M$ – Still Slinging FUD Against The Wall Of FLOSS

“Microsoft writes about the switch of the city of Pesaro from OpenOffice to Office 365. There are however many questions around the publication that should provide backing for the switch. Yet Microsoft uses that publication on it’s website for promotion goals.There are several facts that make the publication controversial. It mentions, for example, the sum of € 300.000 for migration and training costs and extra phone costs of € 85 a year without any data to back that. Sonia Motegiove, an Italian IT consultant, comments that an extensive training for 600 people would cost € 25.000 maximum.”
See OfficeBuzz: Microsoft uses controversial publication to promote Office 365
Chuckle. FUD never worked for M$. Why do they keep spreading it? Every time they get caught lying they destroy their own credibility amongst their loyal followers, if there are any left…

As if the world can’t do maths they keep trying to persuade the world that it costs more to use FLOSS, software produced cooperatively by the world, than to keep paying M$ $billions annually. It’s insulting to their customers to attempt to do that. They should boast about the performance of their software rather than trying to justify the price of it. Only people who don’t care about the price will keep paying for it. With “10” folks everywhere will figure they don’t need to pay for the OS. Why should the applications be any different?

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The Munich Revolution

Lately, in the news, we read that agitators are still pushing to roll back GNU/Linux desktops. It turns out that GNU/Linux is thriving in Munich. A recent update has these highlights:

  • The complement of PCs has risen to 24K
  • 18K run GNU/Linux (75%)
  • Most users don’t care about the OS and most were not even aware of the OS in operation. They used OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice on both OS so they don’t use the OS much, just the applications. One complainer about GNU/Linux was actually using XP…
  • Munich maintains about 4K software packages for their system, so they do care that the software is FLOSS.

See a report from DebConf 15

IMHO, they are still doing things the hard way. They have a lot of bugs to squash because they depend on Ubuntu. Life would be easier sticking with Debian GNU/Linux. Their release-cycle is about 3 years so they get only two years’ use of Ubuntu LTS. They would be much better off using Debian who take about 2 years getting the bugs out and releasing LTS good for 5 years. They could do better by having the non-mobile PCs run as thin clients. Then fewer machines would need to be maintained. After that their biggest problem is that they still have to support That Other OS which is a real dog.

Still, they are much further ahead not paying M$ for use of their own hardware and enduring endless re-re-reboots and malware.

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Spikes In Utilization Of GNU/Linux Return In Finland

See Top 7 Desktop OSs In Finland From 1 Jan to 20 Aug 2015
There hasn’t been a lot of good news on the stats-front this quarter but things are heating up in Finland. The spikes in utilization are back. This time, XP is not an issue, so this is head to head competition between “10” and desktop GNU/Linux. As before, weekdays are peaks of popularity of desktop GNU/Linux. It seems GNU/Linux could win in Finland.

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Trump’s Stats

“The survey finds Trump with the support of 24% of Republican registered voters. His nearest competitor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, stands 11 points behind at 13%. Just behind Bush, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has 9%, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker 8%, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul 6%, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former tech CEO Carly Fiorina and Ohio Gov. John Kasich all land at 5%, with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee rounding out the top 10 at 4%.”
See Post-debate, Trump Pulls Clear of Competition
While watching the train-wreck that is USAian politics, I’ve noticed folks are paying huge attention to Trump, simply because he says the most outrageous things and is leading in the polls of GOP voters. There are two things wrong with this:

  • USAian voters in general are entertained by folks who say outrageous things but they vote for folks who are more middle-of-the-road, folks who are less likely to break things like the economy and peace…
  • When ~25% of GOP voters support Trump there may well be 75% who will vote for anyone but Trump.

The net effect of these considerations is that Trump will NOT be the candidate for GOP, and if Trump goes third party or voters fear a party of which 25% supported Trump, GOP may well go down in flames in 2016. BTW, the only arrow in GOP’s quiver against Clinton is that she had tech-savvy people around her who could run an e-mail server… Many other notable political leaders have done the same, including the beloved Colin Powell. So, GOP are definitely barking up the wrong tree. Remember, it started about Benghazi. GOP are cutting off the limb upon which they stand, credibility.

The way USAians love front-runners, this situation will persist until the GOP convention. There, Trump will lose his lead as competitors drop out and their share goes to fewer competitors. It might take a few rounds of voting but Trump will not get the nod. Will he take his marbles home or have a temper tantrum? Who knows? It probably doesn’t matter after everyone figures out that the two-party system isn’t big enough of a tent to hold all political views in USA.

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Competition Returns For Desktop OS And Business – Chromebook v Wintel

“Google saw Chrome rise to take the number one spot in market share”, from January through mid-July, Stephen Baker, NPD’s vice president of industry analysis, says.”
See Why would Dell sell a business Chromebook that competes with Office and Windows 10?
Chuckle… M$’s monopoly is definitely dying in USA in 2015. Not only are most OEMs shipping some GNU/Linux, and many retailers display GNU/Linux, and Android/Linux is everywhere, but now, in USA, M$’s home, businesses are buying and selling GNU/Linux as Chromebooks. For the greater certainty, NPD reports that 50% of notebook unit sales this summer were Chromebooks for business. Oh my… Google’s cloud is competing with M$’s cloud, apps and all.
This is looking good for */Linux. School’s out now, but in a few weeks, the kids will be back on line in USA with their Chromebooks and GNU/Linux desktops and the salesmen of many businesses will be accessing their web-applications via Chromebooks and M$’s share of the desktop OS will tank, almost certainly reaching new lows, even in the year of “10” the last of M$’s desktop OS.

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One Definition Of Lock-in: Running “2003” So Many Years Later

“Further analysis of the low-level TCP/IP characteristics reveals a total of 609,000 web-facing computers running Windows Server 2003. This is over 10% of all web-facing computers, and shows the true potential cost of migration, as software licensing is typically charged on a per-machine rather than per-IP address basis.

China and the United States account for 55% of the world’s Windows Server 2003 computers (169,000 in China and 166,000 in the US), yet only 43% of all other web facing computers.”
See Millions still running the risk with Windows Server 2003
Why do they do it? Run “2003” in 2015! It’s not cost, because Debian GNU/Linux would cost $0. It’s lock-in whether by habit or by application. Lots of folks have invested heavily in applications that still work so they are willing to risk everything, perhaps by adding other layers of security. Why?

In five years, they’ve had plenty of opportunity to plan migration. I think a lot of them just want a box that runs and don’t consider other alternatives. I’d recommend Debian GNU/Linux if/when they get hacked and are forced to move on. It’s simple, efficient and very popular on the web without such compromises. Debian supplies updates and upgrades for the cost of a download. Heck! They could even make a small donation to Debian in lieu of licensing That Other OS.

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Of Course, LibreOffice Is Easy To Deploy And Use. It’s FLOSS. It’s An Office Suite.

“Nantes has now switched half of its 5000 workstations (PCs and laptops) to the LibreOffice open source office suite.
…The support team was not as busy as anticipated, and two out of three civil servants had no major problems using the software.
Justification for the transition was the end of support for the decade-old version of the proprietary office suite in use at the city administration. The city’s IT department considered several options, including purchasing new proprietary licences. “We decided to go to LibreOffice, allowing us to save EUR 1,7 million”, Ficheux said. The IT department’s side-by-side comparison included a budget of EUR 600,000 for change management and for training the city’s 5000 staffers to use LibreOffice. Conversely, training users to use the newest version of the proprietary office suite would cost EUR 400,000, the IT department estimated.”
See Nantes: “Change management key to switch to free software”
Yes. Replacing a non-Free office suite with LibreOffice makes sense. It’s FLOSS. You can run, examine, modify and distribute the software under the accompanying licence. There’s no need to budget for licensing. There’s no contract. There’s no dependency on someone out to get you. LibreOffice is a cooperative product of the world, not enslavement/lock-in/a burden indefinitely. It’s easy too. After all, LibreOffice is descended from StarOffice and OpenOffice.org designed from the beginning to be easy to use even for those familiar with M$’s product.

Best of all, once Nantes has kicked the office suite habit pushed by M$, there’s no need for M$’s operating system either. Nantes can now migrate to GNU/Linux and be FREE from M$ completely.

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Canonical Throws Developers Under The Bus

“You have a stable app store deployed for millions of users and developers and it’s unmaintained, with the users and developers frustrated… Yes, this will be better with snappy or click or whatever.. But now, you have a stable system which is used by millions of users and you have abandoned it. And it is a long time problem now…”
Comment on To Whom It May Concern. (+Mark Shuttleworth​, +Jane Silber​, +Michael Hall​,…

The laziness of Canonical packaging contributed applications for distribution to Ubuntu GNU/Linux desktop installations has lead them to stop accepting updates and new contributions altogether. They want to use “Snappy” contributions instead of .deb contributions despite the whole OS depending on Debian GNU/Linux. What a bunch of children! They have made Ubuntu GNU/Linux the most successful distro on the planet and want to throw the baby out with the dishwater.

In TFA, it appears they want to automate the process of accepting applications for their store. That’s just lazy and wanting to be like other malware-plagued stores is not the FLOSS way at all. Canonical doesn’t get that. Debian’s process scales very well, a small team dedicated to helping integrate a small collection of packages. People who care about something do a better job than robots, Shuttleworth. Wake up! If the world wanted GNU/Linux to be like That Other OS, there would be no GNU/Linux. It’s not the right way to do IT by duplicating the mistakes M$ makes.

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Finally, Google And OEMs Get Serious About  Patching Android/Linux

It’s not enough to have the most ubiquitous OS on the planet.“My guess is that this is the single largest software update the world has ever seen. Hundreds of millions of devices are going to be updated in the next few days. It’s incredible. All Nexus devices are going to be patched, and Samsung, Motorola, HTC, LG, Sony, Android One, and hundreds of other manufacturers are going to push out the patches too”
See Biggest security update in history coming up: Google patches Android hijack bug Stagefright
Vulnerabilities will happen and you’ve got to fix them to remain credible in the markets. It took M$ decades to get serious about security by which time it was too late. Their installed base was riddled with malware and waves of security breaches. Android/Linux has stayed fairly secure by comparison but the installed base is so huge now that something more had to be done.

Too bad they can’t commit to patching “forever”. My old smartphone still runs Android/Linux 2.*… 😉

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UK Government Squirming To Escape Being Crushed By Non-FREE Software Licences

“Whitehall bean counters have ordered government departments to find fresh ways to end their reliance on Oracle.

The trigger for the anti-Oracle edict was the end of extended support for Microsoft’s Windows XP back in 2014. The Cabinet Office negotiated a government-wide custom support agreement with Microsoft to continue building security fixes for government users.No. 10 haggled Microsoft down to a price of £5.584m for tens of thousands of PCs. Microsoft’s official price was $200 per desktop for the first year, $400 for the second and $800 for year three.”
See UK.gov issues internal ‘ditch Oracle NOW’ edict to end pricey addiction
Finally, bean-counters in the government of the UK have seen the light. Spending by governments on non-Free software licences is obscene, particularly in comparison to the availability of good Free Software like GNU/Linux and Postgresql. It’s not the job of government to route taxpayers’ money towards monopolies. That’s stupid, unwise, wasteful and harmful to the economy.

Millions of users and thousands of organizations happily use FLOSS. Why not the government of the UK? Why not your government? The money saved, an infinite sum going forward, could erase the national debt, fight disease, defend against terrorism, etc.

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2015 – GNU/Linux Beats Vista

I read an article online that threw out some “red meat”, that Vista was still ahead of GNU/Linux on desktops. That’s false. While Vista has lately been ahead of GNU/Linux in page-views, the PCs bearing GNU/Linux are still out there but many are turned off during school and college summer breaks in the northern hemisphere. Back in April, GNU/Linux was beating Vista on good days. Vista has been declining since then. Just wait for September… That was the pattern in 2014:

  • January – GNU/Linux ~1+%
  • May – GNU/Linux ~1.5%
  • August – GNU/Linux ~1.3%
  • October GNU/Linux ~1.5%

This year, the effect will be more pronounced as more OEMs and retailers are delivering GNU/Linux desktops than in 2014. Further Chrome OS has share and it’s a browser running on GNU/Linux. There’s a lot of Chrome OS in USAian schools. Globally, Chrome OS had 0.46% share in May but only 0.29% in August, so the assertion will be dead with school coming back. Then there’s Android/Linux…

See Top 7 Desktop OSs from 1 Jan to 3 Aug 2015

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Slavery “Necessary” Says Education Department Of Extremadura

“the administration will not cancel the EUR 38 million request for PC hardware and proprietary software licences, published by its predecessor. The procurement includes a request for licences for specific brands and products of proprietary operating systems and office productivity solutions. Spanish and European procurement rules forbid making such requests. The Extremadura school board is also seeking to purchase new hardware, including licences for proprietary operating systems.”
See New Extremadura Govt to support open source in schools

When some bureaucrat tells the world that there are no other options than non-free/slavery software for vocational schools, I know they’re lying. It’s just not true. If businesses want school graduates to use non-free software they should do their own training. It’s not up to government to do what they could do for themselves. It’s not government’s job to preserve the Wintel monopoly. That’s not good for the economy and it’s just wrong to indoctrinate citizens into slavery. Extremadura is cranking out graduates who know GNU/Linux and Free Software. Businesses should accept that and use Free Software too. There’s just no reason that businesses or government should throw money to the wind that could be better spent buying machinery or buildings or hiring people locally.

Think what could be done with €8million or so: hire ~100 teachers, plumbers, electricians, policemen, programmers. Wouldn’t that do more for the local economy than sending money to one of the richest countries on Earth? US GDP per capita is ~$53K. Spain’s is ~$33K. Should Spanish taxpayers work for USA or their own country? Should Spanish taxpayers be M$’s slaves? For Pity’s sake, M$ will donate software to governments that have the spine to order GNU/Linux. Why should any government pay M$ even one cent? If anything M$ should pay governments who actually want M$’s stuff to use it. It’s just crazy to pay far above the market value for stuff just because the taxpayers are “generous”.

From a legal standpoint, an agreement for an illegal purpose, is not a contract. There’s no reason the government should not cancel the contract made by the preceding regime. There’s every reason for the government to fire folks who attempted to break the rules and to jail them. The rules were well known. M$ is constantly objecting to rules for procurement that don’t support Wintel. That’s reason enough to have such rules. That’s reason enough to enforce those rules.

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