has just released the long term support release Linux Mint 18.1 as a KDE and Xfce edition to the public. The new version of Linux Mint brings software updates and refinements mostly. First, some information on Linux Mint 18.1 being a long term support release. The Mint team will support Linux Mint 18.1 with security updates until 2021. Future versions of Linux Mint will use the same base package as Linux Mint 18.1 until 2018. This ensures that it is easy to update to new versions. Starting in 2018, the Linux Mint team will work on a new base package and focus its efforts on it. The previous versions of Linux Mint will be supported until 2017 (Linux Mint 13), or 2019 (Linux Mint 17.x). Linux Mint 18.1 Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon, released earlier this month If you are upgrading from Linux Mint 18, you can use the built-in Update Manager for that as it offers the most convenient experience: Select Menu, and there Administration > Update Manager. Click on Refresh once the Update Manager interface has loaded. Click on "install updates" afterwards to start the process. Check out our detailed how to upgrade Linux Mint guide for additional information on the process. Some features of the new Mint version are available in the KDE and the Xfce release. Many are edition specific however. Linux Mint 18.1 What's New The Update Manager may display the Origin of an update in the latest version. You need to enable it under View > Visible Columns > Origin in the Update Manager menu before it becomes available. Kernel updates are highlighted better in the Update Manager, and when you open the kernel window, kernels are now sorted by version and recommendations are given for the most stable, and the most secure kernel. The Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce edition ships with updates to built-in applications, and even some changes. Xed for instance saw improvements to the on-page search functionality. Search opens at the bottom now instead of the top so that it does not obstruct part of the text anymore. It is real-time now as well as it finds text while you are typing, and you may tap on the Enter-key at any point in time to jump to the first result quickly. The editor supports dark themes fully in the latest version, and highlights to you if it is run with administrative privileges. Xplayer, the media player, may blank secondary displays now when playing a video in full screen. Other improvements include full compatibility with EXIF orientation tags, and that the rotation plugin and the subtitle plugin are enabled by default. The media player Banshee was replaced with Rhythmbox in Linux Mint 18.1. The reason given was that Banshee "suffered many regressions lately". Other improvements in Linux Mint 18.1 Software Sources supports anycast now which picks an appropriate server near your physical location automatically when selected opposed to selecting one of the available mirrors near your location manually. New selection of background desktop images. KDE Only: KDE Plasma 5.8 desktop environment. Xfce Only: You can navigate categories in the application menu using the keyboard now. The menu supports web search actions, for instance !w Ghacks to search Wikipedia for the term Ghacks. Xfce Only: Language settings checks are improved, as localized versions of "a lot more" packages are now installed. The Input Methods configuration screen has been improved to make the selection easier and better understandable for novice users. You can check out the release notes for Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce and KDE here. Download links for the latest ISO image of Linux Mint 18.1 are provided on the official site. This is useful if you want to test the new version in a Live CD or virtual environment first, or install it from scratch. Source
  4. Tails 2.10 Amnesic Live System Adds OnionShare Tool for Anonymous File Sharing Includes Tor to 0.2.9.9 and Tor Browser 6.5 If you want to stay hidden online and you are on the go, the best way is to use Tails. The Debian-based Live ISO images can be easily written on a USB flash drive that you can carry with you anywhere, connect it to your computer, and access all your favorite websites through the Tor anonymity network. The latest version, Tails 2.10, has been in development for the past five weeks, since Tails 2.9.1, and a first Release Candidate arrived only ten days ago. New features include the OnionShare tool that lets you share files anonymously, circuit view functionality in the Tor Browser, as well as support for exFAT file systems. The OnionCircuits tool that lets users view the status of Tor has now been made compatible with the popular Orca open-source screen reader and magnifier utility, and Tails 2.10 comes packed with all the latest security updates from the Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie" software repositories. Tor to 0.2.9.9, Tor Browser 6.5, and Linux kernel 4.8 The new Tails version is using the latest Tor 0.2.9.9 and Tor Browser 6.5 technologies, along with a completely revamped Tor control port filter, allowing users to safely share files anonymously using OnionShare and use the new circuit view of Tor Browser. The Icedove 45.6.0 email and news client is also present in Tails 2.10. Under the hood, we can't help but notice that Tails 2.10 is powered by the Linux 4.8 kernel series, which should improve the hardware support, but, unfortunately, it reached end of life earlier this month. We do hope that the next Tails release, versioned 2.11, will come with the long-term supported Linux 4.9 kernel. Among other noteworthy changes, Tails 2.10 replaces the AdBlock Plus add-on with uBlock Origin on Tor Browser, uses Debian GNU/Linux's Onion services, renames the "Live" bootloader menu entry to "Tails," removes Nyx (arm), and replaces the "failsafe" bootloader entry with "Troubleshooting Mode." If you're using Tails on a newer AMD Radeon GPU, you should know that Tails 2.10 comes pre-installed with the open-source AMDGPU graphics driver. Existing users can upgrade to the new version as we speak, if they're using Tails 2.7 or 2.9.1. The rest of the world can download the new Tails 2.10 32-bit ISO image right now with install instructions. Tails 2.11 is currently scheduled to land on March 3, 2017. Source
  5. The fate of Windows 10 lies in the hands of users that are still deeply in love with Windows 7. Windows 7 This year's CES saw plenty of shiny new Windows 10 devices on display, from the acrobat Lenovo Yoga through to HP's all-in-one Sprout Pro. Hardware like this will certainly boost the fortunes of Windows 10. Sleek new designs and form factors, and the rise of two-in-one devices like the Surface Pro that can function both as a PC and a tablet, are giving consumers and businesses a reason to invest in Microsoft's latest operating system. And Windows 10 has made some decent inroads thus far: it now accounts for somewhere around a quarter of PCs accessing the internet as measured by NetMarketShare. All data like this needs to be looked at in terms of trends rather than details, of course, but in December 2016 - the most current data available, Windows 7 stood at 48 percent, Windows 10 had 24 percent, Windows 8.1 held seven percent, Windows XP nine percent, and Windows 8 had just two percent. Contrast that with June 2015, just before Windows 10 arrived. Windows 7 stood at 61 percent, Windows 8.1 at 13 percent, Windows XP had 12 percent and Windows 8 just three percent. A few obvious points leap out. First, Windows XP usage hasn't changed very much at all as a result of the arrival of Windows 10. That's hardly surprising: Windows XP wasn't part of the free consumer upgrade programme that Microsoft offered. Windows XP is long, long past its sell-by date, and most of the hardware running XP is probably so old that is can't be upgraded anyway. If users are happy running such an antique and insecure operating system they'll probably keep using it until the hardware gives up or the Sun expands to finally vapourise the Earth, whichever is sooner. Second, Microsoft did a good job encouraging people to move away from Windows 8. Perhaps they didn't need much encouraging, considering the reception that Windows 8 got, but it's all but vanished. For Windows 8.1 its (unsurprisingly) is a similar story and usage has fallen rapidly, which presumably means many users have been happy to take their (largely) free upgrade to Windows 10. But what about Windows 7? This is the big one, of course. Usage has decline according to the NetMarketShare data - from 61 percent to 48 percent over 18 months, which looks at first glance like a rapid decline. But the big question for Microsoft is whether that erosion of Windows 7 usage will continue. Looking at the numbers more carefully, most of the drop in Windows 7 usage came in the first year that Windows 10 was available: since April 2016 Windows 7 usage has stayed pretty stable. That's likely because most of the switchers were consumers. More cautious types and businesses in particular have held fire. In Windows 7, Microsoft built a good product that companies like. It's now tried and tested, works with their existing infrastructure and their users are confident using it. And they worry about how big a leap it is to Windows 10. More will no doubt consider the upgrade as Windows 7 heads towards the end of its lifecycle (Microsoft's extended support, which included security updates, ends in January 2020). Unless Microsoft finds a compelling set of reasons to encourage upgrades, Windows 7 is will go the same way as Windows XP and become an operating system that just won't die. That could become a realy headache for Microsoft if it happens. Microsoft of course would very much like as many users as possible of Windows 10, if only to help ignite the app ecosystem it is trying to build. Much hangs on the reception of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update which some think will be the final push that starts enterprise rollouts. And one Microsoft exec has already warned that Windows 7 "does not meet the requirements of modern technology, nor the high security requirements of IT department." Microsoft has big ambitions for Windows 10, even if it has admitted it won't now hit its target of one billion Windows 10 devices by 2018. Just when it does hit that target will depend greatly on persuading Windows 7 fans to upgrade sooner, rather than later - or not at all. Article source
  6. How to Opt Out of iOS Beta Updates and Reinstall iOS 10.2.1 on Your iPhone/iPad The tutorial also applies to iPod touch devices iOS 10.2.1 is the first point release to the iOS 10.2 series. It received a total of four Beta/Public Beta versions during its entire development cycle since mid-December last year. The last one was seeded only ten days ago. Like many of us running the iOS 10.2.1 Public Beta 4 release, it turns out you'll not receive the final version of iOS 10.2.1, which some will say it's identical with the last Beta, but what if your device is not working properly and you are still experiencing bugs. For example, we found out that, since we've installed the last Public Beta versions of iOS 10.2.1 on our iPhone 6 device, some applications were very slow to load and not so responsive like they used to be. Also, we noticed major battery drains. Removing the iOS Public Beta profile If you're experiencing the same issues on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch device, it's time to refresh it by reinstalling the operating system. First off, make sure that you have a recent iCloud backup, or at least a local backup in iTunes. It's time to remove the Public Beta profile (you can always reinstall it at a later time if you still want to use upcoming Beta versions), so open the Settings app, go to General, scroll down to the Profile section and click it. Then, remove the iOS Beta profile by pressing the red "Delete Profile" button. Restoring the device and reinstalling iOS Connect your device to your personal computer, where the latest version of iTunes needs to be installed (make sure you have the latest version installed, 12.5.5 at the moment of writing). With the device connected to your PC, enter DFU mode. Entering DFU Mode is as simple as pressing and holding both the Power and Home buttons on your device until you see the Apple logo on the screen. Release the Power button but keep holding the Home one until the "Connect to iTunes" logo appears. iTunes will soon offer you the option to "Restore and Update" the device. Click the "Restore and Update" button and the application will tell you that iOS 10.2.1 is available. Click OK and let it download the update. Once iTunes completes downloading iOS 10.2.1 from Apple's servers, it will soon begin installing it on your device. You don't have to do anything at this point, just don't touch anything and make sure your computer has enough battery or that it's plugged in. Reset and erase the device to restore it from a backup Just before iOS 10.2.1 finishes installing, iTunes will display a message saying "Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked. To set up and sync this iPhone, click Continue." Click the "Continue" button and iTunes will immediately detect your device. At this point, you need to set up your device by pressing the Home button. Choose your preferred language and region. On the next screen, you'll have to connect to your Wi-Fi network. Then, enable the location services, or simply don't. It doesn't matter, because we're going to reset and erase the device anyway, so there's no need to set up Touch ID now. When you reach the home screen, open the Settings app, go to the Reset section and press on "Erase All Content and Settings." Erase your device, which will bring you to the setup screen again. So, this time, make sure that you set up everything correctly, including Touch ID, location services, etc., and, after entering your Apple ID, you can finally choose to restore from a backup. Select the restore method you want (we prefer the iCloud backup) and let your device restore the backup, which can take a few good minutes. Once everything is restored, you can unlock your device and access the home screen. Most of the apps will continue to download and install in the background, so you'll have to wait a little longer for everthing to be exactly like it was before you've started all this. Congratulations, you refreshed your device and have the final iOS 10.2.1 installed, too. Source
  7. At last – we’ve done it! I’ve anticipated this day for ages – the day when the first commercially available mass market hardware device based our own secure operating system landed on my desk. And here she is, the beaut. This unassuming black box is a protected layer 3 switch powered by Kaspersky OS and designed for networks with extreme requirements for data security. And there’s plenty more in the pipeline where this came from too, meaning the tech will be applied in other Internet-connected bits of kit, aka the Internet of Things (IoT). Why? Because this OS just so happens to be ideal for applications where a small, optimized and secure platform is required. The operating system boasts several distinctive features. Let me run through the main ones briefly… First, it’s based on microkernel architecture, which allows to assemble ‘from blocks’ different modifications of the operating system depending on a customer’s specific requirements. Second, there’s its built-in security system, which controls the behavior of applications and the OS’s modules. In order to hack this platform a cyber-baddie would need to break the digital signature, which – any time before the introduction of quantum computers – would be exorbitantly expensive. Third, everything has been built from scratch. Anticipating your questions: not even the slightest smell of Linux. All the popular operating systems aren’t designed with security in mind, so it’s simpler and safer to start from the ground up and do everything correctly. Which is just what we did. And just the other day we celebrated the birth of this new OS! The very first meeting held regarding this project took place 14 (fourteen!) years ago almost to the day – on November 11! Not that we’ve been diligently coding and testing since then; in that amount of time with sufficient resources you could see several projects through to the end and update and improve them all several times over! No, in the first several years not a single line of code was written. We met from time to time, discussed technical details, architecture, and drew pretty pictures on large sheets of paper. Then we built up a team – very slowly, since OS specialists are few and far between. And onwards we move, slowly but surely. Fast forward several years, and today we aren’t simply celebrating the latest team discussion, but our first commercial hardware device actually ready! November 11 is of course easy to remember as it’s 11-11. Which is birthday of our big, ambitious project. Indeed, within the company the project is known simply as ’11-11′. 14 years is a serious age for any project. Looking back it seems so quaint now how at the start we argued about the architecture and the basic parameters of the future OS and felt a little bit like… alchemists with compasses trying to make squares out of circles. The question to which we were searching for an answer was this: how can we build an operating system that will be impossible to hack in principle? Is it possible in practice? Meanwhile, all around this alchemy folks were fairly astonished: just what were we thinking? We’d decided to make an unhackable platform and ruin our other security business model?! Indeed, we were often asked why such an OS is really necessary. Here’s why: Once, cyberthreats targeting critical infrastructure, telecoms and other modern-life-essential systems looked mostly like science fiction. No one – besides us paranoids (actually, and also the most advanced hackers, cyber-spies and cyber-militaries) really had any idea that data security could directly affect physical security. Nor were they aware that literally all digital systems in existence around the world can be hacked. After all, we started our project long before Stuxnet, and even before Die Hard 4, where the cyber-baddies hacked and wrecked critical infrastructure. But as time has passed the general level of understanding of the threats has gradually – and increasingly conspicuously – risen… The serious problem of security of critical infrastructure started to be discussed at high-profile international conferences. Then, gradually, the topic started to spread into the imaginations of Hollywood (Die Hard 4, Skyfall…). Next, literally in the last year to 18 months, attention has risen still further – exponentially – to finally make the topic of cybersecurity one of the main topics at various top-level international summits and meetings of world leaders. Meanwhile, quietly in the background all this time, alchemists KL experts were toiling away in their workshops edging ever nearer to the unveiling of our very own OS! We realized that the operating system needed to have lots of different applications. First, it should provide a basis for the development of protected industrial control systems. Second, it should provide a basis for the development of protected embedded devices, including the IoT. Btw, the recent DDoS attack on Dyn’s DNS servers, which brought down sites like Amazon and Twitter, was carried out by a botnet that had infected ‘smart’ (actually, rather stupid:) devices like IP-cameras. The attack generated an astounding 1.2 terabytes a second – the biggest DDoS in history. So, I’m hoping it’s obvious by now how protecting the IoT and, of course, critical infrastructure (industry, transport, telecoms, etc.) from IT threats is simply mandatory. I also hope it’s clear that it’s better – no matter how difficult – to build IoT/infrastructure devices from the very beginning in such a way that hacking them is practically impossible. Indeed, that is a fundamental goal with Kaspersky OS. That was all mostly a teaser really. Coming up soon – more details about our secure operating system. Article source
  8. Antivirus Firm Kaspersky launches Its Own Secure Operating System The popular cyber security and antivirus company Kaspersky has unveiled its new hack-proof operating system: Kaspersky OS. The new operating system has been in development for last 14 years and has chosen to design from scratch rather than relying on Linux. Kaspersky OS makes its debut on a Kraftway Layer 3 Switch, CEO Eugene Kaspersky says in his blog post, without revealing many details about its new operating system. The Layer of 3-switch is the very first tool for running the Kaspersky OS, which is designed for networks with extreme requirements for data security and aimed at critical infrastructure and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. What's new in Kaspersky OS than others? Kaspersky OS is based on Microkernel Architecture: The new secure OS is based on microkernel architecture that enables users to customize their own operating system accordingly. So, depending on a user's specific requirements, Kaspersky OS can be designed by using different modifications blocks of the operating system. Kaspersky OS is non-Linux: Yes, one of the three major distinctive features of the new OS mentioned by Kaspersky is that the GUI-less operating system has been constructed from scratch and does not contain "even the slightest smell of Linux." But what makes Kaspersky OS Hack-Proof? It is the operating system's inbuilt security system. Yes, Kaspersky OS inbuilt security system has the ability to control the behavior of applications and the OS modules. Kaspersky OS claims itself as practically unhackable OS, because for gaining unauthorized access, any hacker would need to break the digital signature of an account holder, which is possible only with a quantum computer. Kaspersky talked about the recent DDoS attacks that affected numerous websites in past few months. He guaranteed that Kaspersky OS would protect devices, such as industrial control systems, SCADA or ICS, and IoTs, from cyber attacks. The most severe one was the recent massive DDoS attack on Dyn's DNS servers, which knock down popular sites like Amazon and Twitter. The attack was carried out by Mirai botnets that had infected smart devices like security cameras. So, Kaspersky says it is mandatory to protect the IoT and other critical infrastructure (like industry, transport, and telecoms) from IT threats. More details about Kaspersky's secure operating system is coming soon. Stay Tuned! Source
  9. Tails 2.7 Anonymous Live CD Ships with Let's Encrypt Certificates, Tor 0.2.8.9 Also brings Tor Browser 6.0.6, Linux 4.7, and Icedove 45.4.0 Tails 2.7 has been in development for the past one and a half months, during which it received numerous security fixes and updated components. However, the most important change implemented in this version is support for Let's Encrypt SSL certificates. "This release fixes many security issues and users should upgrade as soon as possible," reads today's announcement. "[We] ship LetsEncrypt intermedite SSL certificate so that our tools will be able to go on authenticating our website when its certifcate will be updated." Tor 0.2.8.9 and Tor Browser 6.0.6 have been included As for the updated components and applications included in today's Tails 2.7 release, we can mention the latest stable Tor 0.2.8.9 anonymity network and Tor Browser 6.0.6 web browser for surfing the Internet via the Tor network, as wel as the Icedove 45.4.0 email and news client. Under the hood, Tails 2.7 appears to be powered by a kerne from the Linux 4.7 series, which, unfortunately, reached end of life last month. Tails 2.7 also addresses an issues with the Synaptic Package Manager to allow the installation of packages with the correct architecture, and sets the default spelling to en_US in Icedove. As nothing is perfect in this world, Tails 2.7 ships with a known issue, which could affect those who set the security slider of the Tor Browser to High, as they'll need to click on a link to view the result of the search executed using the search box. Tails 2.7 is available for download right now. Source
  10. Report discusses the possibility of switching to Windows 10 Munich is the pioneer of en masse migration from Windows to Linux after the city started the transition to open-source software in 2004 and completed it many years after that, but it turns out that local authorities are once again considering going back to Windows and Office in the coming years. The key word here is considering and a decision in this case has not yet been made, but a report commissioned by current mayor Dieter Reiter discusses a possible move to Windows 10 and Office for the approximately 20,000 systems that are currently in use. In approximately nine years, Munich moved about 15,000 staff from Windows and Office to open-source alternatives, including LiMux, which is the city’s own Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, and LibreOffice, replacing the more expensive Office productivity suite. But the report brings back the idea of returning to Windows and Office as there are departments where the use of open-source software still doesn’t advance as planned. One of the agencies that are supporting the transition back to Windows is the human resources department (known as POR), who explains that productivity dropped dramatically because of crashes and bugs that engineers had to fix. The department cites old software and issues such as errors in how PDFs are displayed, as some of the problems that employees have to deal with every day. "The POR strongly supports a swift and structured transition to Windows, Microsoft Office products and standard applications," the organization explains. Old software LiMux, currently at version 5, is based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (which stands for Long Term Support), whereas the newest version available for public users is 16.04. Approximately 45 percent of machines are running this version, while 32 percent of them are powered by LiMux version 4.1. 23 percent were running 4.0 when the report was conducted. More than 4,000 PCs used by Munich are still running Windows, and according to a report from TechRepublic, 77 percent of them are on Windows 7, 9 percent on Windows XP and Vista, and 14 percent on Windows 2000. While the transition back to Windows and Office isn’t yet happening, the city is planning to at least give employees the option to choose between Windows and Linux when setting up new computers. This way, authorities are trying to make sure that productivity won’t be affected in any way, but it remains to be seen if such a decision also makes sense when it comes to costs. Matthias Kirschner, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), pointed to some details that make the whole report sound a little fishy: it was conducted by Accenture, a company that’s involved in a joint venture with Microsoft called Avanade and whose purpose is to help the software giant implement Microsoft tech, such as Windows and Office, for businesses and organizations worldwide. While a connection between the study and Microsoft is hard to be confirmed (but it’s not out of the table either), Accenture guarantees this is just an “independent view” and it shouldn’t be associated with the Redmond-based software giant. As a refresher, Microsoft considered Munich’s transition to Linux such a critical moment that even CEO Steve Ballmer himself flew to Germany to discuss the matter with the mayor and attempt to convince them to give up on this plan. Article source
  11. Ubuntu Budgie Is Now an Official Ubuntu Flavor The distro features the Budgie desktop environment That's right, after two successful major releases, budgie-remix has finally been accepted as an official Ubuntu flavor, earlier today during a meeting where four members of Canonical's Ubuntu Technical Board voted positive. As such, we're extremely happy to inform our readers that the new Ubuntu flavor is called Ubuntu Budgie. In April this year, when budgie-remix hit the road towards its first major release, versioned 16.04, we reported that David Mohammed was kind enough to inform Softpedia about the fact that he got in touch with Ubuntu MATE leader Martin Wimpress, who urged the developer to target Ubuntu 16.10 for an official status. budgie-remix 16.10 arrived as well this fall shortly after the release of Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak), and the dream of becoming an official Ubuntu flavor is now a reality. "We now move full steam ahead and look forward to working with the Ubuntu Developer Membership Board to examine and work through the technical aspects [...] 17.04 will be our first official release under the new name," said David Mohammed in the announcement. Budgie 11 desktop environment is coming soon to Ubuntu Budgie 16.10 After this major announcement, most probably the budgie-remix developers will have a lot of work on their hands with the rebranding of the entire project from budgie-remix to Ubuntu Budgie, including the website and other components of the distribution, but we don't know yet if existing users will receive the changes. However, we know for sure that when the Solus Project releases the Budgie 11 desktop environment later this year, Ubuntu Budgie users will receive the major update as well through the official channels. In the meantime, you can start using Ubuntu Budgie right now by downloading the latest release from budgie-remix. In related news, the Ubuntu Budgie developers have recently discussed with Solus Project leader Ikey Doherty to ensure an effective and positive collaboration between the two teams, which means that any improvement made by Ubuntu Budgie devs to the Budgie desktop will also land for Solus users, or users of other distros using Budgie. "I look forward to working with you all in attaining that goal of making Budgie the number one go-to desktop, and honestly, us all enjoying it on an equal peer footing, is the most important part to me," said Ikey Doherty, who is currently working hard on re-architecting the Budgie desktop environment as detailed in our exclusive story. Source
  12. Do you ever wonder why Linux based operating systems like Ubuntu,Linux Mint,Elementary OS,Kali Linux etc boots and shutdown faster than Windows operating system ? No! In this article we are going to break down it for you. Why Linux Boots Faster than Windows ? First we are going to discuss why Linux boots faster than windows . A lot factors affect the boot time of both Linux and Windows. Some of the notable reasons are : Kernel : Kernel is the nucleus of an operating system. It has complete control over everything that occurs in the system. Linux Kernel is monolithic — means it holds all functionality,even drivers ,memory management, task scheduler and file system. So while booting Kernel loads all these functions at once. And Windows NT kernel is like a micro-kernel which only holds basic features during boot process, then loads other functions,drivers and file systems. Which makes Windows to boot a bit slower than Linux. Services and Programs : In Windows many services auto-starts during start up along with many programs like Antivirus which makes booting process slow. While in case of Linux it is limited. Backward compatibility : Backward compatibility allow software system to successfully use interfaces and data from earlier versions of the system or with other systems. And Windows have long history and they support old software frameworks, so during boot time Windows have to load these libraries to make the Windows experience smoother. While Linux distributions doesn’t have backward compatibility feature. Fragmentation : Fragmentation means the storing of a file in several separate areas of memory scattered throughout a hard disk. In Windows files are fragmented. So hard disk takes more time for read and write during start up. And also when you installs more programs in Windows, then system takes more time to load. You can notices these by delay in boot time with new and used Windows system. And in Linux filesystem used is EXT, which doesn’t requires fragmentation. Because Linux allocates files in a more intelligent way. Instead of placing multiple files near each other on the hard disk, Linux file systems scatter different files all over the disk, leaving a large amount of free space between them. So read and write during start up is faster. Desktop Environment : Another main reason behind faster Linux boot is its Desktop Environment (DE). Which is quite faster than Windows. Why Linux Shutdown Faster than Windows ? Now we are going to discuss why Linux shutdown faster than Windows. Services in Windows delays shutdown : During Windows shutdown, most services will generate at least one event on terminating. Sometimes each service may have many events. Eg “NTP Service terminating”, “Printer Driver got signal to terminate”, “Printer Driver is flushing the queue” “Printer Driver Exiting”. These Events are “objects” and are slow to create and destroy, which adds up to shutdown time. However, during shutdown on Linux, most processes simply print a line on the console or/var/log/messages and exit. Which makes a smoother shutdown. Cache : Windows may cache many things and these caches have to be flushed to filesystem on shutdown. But caches are handled better in Linux, with periodic “fsync” executions, on better filesystems. GUI : Graphical User Interface (GUI) in Windows saves a lot of state information most of which is stored as objects. Which affect shutdown time. While in case of Linux, Command Line Interface (CLI) has almost nothing to save, except for the shell history file. Most state information is in simple text files. Process & Programs : Like services, some process and programs in Windows a lot more time to exit during shutdown and it will hung up and sometimes we have to forcibly terminate the task. And Linux takes less time to each process to exit, and most programs may respond quickly and exit faster during shutdown. However unlike previous Windows versions, Windows 10 some what improved its boot and shutdown time but still doesn’t faster than Linux. Article source
  13. Choosing between operating systems isn’t a new problem – it’s been around for a few decades. But the latest incarnations of both software and hardware offer some new options to consumers at all price and experience levels. If you already know what you want (we see you preparing your nine-point presentation on why your OS is the best, put it down), this guide is not for you. But if you want an exhaustive guide to the pros and cons of Windows, MacOS, and Chrome OS, then read on. Windows and Mac have been in active development for decades, and if you’re looking for a computer for work, odds are that you’re going to go for one or the other. Chrome OS, a Linux-based system developed by Google, is more of an anomaly. It’s based on Google’s Chrome browser, with much of the same interface and a web-focused design. It isn’t for the typical user, but Google has been improving it steadily for the last few years, and it’s worth consideration for a broader base of users. Windows Pros Best selection of software Available on wide variety of hardware Easily the best choice for gamers Works with almost all accessories Rapid updates introduce new features Cons Rapid update schedule can become confusing Compatibility issues with some hardware Less secure than Chrome OS or MacOS Microsoft’s Windows, in its various incarnations, holds approximately 90 percent of the desktop and laptop market worldwide. The reasons why are complex, but we can basically break it down into two factors — hardware and software variety. Because Microsoft sells Windows licenses to more or less any manufacturer to load on desktops, laptops, tablets, and everything in between, you can get a Windows machine in almost any size, shape, or price range. Windows is even sold on its own, so consumers and businesses can manually load it onto their own hardware. That wide-open approach has let it conquer all competitors over the last few decades. Because of its worldwide availability and longevity, Windows also boasts the biggest software library on the planet. Windows users don’t get absolutely every new application that comes on the market, but even those they don’t initially receive tend to come in Windows form eventually. Consumer, media, enterprise, gaming, it doesn’t matter – if you want the widest array of capability, Windows is the way to go. Works with everything Windows also boasts compatibility with the widest array of hardware. It’s an important consideration if you want to play graphically intense video games, or work with high-powered software for media, video editing, or computer-aided design. There aren’t any ChromeOS systems that offer high-end desktop hardware, and while MacOS does come on the Mac Pro, that system is now several years out of date. Though most accessories are universal since the introduction of the USB standard, Windows still technically boasts the most compatibility with third-party add-ons, too. Just about any mouse, keyboard, webcam, storage drive, graphics tablet, printer, scanner, microphone, monitor, or any other doodad you care to add to your computer will work with Windows, which is something that can’t always be said for Mac and Chrome. Windows also gets universal and updated drivers, some provided by Microsoft and some developed by the hardware manufacturers themselves, at a much more frequent rate than alternatives. Works on everything Even if you have no interest in upgrading your machine or running exotic software, Windows devices offer the most variety of form factors on the market. And with the introduction of Windows 10 – which all new retail devices are running in 2016 and later – touchscreens have become much more user-friendly even for complex work. No matter how exotic your tastes, odds are that there’s a Windows machine offering what you want. Rapid updates If you haven’t used Windows in a few years you may associate it with slow, tepid progress. That’s no longer true. With Windows 10, Microsoft committed to rapid updates. And it has executed. Those who want the cutting-edge can join the free Insider program, which puts out new updates almost every week. Often they’re minor tweaks, but they do add up over time. In the most recent update, called Windows 10 Anniversary update, Microsoft added major revamps to the notification center, a new “Windows Ink” platform that adds apps and features for PCs with a stylus, extensions for the Microsoft Edge browser, and much more. Over time, this rapid update program has given Windows 10 an edge of MacOS, which updates every year, but usually with just one or two significant features. Chrome OS also updates quickly, but Google rarely introduces a major new feature update — which has stalled progress. Compatibility problems With all that said, Windows isn’t perfect. The open nature of Microsoft’s relationship with desktop and laptop manufacturers means that two different machines, often with the same specifications, might perform very differently. Production quality can vary wildly, even within hardware from the same manufacturer line. Windows is less secure than MacOS and Chrome OS, simply because it’s the most-used desktop operating system, and thus the most targeted. Windows includes Microsoft tools to prevent and clean viruses and other threats, and third-party tools are available, but there’s no denying that Windows computers are more vulnerable than the competition. The wide variety of Windows hardware can cause problems as well. Windows’ complex driver system can cause system errors that are left to the user to diagnose and solve, and frequent updates from Microsoft might break software or devices that haven’t been accounted for. Is Windows for you? Windows is in a must better position than it was just a few years ago. The newest version, Windows 10, is more elegant and easier to understand than past editions, and it receives frequent updates. The problem of complexity does remain. You will likely encounter more bugs with Windows than with its competition. But these bugs are rarely the fatal errors that used to drag Windows’ systems to a halt, and they’re balanced by features and hardware compatibility that is simply unavailable with Microsoft’s competition. Mac OS Chrome OS The verdict If you’re still on the fence, let’s break down the major desktop operating systems in terms of features. Price Apple hardware is expensive, almost always carrying a premium versus equivalent Windows designs. Windows isn’t cheap – laptop and desktop makers have to pay Microsoft to use it – but it’s available in a wider variety of hardware and prices, sometimes getting well below the $500 entry point. If you need basic functionality and price is the only factor, Chromebooks can be bought at around the $200 level – an amazing deal. Ease of use MacOS has traditionally been considered much easier to use than Windows, perhaps because of Apple’s slavish dedication to user interface design. Chrome OS, by virtue of its extreme simplicity, also has Windows beat in this regard. Web browsing Chrome OS is the best choice if all you do is browse the web, because that’s all it does. If everything in your digital life is in the cloud and unrelated to local storage or programs, it’s an excellent way to stay light and uncomplicated. Windows and MacOS can both handle any browser software available, including Chrome itself, but web-only users may find the rest of their features a distraction. Productivity ChromeOS struggles with productivity due to its extremely limited app selection. Even editing a photo is more difficult than with others, and there’s no equivalent to Photoshop. Windows and MacOS both work in most situations, but Windows has the overall edge, due to the availability of quicker compatible hardware and the massive ecosystem of third-party applications. Gaming Windows is the only real choice for gamers. The Steam marketplace is the world’s largest seller of PC games, and while it’s available on MacOS, its selection on the platform is much more limited – as are games in general. ChromeOS has an extremely limited selection that consists entirely of web games and a few mobile applications ported over from Android. Hardware It’s impossible to deny that Apple makes some of the best computer hardware on the market, and many of its customers are faithful for this alone. MacOS an easy choice for a quality machine. That said, Apple’s staunch refusal to accept touchscreen designs is hurting it with users who want more flexibility, and recent Windows machines from Dell, Asus, and others are rivaling (and sometimes beating) Mac’s best offers for power and quality. Premium Chrome OS machines are few and far between. You’ll want Windows MacOS and ChromeOS have their purpose, but if you’re buying a new computer, you will probably be best served by Windows. This is true at every price point. This may come as a shock. Windows has a long history that hasn’t always been favorable. But Windows 10 is a great operating system. Its updated rapidly, packed with features, and has broad compatibility with software and hardware. Article source
  14. You’ve made the switch from Windows or Mac OS X, and now you’re looking for applications to install. Or maybe you’re a long-time Linux user who’s keeping an eye out for what’s new. Either way, you’ve come to the right place. You’ve already picked a Linux distro and have settled on a desktop environment. Those are the big choices that determine what software you start with and what will run best on your machine. But now it’s time to delve through your distro’s app repositories to see what’s worth installing. Most of the software below is free and open source. Some applications are proprietary, and one on this list costs a good deal of money. The vast majority only require you to open up a package manager (such as Ubuntu Software, GNOME Software, Muon Discover, or YaST) and perform a search. Or you can dish out a few commands. A few require you to download an installer from a website. If a link below doesn’t take you to a giant download button, then there’s a good chance the first approach will work just fine. So without further ado, here are the apps. Browsers Email Instant Messaging Office Suites Multimedia Editors Media Players Text Editors Development Maintenance Is That All? Hardly! There are plenty more apps where that came from. Linux has great options for managing your music library, browsing through photos, chatting over IRC, handling finances, tapping into your creative side, and so much more! These days, you can even turn a Linux PC into a decent gaming machine filled with big budget AAA titles and open source freebies alike. Article source
  15. 'Rather than you approving which patches you want, we are saying let them all flow' Interview At Microsoft's recent Ignite event in Atlanta, The Reg sat down with Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of Enterprise Client and Mobility. Brad Anderson is a Microsoft veteran who oversees how Windows and mobile devices are managed in business. A decade ago it was simple: firewall-protected network, Windows PCs, and System Center, Microsoft's suite of IT administration tools, managing those PCs through mechanisms like Group Policy, which lets you set PC configuration centrally and have it enforced on all PCs in the organisation. Things look different today. "Now I have got my cloud services outside of the perimeter and that network-based perimeter is no longer effective," says Anderson. Microsoft is pursuing an alternative idea, which it calls identity-based security. This is based on Azure Active Directory (AAD), as used by Office 365. Businesses using Active Directory on-premises can set up synchronisation with AAD using various tools. "All of our cloud services build on top of Azure Active Directory for authentication and access," says Anderson. "We do more than 45 billion authentications every month through AAD, which is largely driven by usage of office 365. "What we have been building is this concept of what we call the Microsoft security graph. With these cloud services, there are signals or telemetry that comes back, that allows us to see what is working, what is not working, what is being used. We have taken all that signal and we call that the intelligent security graph. "We know that more than 75 per cent of breaches come from compromised user credentials. So one of the core things that organisations have to do is to ensure that when someone presents a set of credentials it actually is who the person says they are. "We now have the ability to be able to assess risk based upon a whole list of factors. So we can take a look at the user’s identity, the device they are working on, the app that they are using on the device. We can also take a look at telemetry coming in from our partner ecosystem. You can now build a conditional access policy that says when you will allow access based upon all those risk factors. "If we think that there is something suspicious we can automatically pop up a multi-factor authentication challenge which then blocks any attacks that are coming in through compromised user credentials. A feature of Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility Suite, called Azure AD Application Proxy, lets businesses use this same mechanism for on-premises web applications, while still having them authenticate using Active Directory. A partnership with Ping Identity announced in September 2016 further extends the range of legacy applications that can be covered. Group Policy, or Mobile Device Management? Today most PCs are managed using a traditional approach based on Group Policy, whereas mobile devices use a more generic method called Mobile Device Management (MDM) which can be delivered from the cloud. Windows 10 can be managed using either technique, but does Microsoft see Group Policy declining in favour of MDM? “Our long term vision on Windows 10 management is that organisations should rely on Microsoft to do more for them on their behalf. Let us worry about your images. Let us keep your devices updated through Windows Update for Business. Rather than you approving which patches you want, we are saying let them all flow because the way organisations get the most secure, the most compliant, the most reliable and most performance devices is to stay updated with all of our updates,” says Anderson. What about when an update breaks compatibility? “There is years of experience that IT pros have, sometimes we release updates that break something. As we build confidence with IT pros around the world that our updates are solid they will get more comfortable with just letting the patches go through,” Anderson says, though he adds that “in Windows Update for Business you have the ability to say, I want to delay these updates, so you have some level of control. You don’t have the degree where you can say I want to deploy these three but not these 10.” Anderson says that System Center’s Configuration Manager offers a path towards this approach via its auto-approve setting. “What we are telling people is, as you get confident with us turn on auto-approve, let all the updates flow down because that is the way that you are going to have the most predictable, the most secure, the most reliable, the most compatible devices. Then as we continue to enrich that MDM layer, organisations will move to that model of management, but that is going to take them some time. There is a bit of a cultural change there. Because you can’t control the same number of settings that you can with Group Policy and Config Manager.” When Microsoft introduced management of iOS and Android devices in its Enterprise Mobility Suite, eyebrows were raised, but Anderson says take-up is substantial. “Of all the mobile devices that we manage 55% are iOS, 35% are android and 10 per cent are windows,” he told The Reg. Is Microsoft frustrated by the continuing love for Windows 7 in business, with many PCs still being delivered with Windows 7 pre-installed? If it is, Anderson will not admit it. “We are very pleased with the rate of adoption that we are seeing, it is the fastest that we have ever seen,” he said. The overall picture is confused though, because the figures Microsoft releases cover both consumer and business, and the consumer upgrade was both free and heavily promoted by the company. At Ignite, Microsoft refused to give the press numbers for Windows 10 Enterprise take-up alone. Anderson says there are strong reasons to upgrade. “Enterprises want the security. With things like Windows Hello you can eliminate passwords. Credential Guard stores your credentials in a way that it is impossible for an attacker to get credentials. There are things like secure boot, which as device comes up checks that something has not been injected into the boot sequence. The form factors are also driving a lot of it. Two-in-ones, Surface Pro, Surface Book, users want to have these modern touch devices. Article source
  16. One of the most essential components of a computer is its operating system. The almighty OS is the lifeblood of a rig, determining software compatibility, and interacting with both hardware and software. For many, it’s either Linux vs. Windows or Linux vs. Mac. Enter dual booting. Essentially, this is having two operating systems available from boot. Windows has its pros, Linux has its pluses. Linux draws include its customization, security, dedicated open source community, and that distributions are (usually) free. Windows or Mac of course have their devout followers, and certain situations, like native apps and less complexity, call for a non-Linux distro. But why not opt for both? Here are five reasons to dual boot and two reasons you shouldn’t. Reasons You Should Dual Boot 1. Gaming: Old and New Face it, there are pros and cons of both operating systems. Native gaming on Windows is better, while programming on Linux is much improved over Windows. Sure, thanks to Steam OS there’s been a push to optimize games for cross-compatibility. Such titles as Alien: Isolation and Half-Life 2 saw Linux versions alongside Windows and Mac iterations, and there are some fantastic gems hiding right there in the software center, but gaming is unarguably stronger on Windows. Want to play those old games (think 16-bit)? Well, modern (64-bit) Windows architecture can’t handle them. Linux gracefully offers support of 16-bit programs via both 32- and 64-bit operating systems. Thanks to WINE, many Windows apps run like a champ. Want the best of gaming, both old and new? Dual boot. 2. The Host When running an operating system natively on a system (as opposed in a virtual machine, or VM), that operating system has full access to the host machine. Thus, dual booting means more access to hardware components, and in general it’s faster than utilizing a VM. Virtual machines typically are more system-intensive, so running Linux or Windows inside a VM requires pretty beefy specs for decent performance. 3. Compatibility You may find that many of your favorite programs don’t function quite as well in one operating system versus the other. Case in point: Netflix. There are several workarounds for streaming Netflix on Linux, but they do require a bit of tinkering. While most of us own some set-top box like a Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, or game console, there are many situations (such as traveling) where you may only have your laptop. Having two operating systems installed ensures surefire access to all your programs and services. 4. Programming Is (Sometimes) Better on Linux Want to get into programming? Linux has many advantages. It’s free, which is always a plus. Then there’s the bevy of languages including Java, PHP, Ruby, Perl, Python, and C/C++, loads of coding apps, and bash support. Oh, and knowledge of Linux looks fantastic on a resume. So familiarity with the ecosystem is in-demand. Want to develop for Windows or Mac? Sure, you can totally use Linux, but it’s typically preferable to code apps for an operating system natively. Windows, for example, has the ultra-powerful Visual Studio and it’s the go-to for Windows apps. Consider dual booting for programming, and use Linux as a development environment. 5. It’s Really, Really Easy There’s a misconception that Linux is ridiculously complex. Sure, the command line can be a bit daunting to the first-time user, and yes more tweaking is occasionally required when compared to using Windows or Mac. Ultimately Linux is merely an operating system, and may be used as simply that. Similarly, dual booting is a cinch. There are guidelines that ensure a smooth install. For instance, always make sure to install Linux second, after the primary operating system (failing to do so may result in problems booting). Sharing files is totally feasible as well, as Linux allows access to many Windows files. Reasons You Shouldn’t Dual Boot As with any installation scenario, there are some downsides that you should also consider. 1. Increased Complexity While installation is not terribly difficult, sharing files across the two operating systems can be a challenge. Linux usually provides ease of access to Windows files, but accessing the Linux file system via Windows is a bit trickier. Linux mostly uses the EXT4 file system, and Windows requires a third party app for EXT4 compatibility. Although installation might be fairly simple, uninstalling can create a mess. Overall, a dual boot set up is nowhere near as challenging as many tech tasks, but it will require a dash of patience and a side of ingenuity. If you’re not up to some mild troubleshooting, maybe skip the dual boot setup. 2. A VM Basically Accomplishes the Same Objective As discussed earlier, a virtual machine is a great solution for running an operating system within an operating system. This method may be used to run Linux on a VM within another operating system, or vice versa. Plus, installation and uninstallation are pretty easy as it’s like removing a program and doesn’t affect anything with boot loaders. Opting for the VM solution does take up more hard drive space, and resource allocation is much more than running just a Linux distro. Older hardware may not be suited to running a virtual machine, whether from lack of hard drive space or low system specs. Further, an operating system within a VM might not have full access to the host PC. When I first tried Ubuntu in a VM, I encountered problems using my DVD drive to install programs. Running Ubuntu natively on my hard drive (that is, installing it) alleviated this issue. There’s no shortage of reasons to use Linux and Windows or Mac. Dual booting vs. a singular operating system each have their pros and cons, but ultimately dual booting is a wonderful solution that levels up compatibility, security, and functionality. Plus, it’s incredibly rewarding, especially for those making the foray into the Linux ecosystem. Article source
  17. One OS to rule them all ... all them smartphones and laptops If you were to design a client operating system with the goal of being used by two billion people, what would it look like? We might soon find out what Alphabet’s looks like. Today’s announcement’s from Alphabet’s Google is expected to reveal "Andromeda", the merged Android/Chrome OS. Executives have been hyping today’s event as the most "significant" since the first Android device in 2008, and we already know they’re writing a new operating system from a clean slate. We can also have a good guess about what it looks like. Google’s goal for the successor is to unify the rival Chrome and Android platforms while providing a clean code base free of the Java legacy. Google’s big advantage here is that it now has a blank slate. After Google acquired Android in 2005, Sun Microsystems’ then CEO Jonathan Schwartz offered Google “congratulations on the announcement of their new Java/Linux phone platform”. Android founder Andy Rubin had already figured Java worked, and seen how it decreased time to market, and how much developers liked it. (Anything was preferable to writing for Symbian, the dominant smartphone platform of the time.) But Google doesn’t need Java any more, and the more distance it puts between itself and its Java-based legacy, the better, particularly if (as it is reasonable to expect) Oracle ultimately prevails in the litigation on appeal. Nor does it need, at least not quite so much, the VM-based architecture designed to make porting easy. If OS abstraction is sufficiently well designed, then an easily-ported microkernel can suffice. Microsoft took this approach designing Windows NT, although within three years Redmond had broken the microkernel design (moving graphics drivers into the kernel) and a couple of years after that, the last non-Intel port had been mothballed. By then it was, to all intents and purposes, a monolithic kernel Intel OS. Computer history is littered with “Second System” effects, but Google’s “second system” looks promising. We already know what it looks like. The open source Fuchsia project is led by QNX and BeOS veterans, with plenty of experience designing Android. Fuchsia code boots on x86 hardware, and the source tree indicates it’s going to be backwards-compatible with key Android libraries. Fuchsia has been touted as suitable primarily for embedded devices and its key developers have embedded experience. (And Fuchsia wouldn’t need to be running Android libraries if Google only wanted it to power watches and fridge magnets.) Strong ARMed tech You really need to look at demographics and the cost curve of client devices to see where Alphabet wants its Android successor to run. The ARM world is gradually superseding the x86/amd64 world, and PC sales are in a long-term decline. ARM has a huge cost advantage over Intel, and most first-time computer users are using ARM tablets and phones. So the opportunity here for “Andromeda” is to ensure the “next billion” coming on line, particularly in emerging economies, remain plugged into Google services, while expanding the capabilities of Android2 so it can run the next generation of creative and productivity applications. Why not just tweak Android to do that? Remix OS does just that, adding power management and overlapping windows to Android x86. The Android architecture is already unwieldy, with much code moving into the GMS (Google Mobile Services) binary. Android has distanced itself from Dalvik with its ART runtime, but this is still an optimised Dalvik. The really serious performance (and user experience) wins are made by moving away from a byte code architecture completely to a new microkernel. Users won’t get that “optimizing apps” wait after a platform update (that’s a sure sign of an archaic platform). Google will want to keep the Chrome brand and user base, but Chrome users themselves couldn’t really care less what it runs, as a Chromebook is just a dumb terminal for web-based Google services. That part is easy. I’d expect to see Fuchsia make its début today, perhaps by borrowing a few ideas from Continuum, allowing a device to act smarter when it’s plugged into a remote display. Article source
  18. Two older versions of Windows are approaching their mandatory retirement date in one month. If you want a new PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you'll have fewer options beginning on Nov. 1. Here's what the end-of-sales deadline means. This Halloween, you can decorate your front lawn with a casket containing a Windows 7 PC. While you're at it, throw in a PC running Windows 8.1, too. On that date, Oct. 31, 2016, Microsoft officially declares Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 dead, at least as far as large OEM PC makers are concerned. Beginning Nov. 1, Microsoft's largest partners, the so-called royalty OEMs like Dell and HP and Lenovo, will no longer be able to build and sell new PCs running any version of Windows except Windows 10. That's actually a two-year extension on what would have been the normal sales lifecycle for PCs running those earlier Windows versions. But the clock is finally running out. The end of the Windows 7/8.1 sales lifecycle doesn't mean that those older versions of Windows will be completely dead, of course. As I've explained in the past, the support and sales lifecycles are completely different. (See "What the Windows 7 Pro sales lifecycle changes mean to consumers and business buyers.") Windows 7 will continue to receive security fixes via Windows Update until Jan. 14, 2020. Windows 8.1 will be supported until Jan. 10, 2023. In addition, the fact that large OEMs will no longer be able to install older Windows versions on new PCs for sale through retail and commercial channels doesn't mean you're out of options. Here's a partial list of exceptions that will allow businesses and consumers to continue running their old, preferred Windows version: Existing inventory PCs that were built with older Windows versions before the deadline can still be sold. For months, at least, you'll be able to find those PCs on retail store shelves and in distributors' warehouses. Downgrade rights Any new PC you buy that has Windows 10 Pro preinstalled by the manufacturer comes with downgrade rights to Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 7 Professional, for as long as Microsoft provides support for those earlier versions. You must supply your own installation media, and you have to activate manually. Custom images Corporate customers with volume licenses for Windows that include imaging rights can use custom images incorporating their preferred Windows version. For large customers, OEMs can assist in the installation of those images. System Builder OEMs White-box PC makers who purchase OEM System Builder media for installation on new PCs can continue to build and sell those PCs. Microsoft won't be stocking the channel with new OEM media, but past experience suggests there will be plenty of inventory for years to come. Retail upgrades If all else fails, do it yourself. Microsoft no longer manufactures retail copies of older Windows versions, but here too there's plenty of inventory in the channel and nothing to stop you from doing your own upgrade. Of course, there are perils and pitfalls associated with running the increasingly aging Windows 7, especially on newer hardware. System manufacturers have no economic incentive to develop drivers and support tools for older Windows versions. Most downgrades will work, but some components might not work properly, or at all. On new systems with Intel's Kaby Lake processors, versions of Windows before Windows 10 will not be supported at all. That doesn't prohibit you from trying to install Windows 7 on one of these new devices, but don't expect any support from the PC maker or from Microsoft when you inevitably run into problems. Article source
  19. Linux is awesome. In fact, I’ve already told you some of the reasons why Ubuntu is better than Windows. But if it’s so good, why do less than 2% of desktop computers actively run a Linux-based operating system? That’s a really tough question to answer. For a long time now, Linux users all over the world have been praying for the year of the Linux desktop. But if we’re ever going to see Linux gain serious traction, there is still a lot that Linux developers need to improve to be a true contender. Application Development Many Linux developers tend to devote their time to the core operating system, leaving application development to someone else. This leads to a huge disconnect between the operating system itself and the applications it runs. Countless open source applications have started life being the idea of one person, before growing into an unmissable app. Examples include Firefox, Filezilla, LibreOffice, VLC Media Player, and many more. We know it’s possible for the open source community to make great applications. So why are there so many poorly written applications that look awful, don’t work very well, or a have a combination of both these problems? This is seen time and again in the Linux community. You have a well-written operating system that is slick and looks beautiful. But apart from a few core applications, much of the software looks awful or is poorly written. Basically, the community needs to start looking beyond the the operating system. There is a reason why Microsoft and Apple develop many of their core applications in house. It’s the best way for users to have continuity in the experience that both the operating system and applications provide. Some Linux distributions are starting to think about continuity, like in the example above. But this is very much the exception, rather than the rule. Installing Applications If you want to install an application in Windows, you simply download the appropriate EXE file, then double click on it to start the installer. This is the same process no matter what version of Windows you are running. In Linux it’s a completely different ball game. Linux applications are installed and managed by repositories, which are one of greatest strengths of Linux. However, they are also one of its greatest weaknesses. There are a number of different ways to install applications in Linux, ranging from extremely simple to almost impossible. Some of these processes are: A software center — Similar to a mobile app store, where you can search for and install applications with ease. However, these are only as good as the repositories you have loaded. Usually, lots of applications are missing. Executable files — These work like EXE files in Windows. But there are different formats for different flavors of Linux. Ubuntu uses DEB, but Fedora and SUSE use RPM, so you need to know which executable files are compatible with your distro. Command line — You will need to know the correct repository for your flavor of Linux, as well as the correct install commands. All of which are completely different depending on which flavor of Linux you run. Compile from source — Download the source code, compile it and create an install script. However, these days this is rare. As you can see, the process of installing Linux applications can be convoluted, which can quickly put new users off. Linux is yearning for a simplified, universal way of installing applications. Sadly, this would require a huge overhaul of the fundamental way in which Linux works, so will probably never happen. Better Support, Less Elitism For the most part, the Linux community is a thriving, bustling beast that contains some extremely talented people. Installing Ubuntu (and most other flavors of Linux) is a very simple process for the most part, although this doesn’t mean that you won’t need help at some point. If this happens, you can head over to the Ubuntu Forums — or the appropriate forum for your flavor of Linux — and ask for help. This is where the problems start. People are busy, so depending on what your problem is, you may find that you get little to no response. This means you may have to work things out for yourself, which is never good if you’re new to the “community”. If you are lucky enough to get a response, you may find it’s not the response you were expecting. You see, there is a lot of elitism in Linux and this can sometimes spill over in to places like support forums were users of varying technical ability will be asking for help. So if a new user posts up a problem, they may be ridiculed for not providing enough information. Worse, they might be accused of wasting time with a mundane issue that can easily be Googled. Or mocked for just being a “noob”. Thankfully, this is becoming less and less frequent within the community, as seasoned users are starting to realize that new users need to be welcomed if we are to grow Linux to it’s full potential. But the problem still exists — I’ve seen it first hand — and really needs to be completely eradicated from all facets of the Linux community. We Need Fewer Choices Having the choice to pick which Linux distribution you should run is great, but you can have too much of a good thing. There are currently 827 Linux distributions listed on Distrowatch. Eight hundred and twenty seven! That’s a ridiculous number for anyone to sift through — even for seasoned Linux users, like myself, never mind new users. The problem is that Linux is open source. Simply, this means that anyone can download the source code for a Linux distribution and make their own version. If there’s something you don’t quite like, you can fork a project and start your own. This sounds great in principle, but in reality it is pointless. The huge list of distributions for the most part share the vast majority of code and applications. Imagine what could be accomplished if these of developers decided to contribute to a smaller pool of core distributions, rather than doing their own thing! I think we would end up with a more developed Linux ecosystem with fewer problems. The Boot Process When you first boot up Windows, you get a Windows splash screen, then soon after you get a prompt to log in. That’s not the case in Linux. Most distributions use the GRUB bootloader which by default asks how you want to boot the operating system, and it gives you 10 seconds to make the decision. So as a new user, the very first thing you’re greeted with after installing your distribution, is an ugly command line screen asking you make a decisions like which version of the kernel you want to boot. It’s a terrible first impression. GRUB is awesome, and it comes in really handy when dual-booting, as it allows you to select which operating system you wish to boot in to. But why does it have to be so unfriendly to users? Why can’t it be a GUI were the user clicks on which OS they want to boot, and if there is only one OS, skip the GRUB prompt all together. Apple do it, so there’s no reason why Linux can’t. Some distributions are making waves towards doing this, such as Elementary OS. But there is a still a long way to go in order to make the boot process more user friendly. We Need to Improve Linux This article may read like I’m bashing Linux, or that I hate it. Nothing could be further from the truth. I adore Linux and the open source community in general. However, if we’re ever going to have “the year of the Linux desktop” then things need to drastically improve. Is there anything else you think should be changed before Linux can truly go mainstream? Or is Linux fine just the way it is? Article source
  20. Includes Ubuntu 16.04, 14.04, and 12.04 LTS Chris Coulson from Canonical published two security advisories to inform the Ubuntu Linux community about the availability of the latest Mozilla products in all supported releases. Mozilla announced the other day that its popular Firefox web browser, which is being used in the majority of GNU/Linux distributions by default, has hit a new milestone, version 49.0, bringing various new features, such as updated Firefox Login Manager and Reader Mode or better video performance on SSSE3 systems without hardware acceleration. Mozilla Firefox 49.0 also ships with updated HTML5 video and audio technologies that let users play files at 1.25x speeds or loop them. To track font memory usage, Firefox 49.0 contains new improvements to the about:memory reports, and it looks like there's now better font shaping thanks to the re-implementation of the Graphite2 rendering engine by default. On the other hand, Mozilla Thunderbird 45.3.0 ships with several bug fixes for various issues discovered recently, such as the inability to use Disposition-Notification-To in mail.compose.other.header, corruption of the drafts summary database due to certain messages, or the composing identity problems with "edit as new message" on a received email. Ubuntu users can install Firefox 49.0 and Thunderbird 45.3 now Therefore, if you're using any of the officially supported Ubuntu releases or flavors, such as Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, or Ubuntu GNOME, you can now update your installation to get the recently released Mozilla Firefox 49.0 web browser and Mozilla Thunderbird 45.3.0 email and news client. They are available for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin). To update, simply open the Ubuntu Software or Synaptic Package Manager apps, check for recent updates and install them. You can also open a terminal emulator and run the "sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade" command. Please keep in mind that you'll need to restart your Firefox and Thunderbird session after installing the new software versions. Good luck! Article source
  21. We all love Windows, right? It’s a great operating system, there’s no doubt about that. However, what if I told you that Ubuntu was better? You may laugh and think that nothing could possibly be better than your beloved Windows, but in this article we’re going to look at 6 reasons why Ubuntu is better than Windows. Some of you may think that Ubuntu is just for nerds, and that the average user wouldn’t be able to use it. So how on earth could it be better than Windows? Well the truth is that Ubuntu is not that difficult to use, in fact, it’s actually just as easy as Windows to use, if not easier in some respects. So then, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why Ubuntu is better than Windows. 1. OS and Software Updates Imagine the scenario: you sit down to do some work at your Windows PC, and just after getting stuck in to that important document you need to type up, you get a popup asking you to update Windows. Being the dutiful, security conscious user that you are, you decide to update and reboot your machine. Fast forward another 10 minutes, you’re settling in again and wouldn’t you know it, Apple now pops up and lets you know that there is an update for their software also. Annoying? Yes! You see, this is because Windows handles its operating system and application updates separately. So you will receive popups for different applications as and when they need updating. This makes the whole process very frustrating, to the point were many people just turn them off. Ubuntu is different. Everything is done via repositories and it uses a dedicated update manager to update both the operating system and all of the applications installed. So you only ever have to manage your updates from one place. This makes the process far slicker and means users tend not to turn them off — which means you are more secure. Speaking of which… 2. Computer Security Windows has a number of security features that you can use to help secure your system, but there’s no getting away from the fact that Ubuntu is more secure than Windows. User accounts within Ubuntu have far fewer permissions by default than in Windows. This means that if you want to make a change to the system — like installing an application — you need to enter your password to do it. In Windows, you don’t. This makes it much more difficult to execute malware or a virus inside Ubuntu. Ubuntu is also a lot less popular than Windows. That means that the bad guys who make all the viruses don’t really care about it, so they don’t bother writing much malware for Ubuntu: that’s great news for us users! Also, a lot of the bad guys use Linux distributions like Ubuntu themselves, so although Ubuntu isn’t impervious to virus’, it’s a lot less likely that you will get infected. It’s unlikely, but not impossible, which is why you should always use anti-virus software in Ubuntu. 3. Desktop Customization There isn’t that much you can do with Windows when it comes to customization. Windows 10 gives more customization options than previous versions, but it’s still nowhere near that of Ubuntu. You’re pretty much limited to changing your wallpaper and start menu colors in Windows, but in Ubuntu any aspect of the desktop can be easily changed. Want the window buttons on the right? No problem. Don’t like the icons? It’s easily fixed. Maybe the Ubuntu fonts don’t float your boat? Say no more! The screenshot below is my Ubuntu 16.04 desktop. The changes I have made took around 5 minutes to apply and it looks very different from a stock install. 4. System Resources Not everyone can afford an all-singing, all-dancing computer. So for some, the latest version of Windows may be out of their budget. However, the latest version of Ubuntu need not be. On a test machine, I ran stock Ubuntu and stock Windows 10, and as you can see from the results below Windows 10 used almost double the amount of RAM as Ubuntu. Now that might not seem like a big difference, as this test machine has 8 GB RAM. But if your machine has 2 GB of RAM, that would mean that you have 60% of your RAM utilized in Ubuntu, or 90% utilized in Windows 10 and that’s before you start opening applications. If your machine has even less resources than this, then there are lightweight versions of Ubuntu and Linux available that use even less system resources. This means that your computer could last years longer than you thought it would. 5. Live Environment If you haven’t used Windows before and decide you want to give it a try, you have to commit to installing it on your machine beforehand. That could lead to problems such as data loss, if you later decide you don’t like Windows. That’s not the case in Ubuntu. In Ubuntu — and many other Linux distributions — you can burn the image to a CD, or write it to a USB stick and boot it up straight from that media. This is a fully working version of the operating system, which means you can try every aspect of Ubuntu without having to commit to installing it on your hard drive. Don’t like it? No problem: just reboot your machine and you will be back on your previous operating system as if nothing had ever happened. 6. It’s Free That’s right, Ubuntu is 100% free. It won’t cost you a penny (although you can make a donation on their download page). I know what you’re going to say: “but Windows 10 is also free.” Whilst it was offered as a free upgrade until the end of July, that offer is no longer valid (although there are other ways you can still upgrade). If you want to buy Windows 10 it will cost you $119.99 for the Home edition and $199.99 for the Professional edition, that’s a lot of money. So why not save that cash and put it to better use elsewhere? You could download the latest version Ubuntu for free instead. Windows vs. Ubuntu: Which Do You Prefer? Overall, both Windows 10 and Ubuntu are fantastic operating systems, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and it’s great that we have the choice. Article source
  22. Hello. I want to transfer my current install from my hybrid drive to the C partition I have created on my new s.s.d. and make it boot-able. I have tried SSD Migration Kit, no good and the EASEUS Todo Backup software also and it created errors. So any ideas? As reinstalling is such a drag and I am not twenty (20) anymore.
  23. Do you know how to use a computer? Under a certain age, that question sounds ridiculous. Those words will be even more foreign by the time your kid becomes an adult. Using computers is something people simply do. But not all computers, or the operating systems that run them, are created equal. Nor are they neutral. The software we use influences our values, assumptions, and skills. What habits and morals do you want to pass to your kids? This isn’t a post about sticking your baby at a computer. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against sticking kids in front of screens before the age of two. Though that hasn’t stopped app developers, phone manufacturers, and accessory producers from trying. This is about slightly older kids, those ready to figure out a keyboard. The OS they use matters, and Linux might be the best one to start them off with. Let’s talk about why. 1. Linux Doesn’t Treat You Like a Consumer Many of us live in consumption-based societies. Advertisements bombard us our entire lives, encouraging us to buy more, own more, and hoard more. There isn’t a problem that can’t be solved by buying one more thing. On Windows and Mac OS X, this situation is no different. While you don’t have to, both expect you to purchase most of your applications. This means more ads. As your child uses a computer, they will be told they need to buy more apps and games. The situation is significantly worse on smartphones and tablets. This will hit your wallet, sure, but it also fosters more consumption and digital hoarding. The computer joins your TV and other media in teaching your child how to be a consumer. Video: Thirty years of Mac ads (1984-2014) On Linux, your kid will still hit a point where they want more software, but when that time comes, they won’t need to ask for your credit card. As long as their account has permission, they can head to the repos and download additional software for free. This changes the relationship between them and their computer. It’s no longer another way for them to spend money. Instead, the computer is a tool, one that encourages creativity and exploration. And that’s just the beginning. 2. Linux Encourages Giving and Sharing Share your toys! Parents of siblings know how this issue inevitably arises. But the message is an important one. At such a young age, few would argue that kids should learn the importance of hoarding and selfishness over sharing. As we get older, this message becomes less clear. Advertisements encourage us to increase what we own. Our culture worships people who acquire many times more income than they need, and we’re told to aspire for that same wealth. Giving, whether through charity or some other cause, is treated as an afterthought reserved for generous people or those with money left over after all of their spending. Linux flips the script. Without having to spend money on software, apps feel less like products and more like extensions of the computer. Your child will grow up with the concept of software being something developers create for others’ benefit. Video: What is Open Source explained in LEGO If your kid takes up coding some day, they make view the act as a way to expand on what a computer can do. They may feel compelled to share the results with others, much like members of the scientific community. They may contribute back to a broader community, rather than view their skills as a way to create an app that will make them rich some day. 3. Linux Teaches Conservation The electronics industry is filled with waste. Products come with a lifespan of one or two years. Many “smart” gadgets can’t receive updates, with their makers using that as a reason for you to buy the next model. Computers aren’t as bad, but new versions of Windows often need hardware upgrades. Apple doesn’t support older MacBooks with the latest versions of Mac OS X (or macOS, as it will soon be called). This teaches children that electronics are cheap, temporary commodities. It encourages them to use and discard, rather than preserve and recycle. Video: KIDS REACT TO OLD COMPUTERS Linux does the opposite. It works great on hardware that is several years old. You can use the OS to salvage an old PC with a dead hard drive. Stick it on a machine that can barely run Windows XP. Linux can help you defeat planned obsolescence and teach your kids the value of taking care of what they own. 4. Kids are Free to Experiment PCs are wonderful devices. No other tool provides the means to write a novel, draw a comic, produce a song, create a game, and make a video all in one place. On commercial operating systems, the software needed to express this creativity can cost quite a bit of money. Sometimes the price tag extends into the hundreds of dollars. On Linux, the tools are free. True, some of these applications don’t quite compare to their commercial counterparts. But we’re talking about kids here, not professionals. Plus if your child grows up learning how to produce quality work using free software, that will save them money down the line. Expressing their creativity will be less dependent on the size of their income, which empowers them to be more creative. They can save money on hardware, too. Linux runs well on a PC that costs as much as taking the family out to dinner. Video: Kids hack their Dad's computer on her Raspberry Pi 5. Linux is Educational, too! You may not want to switch to Linux out of fear of missing out on certain educational programs. Fortunately, Linux has more than a few options of its own. Your kid can use their computer to practice math, map the world, study chemistry, and much more. Plus with browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, most of the web remains at your fingertips. There is no shortage of web content aimed at enriching young minds, enough so that the selection of native applications hardly even matters. Video: Edubuntu 14.04 applications quick tour That said, there are entire distributions designed to provide your kid with a safe space to learn. These often highlight a few educational apps while stripping out all of the other tools that your kid may not yet need. This is also one way to be sure they aren’t using the computer to do things that could put them at risk. 6. Linux Protects Kids from Malware Viruses have targeted Windows for decades. The operating system is more secure now, but there’s still the risk of compromising your machine by installing software from an untrustworthy source. If your kids are older, they may stumble onto a dangerous email attachment. Maybe that folder of music a friend sent them wasn’t from the safest of sites. Some kids figure out how to safely navigate around these threats, but that isn’t always the case. Video: Give the Kids Linux | LINUX Unplugged 85 Linux isn’t 100% free of malicious software, but it is a significantly safer computing environment. Your child will still need to know how to avoid phishing and other social engineered attacks, but many of the internet’s threats will no longer apply. This is without installing any anti-virus software, which you can still do if you want, if for no other reason than to help protect any Windows computers that may share your home network. While you’re at it, be sure to create a separate user account for your kids. You can even install software that limits their computer time. Will Your Kid Miss Out? Here in the US, most schools train students using Windows or Mac OS X. They learn how to use software like Microsoft Office, which doesn’t quite work well on a Linux machine. Sometimes they may need to run specific programs that only work on commercial platforms. But this isn’t a roadblock. Since schools don’t know whether each child has a computer at home, they either supply computer labs or distribute laptops themselves. The vast majority of assignments, such as typing a paper or creating a presentation, don’t need Microsoft Office. A free alternative such as LibreOffice will do the job just as well, if not better. The interface won’t be the same as what your child learns at school, but knowing how to navigate similar applications is an educational experience and useful skill all its own. With more schools transitioning to Chromebooks, this is increasingly less of an issue. Whatever your kid can do from a Chromebook, they can do from a Linux desktop running Google Chrome. In a nutshell, that’s all Chrome OS even is. So, what say you? Have your kids ever used a Linux desktop? Do you think they would be receptive? Would they even notice? And if you’re unfamiliar with Linux yourself, maybe that would be a good place to start. Article source
  24. Windows 7 Back to Growth After the End of Free Windows 10 Upgrades Net Applications claims Windows 7 is growing again In this case, Windows 7 continues to be the leading desktop operating system with a share of 47.25 percent, followed indeed by Windows 10 with 22.99 percent. Both companies put Windows 7 and Windows 10 on the first two spots in this exact order, so this is most likely true, but the market share of each of them is pretty different, and Net Applications claims there’s a bigger difference between the two. And what’s more, not only does Windows 7 remain the leading choice for desktop users, but it’s also back to growth following the end of free upgrades offered following the launch of Windows 10. Microsoft allowed Windows 7 and 8.1 users the chance to upgrade to Windows 10 without spending a single cent if the switch was performed in the first year after launch, but this promo ended on July 29, so August was the first month without free upgrades. Windows 10’s growing, but Windows 7 does it too As a result, Windows 7 is back to growth, and it seems to be getting closer to the 50 percent market share milestone once again, although it remains to be seen if it has what it takes to surpass this figure once again. Last month, however, Windows 7 increased from 47.01 percent to 47.25 percent, despite the fact that Windows 10 recorded a growth as well. Microsoft’s latest operating system improved its share from 21.13 percent to 22.99 percent, and while it continues growing, it’ll certainly be a challenge to maintain the same adoption rate without the free upgrades. The software giant, on the other hand, expects things to improve substantially in the coming months as well, especially because enterprises are likely to complete the pilot phase of Windows 10 and actually start deploying the new OS. Time will tell if Windows 10 can become the world’s leading desktop OS, but if fails in this mission, Microsoft is very likely to experience another Windows XP moment in 2020, when support for Windows 7 comes to an end. Source
  25. Wim Coekaerts, corporate VP of Microsoft Enterprise Open Source Group, came to LinuxCon preaching enable, integrate, release, and contribute instead of embrace, extend, and extinguish. Yes, Microsoft is a Diamond sponsor of LinuxCon. Things have changed! Coekaerts, who joined Microsoft five months ago after heading Oracle's Linux efforts for many years, knows many of you won't buy this. In his LinuxCon keynote speech, Coekaerts admitted that "A year ago I would not have considered working for Microsoft, but Microsoft has changed." Coekaerts wasn't easy to convince. But over several months of vetting Microsoft and its newfound love for Linux, he discovered that Microsoft has sincerely changed its approach toward Linux and open-source software. Why? Because Coekaerts, told me in an interview, "Satya [Nadella, Microsoft's CEO] is very customer-centric. If they run Linux, and they often do, we want to make them happy. We have to play in an open, heterogeneous world." This Microsoft sea-change has been coming over the last few years. Microsoft hired Coekaerts because it knew how important open-source is. In particular, "Azure, Microsoft's cloud program, has to be open-source and Linux friendly." Coekaerts plans for Microsoft to work on open-source projects beyond those that contribute directly to Microsoft's bottom line. For example, Microsoft will contribute to Cloud Foundry, an open-source Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), even though the company has no plans to ship it. Long before Coekaerts arrived, Microsoft developers were working on open-source projects. Besides the official projects, such as making Linux work well with Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization, "There was more stuff out there than I knew. It wasn't very organized. As an outsider you don't see it, but there has long been an open culture in Microsoft." What's changed for Microsoft and open source in recent years is Microsoft has refocused on solving both its own and customers' business problems. That means, first, Linux is treated as an equal to Windows. "Microsoft actually uses a lot of Linux in-house. It's no longer everything has to be run on Windows internally." Microsoft is doing this because "We're solving business problems and we're very pragmatic." It's not just in Redmond. In his keynote, Coekaerts pointed out one in three Azure virtual machines (VM) are Linux and over 40 percent of VMs in new Azure deployments are Linux. Think about that. Microsoft's new cloud customers are turning to Linux four times out of 10. Oh, and its numbers are only increasing. Microsoft is doing far more than just opening up its cloud. It's looking on opening the future. "We're taking Windows developers and training them on Linux. We do it by pairing them up with experienced Linux developers. Matthew [Wilcox, a leading Linux kernel developer] reviews their patches and then they're forwarded to the Linux kernel developers." Don't take this to mean that Microsoft is considering creating MS-Linux. They're not. "I'd never say never, but we have no such plans," said Coekaerts. Microsoft currently supports CentOS, CoreOS, Debian, openSUSE, Oracle Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), and Ubuntu. Microsoft is also trying to approach Linux developers on their own ground. As observed, "We can't expect them to come to microsoft.com blogs." So, looking ahead, Coekaerts sees Microsoft's future as being both "Windows and Linux. After All, "Linux is part of our day to day life at Microsoft." How can they convince others of this? There's only one way to show the world Microsoft is real about supporting Linux and open-source software. "We do it by showing the code." He concluded, "We've come a long way, but you'll soon see a lot more work. We're a different company than we used to be and now is the time to prove it." Time will show if this marriage of Microsoft and Linux will work out or end in an ugly divorce. Article source