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Windows

FSF Attacks Windows 7's "Sins" In New Campaign 926

CWmike writes "The Free Software Foundation today launched a campaign against Microsoft Corp.'s upcoming Windows 7 operating system, calling it 'treacherous computing' that stealthily takes away rights from users. At the Web site Windows7Sins.org, the Boston-based FSF lists the seven 'sins' that proprietary software such as Windows 7 commits against computer users. They include: Poisoning education, locking in users, abusing standards such as OpenDocument Format (ODF), leveraging monopolistic behavior, threatening user security, enforcing Digital Rights Management (DRM) at the request of entertainment companies concerned about movie and music piracy, and invading privacy. 'Windows, for some time now, has really been a DRM platform, restricting you from making copies of digital files,' said executive director Peter Brown. And if Microsoft's Trusted Computing technology were fully implemented the way the company would like, the vendor would have 'malicious and really complete control over your computer.'"
Novell

Novell May be Banned from Distributing Linux 553

Hymer writes "Reuters is reporting that Novell may be banned from selling Linux. In the wake of the (much maligned) Novell/Microsoft deal, the Free Software Foundation is reviewing Novell's right to sell the operating system at all. The foundation controls the rights to key parts of the operating system, and council for the organization said that 'the community wants to interfere any way it can' with the Novell business arrangement. No decision has yet been reached, but one should be made in the next two weeks." Is this a measured response, or an over-reaction to the Novell/Microsoft arrangement?
Windows

UK Schools At Risk of Microsoft Lock-In 162

Robert writes "UK schools and colleges that have signed up to Microsoft Corp's academic licensing programs face the significant potential of being locked in to the company's software, according to an interim review by Becta, the UK government agency responsible for technology in education. The report also states that most establishments surveyed do not believe that Microsoft's licensing agreements provide value for money." In a separate report, Becta offered the opinion that schools should avoid Vista for at least another year, since neither Vista nor Office 2007 offers any compelling reasons for schools to upgrade.
Windows

Vista Casts A Pall On PC Gaming? 425

simoniker writes "In an opinion piece, casual game publisher WildTangent's CEO Alex St. John (himself a Microsoft veteran and one of the DirectX creators) has sharply criticized some of Windows Vista's features as they related to video game creation, noting: 'We have found many of the security changes planned for Vista alarming and likely to present sweeping challenges for PC gaming, especially for online distributed games. The central change that impacts all downloadable applications in Vista is the introduction of Limited User Accounts. LUA's can already be found in Windows XP, but nobody uses them because of the onerous restrictions they place on usability. In Vista, LUA's are mandatory and inescapable.'" Meanwhile, the word has also come down that games will be on the Zune by Summer of next year.
Security

NYT Security Tip - Choose Non-Microsoft Products 298

Giorgio Maone writes "The New York Times article 'Tips for Protecting the Home Computer' follows a story we recently discussed about the proliferation of botnets, and contains some statements which may sound quite unusual from mainstream press, especially if targeted to home users: 'Using a non-Windows-based PC may be one defense against these programs, known as malware ... Alternative browsers, like Firefox and Opera, may insulate users ... NoScript, a plug-in utility, can limit the ability of remote programs to run potentially damaging programs on your PC'."

IE7 Compatibility a Developer Nightmare 416

yavori writes "Internet Explorer 7 has kicked in at last on all MS Windows OS running PCs because of the fact M$ decided to force it's users to migrate through update. In fact this has started a IE7 Web Developers Nightmare. The article actually explains that most of the small company B2C sites may just fall from grace because of IE7 incompatibility. One of the coolest thing IE7 is unable to do is actually processing form data when clicked on an INPUT field of TYPE IMG... which is pretty uncool for those using entire payment processes with such INPUT fields."
Microsoft

Microsoft drops VBA in Mac Office 2007 374

slashdotwriter writes "Macworld features an article stating that the next version of Office for the Mac will not include Visual Basic scripting. From the article: 'Microsoft Office isn't among the apps that will run natively on Intel-based Macs — and it won't be until the latter half of 2007, according to media reports. But when it does ship, Office will apparently be missing a feature so vital to cross-platform compatibility that I believe it will be the beginning of the end for the Mac version of the productivity suite...'"
Windows

Vista an Uneasy Sleeper 395

Emmy King writes "
One thing we just can't wrap our mind about is the terrible, broken, and completely pitiful support for waking Vista up from a Deep Sleep or hibernation.
Anytime you attempt to wake Vista up from Hibernation or "Deep Sleep" (S3-induced sleep mode), it dies. It's either a BSOD, or a driver error, or a broken network, no DWM, lack of sound... the list goes on, and on. So much for an operating system to "power" the future! (No pun intended!) That's with properly-signed drivers and no buggy software on multiple PCs..."
Novell

Why the Novell / MS Deal Is Very Bad 367

jamienk writes "PJ from Groklaw has taken the time to really explain the big picture of the Novell/MS deal and how it all fits into the SCO case and the strategy some have employed to attack Free Software. If you thought PJ was becoming too shrill before, or if you haven't understood what the big deal is with Novell's agreement, it's really worth a read." From the article: "This is Groklaw's 2,838th article. We now have 10,545 members, who have worked very hard to disprove SCO's scurrilous claims, and we did. We succeeded, beyond my hopes when we started. But here's the sad part. As victory is in sight, Novell signs a patent agreement with Microsoft..."

Novell Injects MS Lawsuit Exploit Into Open Office 251

F.M. Petain writes, "It looks like Microsoft's first move in the 'Linux owes us' game is to move a Pawn. A few days ago, a Novell programmer, Noel Power, submitted patches to add VBA compatibility to Open Office's spreadsheet module. This is great for people trying to convert the business desktop from closed source to open source, but is this gift really a ticking time bomb? What happens when Microsoft declares that the VBA code was stolen?" The patches may have been submitted only a few days ago, but the code must be considerably older; the article claims that nine distros in adition to SUSE already support the VBA extensions in their versions of Open Office. (Linux.com and Slashdot are both part of OSTG.)
DRM

Are New DRM Technologies Setting Vista Up For Failure? 407

PetManimal writes "Computerworld has picked apart the way Vista handles DRM in terms of hardware and software restrictions. Trusted Platform Module, Output Protection Management, Protected Video Path and various Windows Media software components are designed to 'protect' copyrighted content against security breaches and unauthorized use. The article notes that many of the DRM technologies were forced upon Vista by the entertainment industry, but that may not garner Microsoft or Hollywood any sympathy with consumers: 'Matt Rosoff, lead analyst at research firm Directions On Microsoft, asserts that this process does not bode well for new content formats such as Blu-ray and HD-DVD, neither of which are likely to survive their association with DRM technology. "I could not be more skeptical about the viability of the DRM included with Vista, from either a technical or a business standpoint," Rosoff stated. "It's so consumer-unfriendly that I think it's bound to fail — and when it fails, it will sink whatever new formats content owners are trying to impose."'"
Microsoft

Time For Anti-Trust 2.0? 435

An anonymous reader writes, "PC manufacturer Acer is complaining that Microsoft has jacked up the price of Vista, and that the basic versions are so basic no one will ship them. Since the collapse of the Microsoft anti-trust case under the Bush administration in 2001, manufacturers have no choice but to accede, adding hundreds of dollars to the cost of each PC. With Gates now proclaiming victory over European regulators, Microsoft once again seems unstoppable. But Microsoft had drawn itself close to the Republican Party. With the Republicans now evicted from the House and Senate, is it time to look at the Microsoft anti-trust suit? Could Microsoft be compelled to lower its inflating Vista prices, or to open their tech or even supply funding to Linux-flavored Windows such as Wine? What do Slashdot readers think about the likelihood of another go at breaking up the Windows monopoly?"

The War Is Over, and Linux Has Won 593

xtaski writes "Dana Blankenhorn bluntly states a reality that many have known: 'The war is over and Linux won'. With Oracle and Microsoft putting Linux in the spotlight and positioning themselves to grow with Linux. 'A new report shows that 83% of companies expect to support new workloads on Linux against 23% for Windows. ... Over two-thirds of the respondents said they will increase their use of Linux in the next year, and almost no one said the opposite.'"

Groups Call For Investigation of MS Ad Service 64

narramissic writes, "The Center for Digital Democracy and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group have filed a complaint with the FTC, asking for an investigation into Microsoft's use of customer data collection in its adCenter Web advertising service. The groups claim that 'Microsoft has embarked on a wide-ranging data collection and targeting scheme that is deceptive and unfair to millions of users.' Microsoft, for its part, says the groups 'have got it all wrong.'"

IE7 Blocking Google Image Search? 253

An anonymous reader writes, "I just tried a Google Image Search in IE7 for the first time. Whenever I click on an image, my browser tells me in big bold letters, "This is a reported phishing website." Try it yourself: make sure automatic phishing detection is turned on and do an (adorable) image search; click on one of the result thumbnails. MSN Live Image Search has no such issues. Insert Microsoft evil conspiracy theory here." I get this behavior under IE7, Win XP Pro, SP2, Parallels, Mac OS X.

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