Well, the snow continues to fall here in the Linux blogosphere, and Linux Girl is beginning to wonder if it will ever end.Bread and milk are still in short supply at the local FOSS-y-Mart; children are getting cabin fever; and the snow drifts are getting taller than many netizens.Down at the Broken Windows Lounge, in fact, the snow now blocks out most of the light that would be shining through, making it seem as if there are no windows there at all. Such, perhaps, was the inspiration behind a recent conversation that's come close to fisticuffs among bloggers determined to relieve the tedium."It's the thought experiment we all like to engage in," began InfoWorld's Randall Kennedy, who had clearly been staring at the snow-covered glass for a very long time. "What would life be like without Microsoft Windows?"FOSS advocates, Kennedy asserts, would argue that the demise of Windows "would signal a kind of rebirth for information technology. Software would finally be free of the corporate … [Read more...] about LINUX BLOG SAFARI Life After Microsoft: IT Utopia or ‘Apocalyptic Tailspin’?
Microsoft usb tool
Hoping to put its software at the center of a unified PC-based communications system that encompasses voice as well as data, Microsoft said it would work with a number of partners in the telecom and tech industries to produce a range of devices -- including IP phones and peripherals.Microsoft said it would work through strategic alliances with a range of companies, including Polycom, LG-Nortel and Thomson Telecom to develop and market versions of IP-enabled business desktop phones that extend the communications tools in the software giant's Office productivity suite well beyond the PC.Other companies, including GN Netcom, Logitech, Plantronics, Samsung and Tatung, will work with Microsoft to create peripheral devices, including USB handsets and wireless headsets, Webcams and PC monitors with built-in audio and video capabilities.Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division, unveiled the plans at a strategy event in San Francisco. He said with help from partners, the … [Read more...] about Microsoft to Lead Unified Communications Push
Microsoft gave developers their first hands-on experience with the upcoming Windows 7 operating system (OS) Tuesday.Set for release in 2010, the version of Windows 7 shown at the company's Professional Developers Conference refines certain aspects of the company's Windows Vista OS and is designed to improve on performance."The best way to think of Windows 7 is to look at it as an improved version of Windows Vista. It starts with a Windows Vista foundation, but what it does from there is add some extra functionality. There are some good usability features they have added that, no matter how you cut it, are good stuff. In that respect it's a step forward for customers and should help improve adoption," said Al Gillen, an IDC analyst, told TechNewsWorld.Microsoft's pre-beta preview included a look at several key changes to some familiar Windows features emphasizing functionality and efficiency.The software maker has revamped the Task Bar, Jump Menus and the System Tray. In the new OS, the … [Read more...] about With Windows 7, Can Microsoft Lift the Vista Hex?
Proving once again that you can do a lot of damage with a little investment and a lot of ingenuity, security researcher Samy Kamkar recently managed to take down a locked, password-protected computer armed with only a US$5 Raspberry Pi.The low-tech cookie-siphoning intrusion is one of Kamkar's simplest hacks ever. He previously has unlocked car doors, garages, wireless remote cameras and other devices, with MacGyver-like precision.Kamkar's latest hack, PoisonTap, uses a Raspberry Pi Zero, a micro SD card, and a micro USB cable or other device that emulates USB, including USB Armory or LAN Turtle.Windows, OS X and Linux recognize PoisonTap as an Ethernet device, load it as a low-priority network device, and perform a DHCP request across it, even if the computer is locked or password-protected, Kamkar explained.PoisonTap provides the computer with an IP address. However, the DHCP response tells the machine that the IPv4 space is part of PoisonTap's local network, rather than a small … [Read more...] about $5 PoisonTap Tool Easily Breaks Into Locked PCs
The question that's been bugging me lately is this: Why hasn't Microsoft managed to break through with mobile consumer devices? While Apple has been breaking into the enterprise through consumer demand, Microsoft's enterprise tradition hasn't been helping with consumers. Case in point? Windows Phones.Meanwhile, why do I care? After all, I'm an Apple product enthusiast. Microsoft could make a Surface Book that also baked little loaves of fresh hot bread, but I still wouldn't buy one. Yet the company is starting to produce some interesting products. More to the point, these products seem like they should take off -- but overall success has been limited to the glow of the Surface Pro 3, which Microsoft just upgraded to the new and forthcoming Surface Pro 4.Plus, Microsoft has been taking pages out of Apple's playbook (I know, it goes both ways), like producing an operating system as well as manufacturing the hardware -- and the company even opened up a bunch of its own retail stores … [Read more...] about OPINION Appletizing Microsoft: All You Need Is Love
Microsoft on Wednesday announced new intellectual property licensing initiatives for its mouse and keyboard technologies. The hardware licensing initiative is a first for the software giant.The initiatives make Microsoft technologies, including U2 interface detection and switching technology, Tilt Wheel and Magnifier tool, broadly available to third-party brands and hardware manufacturers in the mobile and desktop peripherals industry.By expanding its IP licensing to address increased market demand within the consumer electronics industry, Microsoft said it is encouraging shared success by opening revenue-generating opportunities for its partners."Most people think of Microsoft as solely a software company, but we've been a leading hardware innovator and supplier to the desktop peripherals industry for over 20 years," said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft.Microsoft is making three technologies available through its first-ever hardware … [Read more...] about Microsoft Licenses Hardware IP for First Time
Well it's been another wild week here in the Linux blogosphere, what with all the ruckus emanating out of the bordering Redmond territories.Much like what happened last fall when Windows 8 made its fanfare-filled debut, the launch of Office 2013 and 365 last Tuesday left more than a few Linux bloggers with a ringing in the ears that didn't abate for days."Microsoft Cuts Ribbon on Low-Rent Office" was one of the more straightforward headlines to appear. It wasn't long, however, before the complexity of Microsoft's new productivity scheme became plainly clear. To wit: "Decoding Microsoft Office: Which Office version does what?" was one attempt to clarify and bring some sanity to the situation.Then, perhaps more critically, there was, "Not ready for Office 2013? Here are five open alternatives."There's no doubt Redmond is trying a different tack this time around, perhaps in its effort to fend off the growing number of free and open source competitors.How will it fare? Now that's a topic … [Read more...] about LINUX BLOG SAFARI Microsoft Office and the Big Subscription Bet
Last week was disappointing. I was expecting, as were others, much more out of Apple at its developer's conference, where the subtext was that with Steve Jobs not looking so well and with a lot of executives in his age group stepping down, is it time to imagine an Apple without him?Going beyond disappointing to scary, folks flying out of London were not allowed any carry-on luggage. Electronic gear appears to have been expressly called out. I've been worried that this overconcern with terrorists -- coupled with a spate of exploding laptops -- might, at some point, result in the banning of laptop computers from planes. In that case, I've been working with others to come up with alternatives and contingency plans.On the other hand, this week is starting out strong with an offering from Microsoft that may do for video game development what Garage Band did for music. It showcases strategic thinking unlike any we've seen from the Redmond giant in a while, and it may indicate the … [Read more...] about OPINION Post-Jobs Apple, Microsoft’s Garage Games, and the End of Laptops on Planes
Earlier this week, Microsoft OEM Acer criticised the company's plan to launch its own Surface tablets -- a decision that led to consternation among Redmond's hardware partners.Lenovo could be the first vendor to offer a product that might help kill off Microsoft's plans."Lenovo may be saying 'Microsoft is doing Surface, but we're doing everything the Surface does,'" Leslie Fiering, a research vice president at Gartner, told TechNewsWorld. "Plus, if you want to use it for business, we've implemented additional manageability."Lenovo "is one of the first to realize that they need to kill the Surface effort or they'll be out of the PC business," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. "They have really upped their game with this tablet, and it will give Surface a run for the money."The ThinkPad 2 will be based on the Intel Atom processor-based mobile platform. This is likely to be Cedar Trail; Intel has said it would be available from Lenovo and other vendors later this … [Read more...] about Lenovo’s Thinkpad 2: Microsoft’s Nightmare – or Dream?
In a couple of interesting briefings last week, BlackBerry announced that its turnaround was finished, and Microsoft finally provided some information on its new connected car deliverables.One strange thing was that after CEO John Chen excitedly pointed out that BlackBerry had displaced Microsoft in Ford, he then announced a strategic initiative to work more closely with Microsoft's Azure platform on BlackBerry's own market-leading QNX car operating system. That showcased not only the massive changes in both companies, but also the really strange way this market is evolving.I'll close with my product of the week: a very low-cost wearable smartphone display that could get you through your next dentist appointment or boring sermon. With all the focus on the coming autonomous car and on BlackBerry's old phone business, most don't know that QNX, the operating system that BlackBerry acquired, is dominant in the car market, largely for car operations. To give you an idea, it currently is … [Read more...] about OPINION BlackBerry, Microsoft and the Ever-Smarter Connected Car