Summary: Microsoft is the biggest enterprise software company in the world and one of the most profitable. But it’s flagship product, Windows, is the walking undead, thanks to Microsoft’s two huge gaffs: missing out on mobile, and Windows 8, which turned Windows into something the typical consumer doesn’t recognize.
By building its own Surface PCs and smartphones (with the purchase of Nokia’s mobile phone unit), Microsoft has ditched the strategy that originally made Windows win the world. Instead of leaving the PC hardware to many partners, Microsoft wants it all.
To no one’s surprise, this isn’t going over well so far. Sales of Surface PCs are lukewarm and one of Microsoft’s biggest hardware partners, HP, is openly running to Google and calling Microsoft a competitor.
But Google didn’t cause Microsoft’s death spiral. Neither did Steve Jobs.
The credit goes to something called free open source software (FOSS) and an operating system called Linux, which came from a guy in his dorm room 22 years ago named Linus Torvalds.
If there’s a bug that needs fixing, or a feature that needs adding, users are free to do it themselves.
When software developers give their work away under an open source license, users will fix bugs and add new features the original programmer never even thought of. As the project grows in popularity, the developer makes money by offering support services. Red Hat has grown into a $1.3 billion company this way.
The Linux operating system (which in Linux-speak is called a “kernel”) is proof that open source is an extremely efficient way of working and it’s not the only example. There are lots of other open source projects like databases, storage software, networking software, Office software, and so on.
In fact, Android is a form of Linux. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system). So is ChromeOS, based on the Linux distribution Gentoo.
Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin is likely one of a handful of people in the world who has had a front row seat to the largest collaborative development effort in the history of computing, Linux. He understands that speed of innovation and quality of software development is dictated by forward thinkers who are working in collaboration.
That is why he was recently invited to speak at TEDx about what the technology industry has learned from Linux, and specifically its creator Linus Torvalds, and how some of those lessons can be applied to a variety of efforts and projects across geographies and disciplines.
Linux has been pretty successful and the TEDx audience was eager to learn how it has achieved such success and how they could apply some of the Linux community’s best practices to their own work. In true Zemlin style, the lessons seemed a little surprising at first but as he elaborated, the audience soon understood how Linux has become the largest shared technology resource known to man. It runs the Internet, our smartphones, televisions, the world’s high performance computing systems and eight out of 10 of the world’s stock exchanges. It’s literally the foundation for our global economy, he explained.
He attributes the success of Linux during his talk to four primary principles:
Don’t Dream Big
Zemlin quotes poet David Frost in his first point about not dreaming big: “Don’t aim for success if that’s what you want. Do what you love and believe in and it will follow.” This is exactly what Linus Torvalds did when he put his Linux operating system on the Internet in 1991 and said he didn’t think it would be much, just something he was doing for fun.
Give It All Away
Zemlin also makes an important point about how companies make money from software that is given away. By giving Linux away, Linus Torvalds and the entire Linux community have created more value than anyone could have imagined. Linux today is estimated to be worth more than $10B. IBM and Red Hat continue to see increasing shareholder value, while companies using largely closed development models have seen little return to their shareholders.
Zemlin says that even Apple gets the value of Linux and open source software. Inside every iPhone and iPad, there is free software. He says,” Apple knows something that many people don’t. When you stand on the shoulders of giants you can innovate at higher levels.”
Don’t Have a Plan
He goes on to explain that the plan for Linux is there is no plan and shares with the TEDx audience how self-forming communities result in faster, better collaboration. Seven changes are made to Linux every hour, 24 hours a day, because people are self-motivated and care about what they’re working on.
Don’t Be Nice
His last point is perhaps the most entertaining and provocative. Zemlin talks here about the value of flame wars, defending ideas and ridiculing code. The result? Better software. He cites a UC Berkeley study that found groups that are encouraged to debate rigorously and defend their ideas, opposed to traditional brainstorming where every idea is a good idea, come up with better ideas.
I don’t want to spoil the ending so I’ll just say that he makes the argument that the future is one where you can enrich yourself while at the same time enriching others. Check out the 18-minute talk here and share. If this TEDx Talk inspires you, let the TED team know and help us spread the word about Linux.
“The Linux kernel changes eight times an hour. There are 10,000 lines of code added a day, 8,000 lines of code subtracted. Even Amazon and Google couldn’t keep up with that level of development on their own,” Zemlin says.
Ingenious people have modified Linux to work on huge supercomputers, and on tiny devices, like the $25 Raspberry Pi PC. (Pi, in turn powers all kinds of other amazing inventions). Today, Linux runs everything from automobiles to televisions, Zemlin says.
Plus, many of the developer tools used to write Linux are also open source. Torvalds invented Git, a tool for managing open source projects. That lead a few other guys, who had never even met Torvalds at the time, to use it for a company called GitHub. GitHub has since become the most popular place to store and share other open source projects.
Google, Twitter, Facebook and others have given away lots of open source developer tools, too.
This all adds up to a non-profit organization, the Linux Foundation, with a $25 million annual budget. The money, and engineering talent, comes from companies like HP, IBM, Oracle, Intel, Samsung, Google, Cisco and others, the Foundation says.
Microsoft spent a decade being an enemy of open source. Today Microsoft does offer lots of software via its own open source licenses, but not its biggest products like Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Server, SQL Server, etc.
Microsoft is still forced to keep up. Its execs have vowed to release new versions of all of its software every year, instead of its previous three-to-five year cycle.
But it’s on its own to build the software, fix the bugs, and so on. Meanwhile, a $25 million organization is producing 18,000 code changes a day and giving it all away for free.
Thanks to Linus Torvalds.
Microsoft has finally seen use of its Windows 7 operating system (OS) overtake that of its ten year old brother, Windows XP. Windows 7 was released on July 22, 2009 and with Windows XP so intrenched, it has taken little over two-years to catch up.
Web analytics firm Statcounter revealed the change in usage and explained that globally Windows 7 has a 40.5 per cent market share, Windows XP has 38.5 per cent, and Windows Vista has 11.2 per cent. (more…)
Still using OpenOffice? if you are your behind the times. LibreOffice is a free and open source office suite developed by The Document Foundation as a fork of OpenOffice.org. It is largely compatible with other major office suites, including Microsoft Office, and available on a variety of platforms. LibreOffice has no licensing fees, is available in a large number of local languages and gives users the opportunity to participate in its development.
LibreOffice is a hybrid word, meaning “Free Office”. Libre means free (as in freedom) in French and Spanish. Between January 2011 (its first stable launch) and October 2011, LibreOffice was downloaded approximately 7.5 million times. It is the default office suite in many Linux distributions, such as Fedora, Linux Mint, openSUSE, and Ubuntu.
LibreOffice can be run on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger or newer, and Linux-based systems running Linux kernel version 2.6.18 or newer. (more…)
Some people may dismiss this idea, but I see the real genius behind it. Using one of these devices, you would be able to browse the web, shop and do your online banking securely without worrying about picking up computer viruses or malware.
Budding computer hackers/scientists are about to get a welcome gift, albeit a bit late. The non-profit Raspberry Pi Foundation (RPF) is nearing the release date of its surprisingly powerful and remarkably affordable Raspberry Pi line of bare-bones machines that have been developed in an effort to broaden kids’ access to computers in the UK and abroad. How affordable? The figure above was no typo. Read on to learn just what US$35 will get you when these nifty, fully-assembled, credit-card sized computers go on sale next month (sorry, case, monitor, keyboard and mouse not included … we did say bare bones).
Early models of the Pi will be offered in two versions. The first, Model A (US$25), will sport 128M of RAM but no Ethernet port. Presumably, most of these will end up in educational use. The second, Model B (US$35), will have a larger production run and offer 256M of RAM along with 10/100MBit networking capability. Both are powered by 700MHz ARM11 CPUs and include hardware support for OpenGL ES 2.0 and Blu-Ray caliber (1080p30 H.264) playback. (more…)
Patch up warmly this winter if you’re running Java, as Oracle’s software platform is the single biggest target for hackers. Java proved the single most popular target in the 12-month period to the end of June, according to Microsoft’s latest Security Intelligence Report has found here. Running Java as a Web-browser Plugin is much more dangerous than Flash, and you should disable the Java Applet Plugin.
Microsoft today issued software updates to patch at least 19 security holes in Windows XP, Vista, 2003 and 7 (no surprise there), including three flaws that earned the company’s most serious “critical” rating. Separately, Oracle released a security update that fixes several issues in its Java software. (more…)
Want to make your Windows PC run faster and smoother? These are some small tips which make great impact on the performance of your computer. Everybody wants a PC which runs the way we want. A newly bought computer just impresses you, with its fast interface, quick reactions, negligible garbage, in short just like what a new computer should.
But after using your computer for about a year or so, like me, you would also face some minor problems with your computer performance e.g. takes more time to boot up, hangs up very frequently, you see a large cluster of useless icons on your desktop, applications run slower, some even refuse to run. Innumerable problems are faced by all of us. This happens from how Windows is designed, the filing system used (NTFS) is sloppy, as opposed to EXT3/4 journaling file system as used on Linux distributions.
Now all of us won’t buy a new computer just for this reason, so what would you do? Format your hard disk? Probably, but who wants to lose precious data? There are many small things that PC users, don’t know about, or though being aware of them don’t prefer to use them as they require investment of time. And who has free time?
I am going to tell you, what I do to my own PC, to achieve the performance level I want from it. This doesn’t require much effort to follow these simple tips, nor do they require much time, but surely they increase our PC performance, your PC would surely run smoother and faster. (more…)
The Linux computer operating system turned twenty in August this year. But, despite having reached that fine age (in computer terms), it remains on the fringe, with relatively low usage levels. Mostly, it has suffered from its reputation for being complicated, with many thinking it’s exclusively for geeks and nerds who know each line of code by heart.
But the reputation is undeserved. Linux hardly makes any special demands on users and is far easier then Windows or Mac OS, once you become accustom to the user interface.
Another reason that Linux it is not very popular, is due to the fact that OEM’s, are locked into Windows due to licensing with Microsoft, but that is slowly changing and set to become rather sub-standard now due to Android. (more…)
In a move that is likely to anger the antivirus industry, Microsoft is adding security features from its Security Essentials program to Windows 8. This is good news for consumers, but bad news for the antivirus industry. Microsoft should have been doing this since the release of Windows 95. While many of us do simultaneous facepalms and giggle at a decade-late decision, others question the legality of doing so. A multi-billion dollar industry has grown, based on the absolute porous operating system that is Microsoft Windows.
That’s right. Microsoft this week began offering U.S. customers its free antivirus program via Windows’ built-in update service, a move one major security firm said may be anti-competitive. Microsoft is adding features from its Security Essentials program, which is currently available as a separate download for Windows users, to the Windows Defender package already built into Windows. This means that Windows 8 users will get out-of-the-box protection against malware, along with firewall and parental controls from within Windows without requiring users hunt down a separate download or buy new software. (more…)
A big issue right now in the world of operating systems – especially Linux – is Microsoft’s requirement that all Windows 8 machines ship with UEFI’s secure boot enabled, with no requirement that OEMs implement it so users can turn it off. This has caused some concern in the Linux world, and considering Microsoft’s past and current business practices and the incompetence of OEMs, that’s not unwarranted. Dell has stated it’s plans to include the option to turn secure boot off, while HP was a bit more vague about the issue.
You believe OEMs and Microsoft on their blue eyes. After years of abuse and patent troll behaviour, smart people don’t.
Dell confirmed that they have plans to ship Windows 8 machines with the ability to turn secure boot off in UEFI, while HP had no idea what was going on. BIOS maker AMI, meanwhile, has said it will advise OEMs to not remove the option, but adds that they can’t mandate as such.
A Dell spokesperson has stated that “Dell has plans to make SecureBoot an enable/disable option in BIOS setup”. Dell plans to move to UEFI with secure boot in the Windows 8 time frame.
HP, sadly, was less clear. “HP will continue to offer its customers a choice of operating systems,” HP said, “We are working with industry partners to evaluate the options that will best serve our customers.” Nobody at HP was apparently even aware of the issue, which means this is a general PR statement with zero actual value.
Lastly, BIOS maker AMI stated that it “will advise OEMs to provide a default configuration that allows users to enable/disable secure boot, but it remains the choice of the OEM to do (or not do) so”. This is entirely reasonable – AMI just provides a software package, it doesn’t control what OEMs remove and include.
Michael Reed is the latest person to write about “restricted boot” (or UEFI) in a major GNU/Linux Web site. Matthew Garrett, who started a lot of the outcry, calls it a bug and Groklaw helps remind us that “Microsoft’s license provision [was] prohibiting OEMs from modifying the initial boot sequence…” There are several other examples of Microsoft sabotaging Linux adoption through booting complexity [1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6, 7] . The worst thing one can do is assume good faith from Microsoft. The people who run the company are extremely anti-competitive. Don’t blame Microsoft; it’s in their nature.
My biggest fear is that like with BIOS today, every computer – even revisions within the same model – will have its own unique UEFI implementation, some of them broken and/or limited, without any means of telling which features are supported and implemented and which aren’t. Heck, I’ve encountered countless BIOS implementations over the years which only allowed you to change the boot drive order, and nothing else.
All in all, this issue is far from over, and Considering Microsoft’s history of anti-competitive practices, its current patent troll behaviour, and the general incompetence of OEMs, it’s entirely reasonable and smart for us geeks to be on our toes.
Windows 7 is supported til 2020 … most large businesses are only just thinking about moving to it and doing testing … the will probably never move to Windows 8. Windows 7 is going to be around for the next good few years as well as businesses that will use XP forever and ever … will need new hardware.
A business that harasses customers will soon lose customers. Microsoft has repeatedly violated this rule by suppressing competition. The result is a huge body of customers/consumers who are ready to bolt at the first sign of an alternative. Witness the avalanche of consumers who have chosen Android/Linux smart phones instead of stupid phones with Microsoft’s stuff on board.
Larry Page commented on that when he discusses Google impressive growth,
“Rather than seeing, for example, Microsoft compete in the marketplace with their own smartphones, they’ve really continued resorting to legal measures to hassle their own customers, right? So it seems kind of odd. And we haven’t seen the details of those total agreements, and I suspect that our partners are making good deals for themselves there.”
Android/Linux is on most smart phones these days and Phoney “7″ is on 5%, the opposite situation we see in the retail shelves of personal computers. The difference is consumers have a choice in smart phones. They soon will have the same choice in all personal computers because the suppliers who are making money using Android/Linux are not beholden to Microsoft and can make personal computers of all kinds to compete with Microsoft’s legacy stuff that’s too bulky, hot, noisy and unreliable. Folks who love Android/Linux on smart phones know there are better ways to compute. That knowledge is spreading quickly. This Christmas we will see Android/Linux taking up lots of space on smart thingies and notebooks and desktops in retail shops.
We all know how popular smart phones have become today and with their rapid development, new and latest mobile phone operating systems are also advancing. Thus, it was not so long ago that the Windows Phone 7 OS came out for the recently released Windows Phone 7 units. But, there is no doubt that the Android OS has been here longer and if we put the Windows 7 OS in comparison with the Android OS, the latter would surely be better. The in fact quite a few reasons that the Android OS seems more competent and is simply still far better even after the release of the Windows 7 OS.
In fact at this time it would seem pointless comparing the Android OS with Windows 7 for smart phones at such an early stage. Windows Phone 7 still actually has to make its place in the market and prove its capability. Thus there is no chance that it could instantly beat the Android OS.
Taking the homescreens of the two OS for instance, Android had always been using the iOS approach for its smart phones where the homescreen could be filled with as many apps as a user could find. Thus in fact the Android phone could even hold up to seven different homescreens each being filled to brink with numerous Android apps, widgets and other useful tools.
The approach Microsoft took for the Windows Phone 7 homescreen was to merely include tiles over the homescreen which themselves would be filled with apps and other such stuff, while they could be updated via the web. This approach does not seem to be too unique; in fact it seems alike what Android has to offer through its widgets. Thus it seems that the OS system by Microsoft is already lacking the innovation needed.
Thus if we begin our further comparison between these OS, there are a lot of factors that make Android the better OS.
* Much more features included in the Android OS:
If we let alone consider the features, the Android OS is in fact overflowing with them and new ones keep on getting developed and are available for the Android users. Even though it is still new, the Windows Mobile 7 OS is at a serious lack of some new and unique features.
* The Android OS is more customizable:
It already seems that the Windows Mobile 7 OS is rather rigid and would not offer the users much flexibility. This means that it could not be matched with the customization options that Android OS users are able to benefit from.
* More apps available in the Android OS:
Having a hundred thousand apps through the Android OS is quite an immense number for Android users to choose from, with new ones regularly being added. When it comes to the Windows Mobile 7, the users would merely have hundred such apps to select from which is quite a minimal number as compared to what the Android OS has to offer. Thus judging from all of this, it is pretty obvious that currently Android is surely the better OS around.I hope basic comparison chart also will help you understand better.
Animals that are kept in captivity for most of there life, often cannot survive out in the real world, as they now have to think for themselves and find their own food. So its understandable, that the freedom that Android brings may be rejected, by those who are not accustom to choice or who are to lazy to responsible for themselves. But have no fear, Apple and Microsoft will save you from the responsibility of choice. For the rest, for you brave open minded souls embrace the power or choice…embrace Android.