Tag Archives: Windows

Red Hat

Red Hat brings Microsoft’s .NET Apps to OpenShift

Customers now don’t need Microsoft Windows to be able to run or create .NET Apps. Red Hat has partnered with Uhuru Software to bring Microsoft .NET Apps and SQL server capabilities to Red Hat’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution OpenShift.

As expected it’s a community driven, Open Source solution. Red Hat said in a press statement, “With open source code contributed by Uhuru, OpenShift is able to provide application isolation for multiple .NET apps on the same Windows instance.”

OpenShiftDotNetGraphic

So now it doesn’t matter if customers are running Windows or RHEL, they will now able to provide “a standardized application environment with consistent administration capabilities across both by abstracting away the underlying infrastructure,” said the company.

“This means developers can easily write an application using a .NET frontend that is on Windows with a MySQL backend on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, all through the OpenShift self-service interface,” said the company in a press statement.

But why is Red Hat doing this? They explain, “…we deeply believe in customer choice. We also embrace the innovation that comes from our open source communities and our partner ecosystem. With a host of .NET applications already deployed throughout enterprises, integrating Microsoft environments for application workloads can provide OpenShift users with the most complete developer experience. That’s why we were excited to have Uhuru collaborate with the OpenShift Origin community on this effort as the first step. This will then enable us to bring this capability to our Online and Enterprise customers in the future.”

What it means is that developers won’t have to leave OpenShift and they can create .NET applications using familiar OpenShift workflows.

The company said, “With Uhuru, OpenShift can deliver a PaaS solution for .NET that is native to Windows while still enabling the secure, multi-tenant architecture that users have come to expect from our platform.”

chromebook-acer

Get ChromeOS experience inside Windows systems

Google is giving Microsoft more and more reasons to get scared of its Chrome OS operating systems.

Google recently announced ‘App Launcher’ for Windows systems which allow users to get ChromeOS like experience within Windows systems. It was a very smart move by Google as people can access the entire ChromeOS ecosystem from within the bottom panel of Windows. The experience is similar to what you get on a Chromebook or Chromebox.

Why I call it a smart move is, the more people see it on their systems (though Windows market share is declining, but it is still a dominant platform on desktop), the more they get familiar with the ChromeOS. When the same Windows users go to Walmart or Target and see Chromebooks they find is ‘familiar’, something they already use at home. When they look at the price of a Windows system and compare it with Chromebooks, the purchase decision is already made.

Once enabled Windows users will get App Launcher in the center of the screen.
Once enabled Windows users will get App Launcher in the center of the screen.

However, unlike Microsoft Google continues to improvise its products (that too for free of cost). The Chrome teams have been working on improving the Chrome OS experience inside windows and the next iteration of App Launcher is heading in the same direction.

Google teams are experimenting with a new look for App Launcher which places it in the center of the screen with a 6×3 grid. If you are a Chromium user on Windows, you can enable the new look by using the flag – enable-experimental-app-list. You can enable the above flag by visiting chrome://flags on your Chromium browser.

Google doesn’t do Linux
Unfortunately the ‘Chrome OS experience’ is not available for GNU/Linux users. The answer is obvious, Google has no desire to bring GNU/Linux users to Chrome OS. Yes, I understand the market dynamics and why Google is doing it (and being a Chromebook user, I really like the move), still I would very much like to see Google supporting GNU/Linux systems as well.

Did I mention there is still no Google Drive for Linux?

Source: François Beaufort

Android

New malware uses Windows to infect Android devices

As it continues to gain popularity among consumers and developers alike, malware authors now seem to have shifted their target to Android in a not-so-common manner. According to security firm Symantec, a trojan, dubbed Trojan.Droidpak, tries to install mobile banking malware on Android devices via a Windows machine.

“We’ve seen Android malware that attempts to infect Windows systems before,” Symantec researcher Flora Liu said in a blog post. “Android.Claco, for instance, downloads a malicious PE [portable executable]file along with an autorun.inf file and places them in the root directory of the SD card. When the compromised mobile device is connected to a computer in USB mode, and if the AutoRun feature is enabled on the computer, Windows will automatically execute the malicious PE file.”

“Interestingly, we recently came across something that works the other way round: a Windows threat that attempts to infect Android devices,” Liu said.

The recently discovered Windows malware drops a malicious DLL file on the Windows computer and registers it as a new system service. It then downloads a configuration file from a remote server; this server contains the location of a malicious APK (Android application package) file called AV-cdk.apk.

The installation is attempted repeatedly to ensure that the infection is successful.

Symantec explained, “Successful installation also requires the USB debugging Mode is enabled on the Android device. However, the malicious APK actually looks for certain Korean online banking applications on the compromised device and, if found, prompts users to delete them and install malicious versions.”

Users are advised to turn off USB debugging on Android devices when it’s not needed in order to avoid falling victim to this new infection vector.

“Exercise caution when connecting your mobile device to untrustworthy computers [and]install reputable security software,” the firm warned.

Arvind-Kejriwal

Richard Stallman meets AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal

The newly elected government of Delhi is all set to switch to free software for computing, starting from the educational institutions in the first phase.

Arvind Kejriwal, the new ‘anti-corruption’ chief minister of India’s capital, recently met free software advocate Richard Stallman and Joseph C Mathew, the former IT advisor to Kerala government, according to a television report.

Stallman also met Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia.

“It’s the general idea that the state and especially schools should move to free software,” Stallman told television channel Mathrubhumi.

This new initiative comes after Kejriwal’s announcement that monopolies will not be allowed in the retail industry. Stallman said that he shared the philosophy of Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), according to the report.

The government’s move could be a setback for companies like Microsoft which focus heavily on educational institutions with their proprietary software. Microsoft has tied up with the AICTE and other schools for its software in educational institutions.

Kerala has already abandoned Windows in favour of free software like Linux in all government establishments.

There is a commendable increase in open source adoption within India’s education system over the last few years. Kerala pioneered open source in schools with its famous IT@Schools project in 2001. Since then, other states like Karnataka, Gujarat, Assam and West Bengal have been including open source in their school education initiatives.

“Governmental agencies must exclusively use free software. The state has a responsibility to maintain control over their computing and it is impractical with proprietary software, especially those by foreign companies,” Stallman said while delivering a lecture on A Free Digital Society organised by Kerala Union of Working Journalists ( KUWJ) and Society for Promotion of Alternate Computing and Employment (SPACE).

Talking about the education sector, he added, “Educational institutions should also take initiatives to propagate free software and use it exclusively. A proprietary software is an agent of withholding knowledge. It should be used only to teach reverse engineering, an area with growing demand.”

ubuntu_korea

Is South Korea moving to Ubuntu from Windows XP?

Microsoft is finally retiring Windows XP on April 8, 2014. XP was the version which helped Microsoft cement its place as the dominant player in the desktop OS arena. Even after 12 years in the market, XP is widely popular and is used by millions. Retiring official support for Windows XP has got organizations across the world thinking about security, fixes and stability of the OS. Due to heavy costs incurred in purchasing new Windows licenses, they are looking at alternatives outside of the Microsoft domain. One of the alternatives, is the hugely popular free and open source Linux distribution, Ubuntu.

Linux, particularly Ubuntu, is popular among the government organisations and educational institutions across the world. The French Police, the city of Munich, Germany and many others made a switch to Linux from Windows. Govt of Kerela in India, announced its official support for free/open-source software in its State IT Policy and Govt of China declared Ubuntu as their nation’s official OS.

Now, Business Korea, a prominent business magazine in South Korea, says, they have reports of serious talks in their home country on how to replace Windows XP. There are range of talks and debates on how to continue using the retired Windows XP, pay up extra money, which may run up to thousands of dollars to upgrade to Windows 7 or perhaps install an alternative OS to replace it.

According to an industry source on December 15, there is a heated discussion about replacing Windows XP with an alternative OS in IT communities at home and abroad, since the market for PC operating systems (OS) has been divided into largely MS windows and Mac OS, without any other significant operating systems. But the issue of a third option has now become a reality, as Windows XP is going to be retired.

Replacing Windows with Linux may not be easy, as the two operating systems are different. Users would need to change habits, adjust to a new way of doing things. Training will be required to ease the transition process and will not happen overnight. However, organisations will be better off spending their money in training staff on how to use Ubuntu and LibreOffice than investing thousands of dollars on Windows licenses.

Chromebook  Classroom

Dell also joins the Chrome OS bandwagon launches Chromebook 11

Microsoft’s nightmare continues as more and more partners are joining the Google club. Dell has announced its first Chromebook which is powered by Google’s Linux-based “open source” operating system Chrome OS.

Dell is pushing the laptop to a market that Microsoft would cringe to continue to own, which is slipping out of its hands.

Neil Hand, vice president, Tablet and Performance PC Group, Dell, says, “The Dell Chromebook 11 will give schools and districts another tool to consider as they plan their digital content and curriculum strategies, and its competitive pricing will help open access to technology for more students around the country.”

The hardware
The Dell Chromebook 11 is powered by 4th Generation Intel Celeron 2955U processor, features a 11.6-inch, edge-to-edge glass screen (maximum resolution of 1366×768) and is powered by Intel HD Graphics and can run for up to 10-hours on  battery.

Since all Chrome OS devices are targeted at cloud, they don’t come with a lot of built-in storage. Chromebook 11 is no exception. It comes with 16GB embedded Solid State Drive to facilitate a fast boot-time of under 8.4 seconds. However one can use external Flash Drives to expand the storage.

Dell is offering two models – one which includes 4GB of internal DDR3 RAM, and the other which includes 2GB of RAM.

This announcement from Dell puts the company in the club of other traditional Microsoft players who are now moving to Linux-based Chrome OS.

Source: Dell

asus

New dual-booting Asus tablets on the horizon

Reports on the Internet indicate that Asus may soon be launching a new family of tablets. The tablet family will come in three flavours – M80T running Windows only, M81T running on Android only and M82T which will dual boot with Android and Windows. We may have to wait some more time for the specifications to be revealed. Currently, it is with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) undergoing evaluation. With CES (Consumer Electronic Show) to be held between Jan 7 and 10 next year, Asus may be looking to unveil these devices there.

Asus does have a dual booted tablet running Android and Windows called the Asus Transformer Book Trio. The company claims it to be the first 3 in 1 device capable of being a tablet, laptop and Desktop PC. Priced around $1700, the tablet can connect to a monitor and a detachable keyboard. Users can view CNet’s video on the Trio by clicking here.

asus_tablet_m80t_specifications

Windows has not been competitive enough in selling it’s Surface range of tablets against Google and Apple. For this reason, it has been pushing its partners to offer dual booted versions of Android devices with Windows with a view to increase its market share. There are also reports of Nokia, Samsung and HTC coming up with their versions of dual-booted tablets.

How well a dual-booted tablet will succeed depends on the price difference between a pure android and a dual-booted one. Retail consumers may very well avoid if it is significant. On the other hand, the tablet may succeed in luring enterprises.

chromebook-acer

Acer introduces $299 touch-screen Chromebook

Acer has announced a $299 Chromebook -C720P – which features a touch-screen. Yes, you heard it right – a touch screen for only $299.

C720P joins Google’s own Pixel Chromebook which comes with a touch-screen and is priced at $1600.

C720P is powered by Intel Celeron 2955U (Haswell), has 2GB DDR3 RAM and comes with 32GB SSD. The most notable feature of the device is its 11.6-inch ComfyView HD ‘touch-screen’ display that has a 1366×768 resolution.

The device runs on Google’s Linux distro Chrome OS, which always stays up-to-date. So unlike Microsoft’s Windows you don’t have to worry about paying for upgrades every time.

C720P will will be available in several configurations in early December at Amazon.com, Best Buy and the Acer Store.

End of Microsoft’s dark ages
Microsoft has been holding the PC hostage with it’s non-innovating technologies for very 3 decades. The only improvement we could think of in the PC space was how much more RAM you could get or what GPU you were running. If Microsoft had a monopoly in the auto industry we would still be moving around in bullock-carts. Google, with help of GnuLinux, has changed that depressing situation.

Is Microsoft planning to enter video ad business?

Windows maker Microsoft seems to be investing more time and resources in creating smear campaign against Google and Android instead of actually improving their own products and let the user’s and market decide.

Windows still controls more than 90% of the PC market, and most of this market is due to Microsoft’s anti-competitive business strategy and not ‘consumer choice. Whenever consumers got a choice, without Microsoft flexing it’s muscle to kill competitors customers went for non-Microsoft product.

Just look at the world’s most popular search engine – despite Internet Explorer being the default web browser, which comes pre-installed on these 90%+ PCs, that has Bing enabled as the default search engine Google is the #1 search provider. People chose better Google over Bing. Same applies with web browser, more and more people are ditching IE and switching to Firefox or Google Chrome. These two examples are clear indications of what users want – they don’t want Microsoft products. The same pattern are being seen in the mobile space, where Android is the #1 player.

But unlike Google which competes by creating better products, Microsoft is doing what he has always done – weaken the competitors instead of offering better products. Microsoft seems to be spending more money on ‘advertisements’ which attack Android or Google – whether it was scroogled, Gmail Man or the new anti-Android video campaign.

Check out the video below which shows Microsoft taking cheap shots are Android.

The amount of resources Microsoft is investing in PR stunts – whether it be bogus patent signing deals with Android players (which could be about things like FAT partitions – B&N case already showed that all of Microsoft’s accusations were bogus and bluff and that’s why the company settled out side the court just before it moved forward and ‘paid’ B&N in the name of ‘investment) or these ad campaigns. The amount of experience Microsoft is gaining in smear campaigns Microsoft may actually have a better career as a video ad company than a software maker.

Hey Microsoft, care to compete on the basis of better products instead of annoying users with such smear campaigns?

KDE 4.10 now available for Windows

KDE’s Plasma is one of the most popular desktop environment in the GNU/Linux world. The community was also working on a Windows port of KDE applications so that these users can also take advantage of KDE’s technologies. The Windows project was in the state of limbo for quite some time and now KDE SC 4.10.2 is available for Windows.

Patrick Spendrin explains why it got delayed:

There have been several problems in the past year that spoiled new release attempts, beginning with a build server leaving together with Nokia and ending with our web server which hosts the original binary releases. But these problems have been solved and so there we are. I hope this will make it also more obvious that KDE on Windows isn’t dead yet ;-)

If you do want to run KDE in Windows keep in mind that this release still under heavy development and not ready for production usage.

Some highlights of this new release are:

  • new releases for some applications as well as updated binary packages
  • more fine grained packages for kdesdk, kdetoys and kdemultimedia
  • windows related bug fixes for several applications like kate, kompare, okular

In addition to highlights posted on KDE Windows project site, Patrick Spendrin writes on his blog,

  • improvements/bug fixes for kate
  • improvements in our emerge build scripts, especially for packaging and building collections of software
  • making nepomuk (at least partly) available

You can test this release by KDEWin installer and install every available software of KDE SC for Windows.