Tag Archives: Microsoft

microsoft-lockdown

China bans Windows 8 on government computers

China has banned use of Windows 8 in government offices. Windows 8 is the latest version of Windows which is already facing hard time due to its revamped user interface. Chinese decision is a major blow for Microsoft which is struggling to find its place in the post PC era as Windows market shares are declining and it’s hard core partners are adopting Linux based Chrome OS. The move comes at an interesting time as the US government has filed criminal charges against China accusing them of economic espionage.

China was never a revenue generating market for Microsoft despite its sheer size. China has twice as many Internet users as the US has, yet this market is out of the reach of Microsoft.

“All desktops, laptops and tablet PCs to be purchased by central state organs must be installed with OS other than Windows 8, according to an online statement by the Central Government Procurement Center,” reports Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Most government computers in China (over 70%) still run Windows XP which stopped getting support this April, turning all these computers into low hanging fruits for hackers (NSA must be happy with this situation). China supposedly don’t want to make the same mistake and would rather invest resources in developing its own GNU/Linux based operating system.

Given accusations of close relation between NSA and Microsoft, it may be a wise decision for China and other countries to move away from Windows and adopt Linux.

Core Infrastructure Initiative

Core Infrastructure Initiative, a collective response to the Heartbleed

In an effort to stop the next Heartbleed, a group of tech giants have joined forces to fund critical open source projects known as Core Infrastructure Initiative. The Heartbleed bug was a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allowed stealing of the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as Web, e-mail, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).

The Core Infrastructure Initiative is a multi-million dollar project organized by The Linux Foundation to fund open source projects that are in the critical path for core computing and Internet functions. The Core Infrastructure Initiative’s first task will be OpenSSL, which fell prey to Heartbleed and caused panic across the Web.

The Core Infrastructure group will work with an advisory board of esteemed open source developers to identify and fund open source projects in need. Support from the initiative can include funding for fellowships for key developers to work full time on the open source project, security audits, computing and test infrastructure, travel, face-to-face meeting coordination and other support.

Essentially, organization members – which include Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Dell, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NetApp, Rackspace, VMware and The Linux Foundation – will invest in open-source projects to make sure they get off the ground and are as secure as possible.

“We are expanding the work we already do for the Linux kernel to other projects that may need support, our global economy is built on top of many open source projects. Just as The Linux Foundation has funded Linus Torvalds to be able to focus 100% on Linux development, we will now be able to support additional developers and maintainers to work full-time supporting other essential open source projects. We are thankful for these industry leaders’ commitment to ensuring the continued growth and reliability of critical open source projects such as OpenSSL,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation.

Heartbleed was one of the worst Internet flaws ever uncovered. The maintenance of the software, which secures around two-thirds of the world’s websites, was done by a group of volunteers with very little funding. The new group set up by the Linux Foundation has a dozen contributors and has so far raised around $3m.

Here are the official statements by Founding Members of The Core Infrastructure,

Amazon Web Services : “Open source software is important to organizations like AWS that deliver secure Internet experiences and services for customers,” said Steve Schmidt, Chief Information Security Officer, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “We are pleased to be part of the Core Infrastructure Initiative and to work with the Linux Foundation to foster continued innovation and security in key open source projects that can benefit us all.”

Cisco : “By creating the Core Infrastructure Initiative, the Linux Foundation has once again stepped up to the challenge of supporting open source projects at the heart of today’s Internet,” said Colin Kincaid, VP Product Management and Architecture, Cisco. “Supporting dedicated open source collaborators and contributors is vital to the success and growth of innovation.”

Dell : “Protecting and supporting the work of open source developers and the projects that provide the underpinning of the world’s technology infrastructure is of the highest priority,” said Don Ferguson, Software CTO and Sr. Fellow, Dell. “The Core Infrastructure Initiative gives the industry a way to do this effectively. We are proud to be involved in this very important work.”

Facebook : “Open source software makes today’s computing infrastructure possible. Facebook is excited to support these projects and the developers who maintain them. This initiative will help ensure that these core components of internet infrastructure get the assistance they need to respond to new threats and to reach new levels of scale,” said Doug Beaver, Engineering Director of Traffic & Edge, Facebook.

Fujitsu : “In the nearly two decades that Fujitsu has actively supported Linux, we have gained an understanding that open source software is an essential element of today’s computing infrastructure,” said Takashi Fujiwara, Head of Platform Software Business Unit, Fujitsu Limited. “We are keen to participate in the Core Infrastructure Initiative as it will enable us to more easily support critical open source projects and key developers of the world’s most important code.”

Google : “Google has been a longtime supporter of the Linux Foundation and open source in general, so we’re proud to join the Core Infrastructure Initiative. We believe that an open-source approach to online security will ensure that code is constantly improving, making the web a safer place for us all,” said Chris DiBona, Director of Engineering for Open Source at Google.

IBM“The Linux Foundation is well positioned to manage this initiative to improve security for the open source community,” said Hira Advani, IBM Software Group Chief Security Compliance Officer. “IBM has a long history of supporting open source standards and thousands of IBM researchers, programmers and engineers around the world are contributing to this community. We look forward to working with the foundation and other founding members of the Core Infrastructure Initiative to better enable the open source community to meet the evolving needs of businesses and governmental organizations.”

Intel : “Intel is committed to support the development of open source technology and Linux,” said Imad Sousou, Intel vice president and general manager of the Intel Open Source Technology Center. “As an active and long term contributor to open source community, Intel believes the Core Infrastructure Initiative can help provide long term, sustainable support to Linux, the world’s most important open source standard.”

Microsoft : “Security is an industry-wide concern requiring industry-wide collaboration. The Core Infrastructure Initiative aligns with our participation in open source and the advancement of secure development across all platforms, devices and services.” – Steve Lipner, partner director of software security, Microsoft.

NetApp : “We are pleased to support the important and timely Core Infrastructure Initiative, along with our industry partners,” said Dan Neault, Senior Vice President, Datacenter Solutions, and NetApp. “Computer security is of paramount importance to our industry, and our participation reflects NetApp’s commitment to the open source community and the software that we each rely on every day in our business and personal lives.”

Rackspace : “We believe the Core Infrastructure Initiative will improve the security of the Internet,” said John Engates, CTO, and Rackspace. “Open source code powers everything we do online. We look forward to working with the Linux Foundation, our other company partners, and the open source community to make sure these projects get the support they need.”

VMware  “The Core Infrastructure Initiative is critical. The new model of computing involves a set of choices for customers – on premise, off premise, hybrid – and we must ensure the safety and security across all of those environments,” commented Ray O’Farrell, senior vice president, Cloud Infrastructure R&D, VMware. “We welcome the opportunity to support and contribute to the success of open source and are eager to participate in the Core Infrastructure Initiative.”

Source: eweek.com

intel-02

Android is the only hope for Intel while Microsoft’s market declines

Intel is trying desperately to grow its share of the tablet market, but with Windows they think it is not possible. So it’s time to say goodbye Windows. Intel hopes to see its processors used in 40 million tablets this year, and 80 percent to 90 percent of those will be running Google’s Android OS. Most Intel-powered tablets running Android today use the older Medfield  and Clover Trail+  chips. More Android tablets running the latest Atom processor, called Bay Trail, will ship later this quarter.

BayTrail-T processors, such as the Atom Z3740 and the Atom Z3770, are priced at $32 and $37 respectively with a 10 percent subsidy for bulk purchases. With this pricing, however, Intel isn’t being very competitive when compared to ARM-based chips of the same calibre. With the affordable chips, Intel hopes to be in a better position to compete against companies like Qualcomm with its Snapdragon chips and Nvidia with its Tegra chips.

Intel is chasing ARM the U.K. company whose processor designs are used in most tablets today, including those running both Android and Apple’s iOS.

According to report Intel shipped 5 million tablet chips this year, but revenue from its Mobile and Communications Group fell 61 percent year over year. That’s partly because of the subsidies and the need to focus for now on the low-end Android market, but Intel hopes things will look up with its later, more capable chips.

Intel is providing discounts and development funds to tablet makers to reduce the cost of using its chips. It’s looking for growth with the white-box Chinese tablet makers, which are expected to ship up to 130 million tablets this year.

According to PCworld, Krzanich said he expects Windows to “grow and gain traction,” and more Intel-based tablets running both Android and Windows will be shown in June at the massive Computex trade show in Taipei.

Microsoft hasn’t made much difference for Google’s and Apple’s share of the market, but IDC estimated last month that Windows would have 10.2 percent of the tablet market by 2017. Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard have launched Windows 8 tablets with Bay Trail, and Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 2 uses an Intel Core processor, but the tablets haven’t sold well.

Source: pcworld.com

Chrome OS

Microsoft bringing Office Online to Chromebook

The free online version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote dubbed Office Online is now coming to the Chrome Web Store. Office Online was previously known as Office Web Apps. It worked on Internet Explorer, Safari as well as Chrome browser but the company is taking it a step further. It will now allow all Chrome users the ability to add Word Online, PowerPoint Online and OneNote Online to their Chrome App launchers. This will help them “create new Office documents online with a single click from your desktop.”

It is being reported that Excel Online will “shortly” be arriving on the Chrome Web Store, according to the official Office Blogs post.

According to the latest blog post, Microsoft is bringing enhancements to Office Online. Coming to the changes, Excel Online will now have the capability to add new comments, plus editing as well as deleting of existing comments. The company has also enhanced support for files with VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), thereby letting users open and edit VBA-enabled spreadsheets without the need to remove or break the VBA in the file.

Additionally, Excel Online has the “Tell Me” functionality, which will help users find appropriate commands in a drop-down list form, just like the way it is in Word Online.

Word Online is getting the ability to add comments to the editing mode along with simplified footnotes and endnotes. This will enable users to add them inline, says the blog post.

PowerPoint Online update will make the slide layout look more like what it will finally look like after editing. And it also gets the Tell Me functionality. Lastly, OneNote Online will be getting printing support with the latest bunch of updates.

Source: ZDNet

Microsoft

Microsoft sued by European Union for $731 Million

Microsoft Corp’s board faces a lawsuit over the way it handled an error with its Internet Explorer browser that ended up costing the company a record-breaking $731 million fine by European antitrust regulators. The lawsuit, brought by shareholder Kim Barovic in federal court in Seattle on Friday, charges that directors and executives, including founder Bill Gates and former Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, failed to manage the company properly and that the board’s investigation was insufficient into how the miscue occurred.

The main issue was Browser Choice Screen, “Giving choice to users to select internet browser of their own will”. On giving Browser Choice Screen previously Microsoft admitted in 2009 that, “We have fallen short in our responsibility to do this. Due to a technical error, we missed delivering the BCS software to PCs that came with the service pack 1 update to Windows 7″. As an effect  of this, Microsoft did bonus cut for Ballmer, who was CEO at the time, and Steven Sinofsky, then the head of the Windows unit.

Even after giving promise to rectify this so called Technical error they didn’t do anything. As a result, 15 million users between May 2011 and July 2012 forced to use Internet Explorer as their default browser Internet Explorer.

European Union filed its biggest ever antitrust fine against Microsoft for breaking a lawfully tying duty made in 2009 to guarantee shoppers of how they get to the web, instead of defaulting to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer program.

According to Reuters, in her lawsuit, Barovic asked Microsoft’s board to investigate how that mistake occurred and to take action against the directors or executives those had not performed their duties. She says Microsoft had replied to her that, “It found no evidence of a breach of fiduciary duty by any current or former executives or directors”. In a statement on Friday, Microsoft stuck to the same position . “Ms. Barovic asked the board to investigate her demand and bring a lawsuit against the board and company executives,” said an emailed statement from Microsoft. “The board thoroughly considered her demand as she requested and found no basis for such a suit.”

One can refer the case “Barovic v Ballmer et al in U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, No. 14-00540″ for detailed information.

This is the perfect example of How Freedom of people denied by closed source technology giants just to make profits. We should welcome this decision which will force all closed source giants to rethink about there evil policies.

Source: TimesOfIndia

 

microsoft-lockdown

Will free Windows make Microsoft bleed to death?

At its annual Build software developers conference in San Francisco, Microsoft took a strange step and announced Windows OS license for free for devices under 9-inch screen (when measured diagonally). That’s what many would call a bold move for Microsoft as Windows, besides Office, is the company’s cash cow. Bill Gates erected his empire on these two products. So is it really a bold move? How will it affect Microsoft’s future? Will this move help the Redmond-based software giant regain its foothold in the computing space?

It’s a desperate, not a bold move

I don’t think it’s a bold move for Microsoft; I think it’s a desperate move to somehow get some OEMs to use Windows on their devices. Microsoft is trying to copy Android’s model so let’s see why Android became popular and whether the same model would work for Microsoft.

Both Nokia and Microsoft had a monopoly in the feature phone segment before iPhone arrived. Microsoft don’t have innovation in their DNA (most of their products are either acquisition or imitation of a competitor) so they never bothered to improve Windows for phones or PCs. While Apple continued to push the envelope and brought newer technologies to the market, the PC was stuck in past. Frozen.

Then came iPhone turning the mobile industry upside down. It created an entirely new segment. Since Apple doesn’t licence its software, it was Cupertino vs the rest of the industry. Microsoft failed to see where it was heading and continued to milk its Windows and Office cow; it failed to capture the opportunity Apple had created. The industry kept looking at Microsoft desperately. Nothing happened. Even hardcore Microsoft partners like Intel got desperate and attempted to create their own OS solution for mobile devices, which back then they called MID – Mobile Internet Devices. The chip maker started a project called Moblin; it didn’t work out very well. It’s still trying to survive through reincarnations like Tizen.

In a nutshell, the entire hardware industry was looking for a solution to tap into the new market that Apple had created.

Google had the solution that industry wanted

Entered Google, a forward-looking company, with Android. It was a Linux-based, Open Source operating system which any one can use for free. Google created Open Handset Alliance to bring players together and give them early access to Android source code so they can bring Android-powered devices to the market. Suddenly there was this operating system which they could modify as much as they wanted to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Android enabled companies to add value to their products, creating a healthy competition in the market using the same OS. While core Microsoft partners like Dell, HP, Intel and AMD refused to adopt Android, new players like Nvidia, HTC, Samsung, LG, Acer and Motorola snatched the market away from Microsoft gang.

So when we look at free of cost Android, we see the solution that the industry was looking for. Android was the answer to the question the industry was asking. What answer is the closed source, free of cost Windows giving? What problem is it trying to solve? None that I can think of. I don’t see any reason why companies would pick closed source Windows over open source Android, when both are available for free.

But how will it affect Microsoft’ revenue?

Windows and Office are Microsoft’s core cash cows, rest of its units are either making losses or are break even. Windows PC market is declining, being taken over by Android, iOS and Chromebooks. As a result, Microsoft is losing revenue from PC license – and it will get worse as we move further in the post-PC era.

Mobile is the future, but can a company earn revenue through licensing? Microsoft doesn’t have any significant presence in the mobile space. Only company which was pushing Windows to the market was Nokia. Redmond acquired it by planting a CEO who kept Nokia away from Android and prepared it for an acquisition – Stephen Elop succeeded and Nokia is now part of Microsoft. With this purchase, Microsoft ensured that at least there would be one company to bring Windows devices to the market; thus trying to imitate Apple’s model of bringing their own hardware to the market. They tried it with Surface but it failed miserably. Surface is bigger failure than Zune or Windows Vista.

Surface and Nokia distanced Microsoft from its hardware partners; it was no more a partner – it was a competitor. You can see Samsung ads taking a dig at Surface or Microsoft ads taking a dig at Samsung’s Chromebooks.

Alas, after failing at copying Apple’s model the company is now making a halfhearted effort to copy Google’s model. I call it halfhearted because Microsoft is not getting rid of licence fee; they are offering their OS for free only for devices under 9-inch screen. Google gives its OS for free irrespective of the screen size of a device.

Before we see how Microsoft is going to make money by giving out its OS for free, let’s have a look at why Google did it.

Chrome, Chrome OS and Android more like an insurance policy for Google

Browser was an insurance policy for Google so that competitors like Microsoft won’t destroy them by blocking their services (Microsoft did try that with making do not track default on IE). At the same time, an innovative company like Google wouldn’t want to be at the mercy of a browser which would not work with modern technologies. So they created their own browser (based on Open Source technologies) and funded Mozilla to reduce reliance on Microsoft.

An OS was the next step. If you want to rule the waters, you need your own ship and thus came Chrome OS. But none of these products were meant to bring licensing revenues to Google. These products ensured that Google will have its own platform to bring its services to customers. It was an insurance plan. Google is the world’s #1 advertising company and its services are meant to create eyeballs for advertisers. Google wants its services to run on as many devices as possible – irrespective of whether its Android, Chrome OS, iOS or Windows.

That’s not Microsoft’s business model.

chromebooks-2014

Chromebook shipment reaches 2.1 million, making dent in Windows PC market: Study

Chromebooks have been the best selling devices on Amazon.com for the last two years and now according to a study by ABI research an “estimated 2.1 million Chromebooks shipped in 2013 with nearly 89% of total shipments reaching North America.”

Chromebook is creating deep dents in Windows PC market which continues to decline. The research showed that ” ultraportable segment, which is powered by the Windows 8 operating system and includes the versatile 2-in-1 configurations, saw minimal growth during 4Q 2013 even with the holiday season.” The bottom line is no one is buying Windows PCs anymore. More and more users are switching to smartphones and tablets and these users are picking Android, hurting Microsoft twice.

However the increasing sales of Chromebook does show that people are still looking for ‘laptops’ but Windows brand has lost it glory and people are picking more affordable Chromebooks which take care of almost 90% of their PC needs. “ABI Research tracked Chromebooks across six regions and found the average selling price (ASP) to be US$338,” says research analyst Stephanie Van Vactor. “This truly budget-driven device is a disruptive force to the portable PC market.”

Looks like Chromebook market will continue to grow as Google is innovating at a much faster rate with an OS which is always up-to-date compared to Windows which is stuck with Metro and is slow to respond to what market needs.

Windows_to_linux

Is Windows 8 update deleting Linux boot loader?

A Linux and Windows 8 user has reported on Reddit that one of the updates performed by Microsoft’s OS Windows 8 deleted the GRUB boot loader and set UEFI to secure boot. It was not Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 upgrade, but regular Windows 8 system update.

He claims that after the Windows System Update GRUB 2 was removed, and UEFI booting was set to “secure boot” which it wasn’t prior to the update. During the update, Windows 8 mentioned “there is a security problem with your computer” that needed to be “fixed”.

When user contacted the Microsoft support he did not get satisfactory reply. He also said that the Microsoft support representative also made the following statement: “MS updates makes sure W8 functions fine, it does not look at other OS’s integrity.”

After user restored GRUB2 he said that “now there are three different windows boot loaders besides the Linux entry, each on a different partition that wasn’t there before. Apparently, they have found a new way to fragment your disks entries besides the Linux”.

According to him, this happened on a Lenovo Ideapad Flex while dual-booting Windows 8 and Xubuntu 13.10. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to pinpoint which update was to blame. Also, another user in the same thread said that he faced a similar problem when dual-booting Windows 8.1 with Fedora 20 and Ubuntu 13.10.It’s difficult to ascertain the veracity of these claims, but it wouldn’t be that far-fetched for an update to actually do all those things.

At the end he mentions,” Hopefully, this post will save other people from running into the same stuff. If you run a dual boot machine, turn off W8 automatic updates so you can at least try to vet them before they run.”

Windows is known for not detecting other OSes on the system and deletes the boot loader, but we have not seen any Windows update doing so. It could be a bug or a deliberate attempt by Microsoft to break dual booting Linux systems.

Source: reddit.com

Surface Pro 2 tablet

Microsoft shipping new Surface Pro 2 tablets with wrong processor?

While Microsoft’s entry into the tablet segment was late, the company cannot afford any negative publicity to affect its dwindling sales figure further. However, if reports are to be believed, the tech giant is shipping the wrong version of the Surface Pro 2 tablet to its customers.

At the beginning of the year, the company had silently upgraded the 1.6GHz Core i5-4200U processor of Surface Pro 2 tablet with the powerful 1.9GHz Core i5-4300U processor. The upgrade offered interesting improvements like 20% higher clock speed and 15% to 20% better overclocked clock speed. The company had promised that all devices will now be shipped with the new processor, however, courtesy an eager buyer, a new story cropped up.

The buyer had ordered a Surface Pro 2 128GB tablet just to realise that it was an older model. The buyer was assured that she will be getting the new tablet with the new processors very soon. After sometime, she contacted Microsoft and was told that the new models were now shipping but yet again she received a Surface Pro 2 with an i5-4200 processor!

The customer got to know that Microsoft had been receiving a string of complaints the previous week about customers getting i5-4200 powered tablet instead of i5-4300 processors.

Is Microsoft trying to clear its old stock? Well, the customers surely deserve an explanation…

Microogled, maybe!

Source: Wind8apps.com

Jelly Fish - RaDu GaLaN

Windows XP will die in April, what are your options?

Windows XP along with Windows 7 is undoubtedly the only decent operating system Microsoft ever created in almost 40-year-long career. These two operating systems were easy to use, and offered a desktop environment that people could actually use. Windows XP was released on October 25, 2001 and, thanks to Microsoft’s business practices, became the most popular OS in the world and accounted for 98% of OS market. Like all good things, Windows XP is also coming to an end and Microsoft will stop extended support on April 8, 2014. You can still use it but it could cost you heavily. Let’s face it, Windows XP is over 13 years old. It’s insecure and incapable of handling modern technologies. Running an unsupported Windows XP is liking jumping from a plane without a parachute.

So what are the risks of running Windows XP?

Windows XP is safe for those who never connect their PCs to the Internet, never connect any USB, CD or any other storage device that’s used elsewhere. The reason is simple: Windows XP is an extremely insecure operating system and is a virus, malware magnet. You risk losing all your critical data. At the same time, you won’t be able to access latest features of the Web as most latest browsers and applications don’t support Windows XP. So, you are potentially living in past decade with the risk of losing your data.

In a nutshell, any expert will suggest you to upgrade from Windows XP as soon as possible.

So what are the alternatives?

Many! Except for Windows. The current OS that Microsoft is offering is Windows 8 – which is more or less like Vista 2. Why? Microsoft failed to envision and drive the adoption of mobile devices. Yes, Bill Gates did try to promote Windows tablets, but it was more about a mediocre touch screen than an OS to take computing to the next level, the way Apple did with iPhone and the iPad. Microsoft did have a mobile OS which it was offering on Nokia devices, but these efforts were half-baked which owed everything to the monopoly these two companies had in the mobile/desktop space. There was no competition so there was no need for Microsoft to innovate. There was no need for Microsoft to create new markets. And let’s face it, Microsoft has never been an overly innovative company; they are not known for creating new markets (the way Google or Apple do). They pioneer the art of copying what others do, they use their deep pockets to enter that market, whether it is gaming, mobile or any other segment.

Microsoft lacks vision for future of desktop computing

Microsoft chose to put its mobile interface on desktop which used to control over 90% of the market. From what I think their strategy was to make these billions of PC users familiar with the mobile interface so when they walk into a store to buy a smartphone they will choose the ‘UI’ they are already familiar with so it would be an obvious choice over iOS or Android.

The strategy back-fired. Windows 8 is a mess. It’s a mix of traditions UI and Metro UI. A user switches between these two interfaces as it not fully baked. Hardcore Windows users have criticized Windows 8 and the market has shown that there are no Windows 8 taker any more. Even long-time partners like HP, Samsung, Lenovo, ASUS and Acer are now offering Android or Chrome OS powered PCs.

So Windows 8 is obviously not an option for Windows XP user more so because the hardware requirements for Windows 8 make current hardware incompatible with it so most Windows XP users can’t upgrade to Windows 8, and looking at the response for Windows 8, they should not.

So what is the option? Linux

Don’t get scared; Linux is not what you might have heard about it way back in 2005. Today Linux is dominating the world – Android is powered by Linux, Chromebooks are powered by Linux, your Chromecast runs on Linux. And these are consumer-grade devices extremely easy to use.

Same is the case with Linux-based operating systems for PCs. So why do I think Linux is better than Windows 8? Here are my 9 reasons?

  1. It’s free of cost. You don’t have to buy any license for Linux. You can just download it from the Internet, legally. You get all future upgrades for free of cost as well.
  2. There are different types of Linux-based operating systems so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. You are not stuck with only one version like Windows 8.
  3. You can use it along with Windows XP. Linux allows something called ‘dual boot’ which means you can install Linux side-by-side Windows so you will still have Windows XP in case you feel uncomfortable with.
  4. Live Test. Another good thing about Linux is that you can try it on your PC without even installing it. You will be able to run the entire OS on your PC without erasing your hard drive. You won’t have to lose your Windows install in order to use Linux, try and use it only if you like it.
  5. Very well supported. Where do you go if you come across any problem with Windows? Not Microsoft unless you pay extra for support. Linux has huge communities with extremely helpful people willing to help users out if they get stuck.
  6. 100% secure. No system is 100% secure. But Linux is almost 99% secure. It’s open source and developed in a transparent manners so the bugs are spotted and fixed immediately.
  7. It can run on low-end hardware so it will work on your current hardware running Windows XP.
  8. It’s NSA proof. There are two reasons not to trust Microsoft or Windows. Number one reason is that it is a proprietary software which means no one can see the source code so there can be numerous backdoors in Windows so NSA can easily take over people’s computers. There is no way to verify even if Microsoft says there are none as it’s closed source. Then there are reports which say Microsoft was the first company to comply with NSA. Second reason is that according to reports, Microsoft works with NSA and other agencies and enable the government agencies to spy on people.

    That’s not the case with Linux since it’s open source no one can hide and ‘secret’ code as it will be immediately spotted by developers. Second reason being since it’s being developed by open source community, there is no one company which may comply with spy agencies for profit.

  9. Easy to use. Linux-based operating systems are extremely easy to use and come with quite a lot of interfaces which a user can choose based on her needs and preference, unlike Windows or Mac where you are stuck with one UI.

Where Linux can be a challenge

Gaming used to be one field where Linux was weak, but it has changed. Companies are now selling game consoles powered by Linux-based Steam OS so more and more games will come to Linux. But if you are running Windows XP, you are either way out of luck when it comes to gaming as no modern games run on Windows XP.

Conclusion

I hope you are convinced that the path to move forward is ‘upgrading’ Windows XP to Linux. Now, the question is which Linux to pick and how to move forward. Stay tuned! I will tell that in the next article.