Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Comment Re:What? (Score 1) 63

In terms of actual money changing hands, perhaps this is a way to get a lot of business networking to go through Skype rather than other VOIP services. In a beautiful slide deck that MS is distributing, there are some ideas about how Dynamics CRM and Office365 will use Linkedin, possibly in the same way that G+ contacts can be seen from Google search results and Gmail/Hangout contacts.

In a broader "let's do stuff for money and offer other stuff for free and hope this somehow works", maybe because it's the one social network with many millions of people that could have been acquired, thus keeping MS in a game where major companies want to sell hardware, software and a variety of cloud services. Twitter does a lot less than Linkedin, Facebook/Instagram and G+ are probably not for sale, and I heard that MySpace is taken :D

Comment Re:Microsoft's Customers are Screwed.. Again (Score 1) 140

It's fair these companies see a new Surface AIO and an Xbox running Windows 10 applications as an attack, but it's equally fair for Microsoft to see this move as a vertical integration strategy that was blocked in the 90s but is commonplace in this decade. Google has Nexus, Android & cloud-based services; Apple has their own stack from device to software and cloud services... why should Microsoft miss out?
Not only there's profit to be made, as there's OEMs making Windows worse with bloatware and there's the risk that one of the other players locks Microsoft out of their walled garden.

If it's OK for Sony to have only their approved software running on Playstation; if it's OK for Apple to prevent 3rd party browsers to be added to iOS devices; if it's OK for Facebook to track what users are doing with their apps in and out of their website, why can't Microsoft do all of the above?

MS will be selling high end laptops, smartphones, VR headsets, AIO computers and even a headless-iMac-like-device (xbox). There will be less that 90% of PCs with their software/services on them, but MS should end up with a healthy slice of a much larger market than what existed in the 90s. Can't fault them for pursuing this.

Comment Re:Feasibility of a rerun? (Score 1) 693

Oh yes, there's no doubt about the legitimacy of the result. The Leave.EU campaign has won, and not going ahead would need extraordinary reasons or someone *seriously* risking losing face.

However, the Irish had 2 votes for the Lisbon Treaty, the Dutch also had 2 votes. Things can change, and an economic crisis can trigger a change of strategy. There's easily 15 million voters unhappy with the result and if they initiate a new political movement, they can certainly can represent a threat of a demographic crisis on top of an economic crisis if they don't get a sweeter deal.

Comment Re:Feasibility of a rerun? (Score 4, Informative) 693

It's done. We're out, and we're now going to have to live with the consequences of that vote.

I'll disagree with that bit. The referendum is not legally binding and until the divorce paperwork is done, the UK is a member even if the other members decide to treat us like a cheating spouse :)
With Cameron resigning, his successor will have 2 years before a general election, during which it may become very clear that the Conservative party is deeply fractured because of this key policy. Same with Labour.
Some time is needed for government-capable parties to re-group and win a general election. It would surprise me if no new-new-Labour or new-Tory party presented themselves on a platform of NOT going ahead with the Brexit. Either alone, or in an alliance between Greens, LibDems and new-new-Labour.
In the meantime, Scotland is getting ready for a break up. If the Conservative party wanted this to have England all to themselves, it's working really well, except for the sudden dip in the markets, possibly to be followed by recession.

Comment Re: This is what passes for innovation (Score 1) 595

Harsh, but true.
I use a Nokia HB 121 bluetooth receiver which suits the way I want to use my gadgets (without the radio being against my head), but it is more complicated than just plugging the jack to the phone. If find the sound quality to be good enough compromise for the convenience of leaving the phone on the table/pocket/etc but in absolute terms it does not sound as clean as a direct connection.

Comment Re:Supported/ Fuck "Supported." (Score 1) 230

Please never use Microsoft as a recommended licensing model. It's never the lesser evil, but I digress...

Just to clarify, I used the example of Microsoft enterprise licensing because it's the one I am familiar with and could well be related to what's happening in the original article. There's no recommendation on my part and I am fully aware that in the 1000+ product lines that Microsoft has/had there are many license types and variants and I don't know all there is about them. IANAL, etc, etc.

The situation is simple. The health provider is using software without a license, and the software developer refuses to issue a license. To draw an analogy,

If it's simple why do we need an analogy!? Why doesn't your analogy include cars???!?! (I'm joking).

I suspect that throughout the article there is an oversimplification in language, leading to the omission of the type of contracts in question - this is probably NOT about a software license. Instead I thin it is about a maintenance and support entitlement that the company does not wish to extend, while the customer might be prevented by law and insurance audits to use a business critical piece of software without it being somehow under a reliable and enforceable support agreement. Microsoft (probably) are not a party to this agreement but get named here because the vendor cannot seriously commit to any suitable support SLA due to every MS component that underlies their 'solution' being itself obsolete and out of support.

Comment Re:Supported/ Fuck "Supported." (Score 4, Interesting) 230

I'm not a big fan of replying to AC, but here goes....

When enterprise-grade software is supplied, normally there are plenty of contractual terms that go with it. Requiring that the whole stack (operating system, database, application, whatever else) is under current support from the suppliers is a good demand in exchange for offering guarantees of break-fix support. The company providing support for the patient care component does not want to have the customer making claims of breach of SLA when the database component failed and its respective supplier has halted development and won't take new trouble tickets for the specific version in use since 10 years ago.

In the MS world of licensing where I have some modest experience, I've seen that it is common for MS to charge an annual maintenance fee in return for a number of entitlements for the user. Things like access to patches and upgrade rights (ie: you don't buy the software licence again when a new version comes up, just grab the new version and move on) are not unusual. On top of this, I've also seen independent software vendors and MS technology partners build up more stuff that goes on top of the MS product that was licensed in the first place. These vendors sometimes use the same model of maintenance payments every year to have some sort of cash coming from those customers who bought additional software or customisations to the base product. If the maintenance payments are not made to MS, they do not switch things off (to my knowledge at least) but if the customer changes their mind, MS will charge lapsed years or ask for a new licence to be purchased. Independent vendors may have their own policies in relation to the software they develop on the MS application/stack.

Having read both articles (wow!), I get the impression that while this state in Australia used to be but is no longer a large customer account. They are really the only people using this software any more, and it is a pain in the backside to make a proper upgrade path just for them. They opted out of incremental upgrades, and now a big bang will look expensive and complicated. It is also possible that the software vendor is under obligation to offer guarantees IF they do offer another year or more of maintenance or extend the licence for their software. In what appears to be an exercise in bridge burning, they want the customer to stop using their software unless they completely replace it with a supported version. It's not very Microsoft-y thing to do, but between MS licensing rules, independent vendor licensing rules and specific contracts made when this deal was a big one for a whole state in Australia, this might have exceptional treatment agreed somewhere.

To me it looks like both parties want out of the contract they have and the company going to court is another way to put pressure on the other side.
Some have written in this forum that this would never be a problem if they just used open source software, which is IMHO optimistic. Legacy crap is complicated for everyone, 10 or 20 years of it will make anyone want to have a fresh start. To paraphrase another favourite AC of mine, they really should go with supported apps, that get upgraded and updated on the fly by a cloud services provider. Legacy programmes can be a pain in the backside, compared to centrally managed apps. Cloud! Apps!

Comment Re:Microsoft clearly understands users don't want (Score 1) 117

How would MS deal with this if the OEM has physical access to the hardware and does need to provide drivers and supporting software for many combinations of components?

All they can do is make life complicated to all their sales channels and have more machines sold without a "MS approved" sticker. Not a winning proposition. It is best to sell Surfaces without crapware, and Xboxes with Windows 10 compatibility. Essentially, to be more like Apple and Google and sell vertically integrated product/services.

Comment Re:The other side (Score 1) 159

What worries me more than social media becoming the primary source, is the idea that we should only read be interested in things we are already interested in.

me too!

More seriously, the quality of comments on newspaper sites is getting too close to the hater vs fanboy arguments that make Youtube and Facebook comments unreadable, and what makes Twitter a place for abuse and bullying more often than anything else.
If these circumstances dictate that it's normal to just abuse other people in case of disagreement, finding refuge in group-think is not that crazy. Perhaps it has always been like this, people who vote similarly read the same news sources and congregate with like-minded people only. The internet just makes groups bigger and makes these behaviours more obvious to the observer.

Probably Mr Goatse was right all along.

Comment Re:Another one bites the dust (Score 1) 365

Where is the revenue stream in that?

I'm also wondering why MS wants Linkedin (and why would Linkedin need to sell out), and there's some very faint clues:

1) Linkedin is the only large social networking site that does have paid membership;
2) While it has B2B origins, it shows the same sort of "news" as Facebook, Twitter, etc. (ie: a lot of rubbish and spam)

It is however more feature rich than Twitter and must be much cheaper than to take over Facebook. If we just forget about the Professional-only angle, it is equally valid as a social networking site.

Maybe MS wants to buy a direct advertising route to people who may spend money on Skype calls (rather than Viber, Whatsapp or other VoIP that are only in iTunes and Google Play)

Maybe MS wants to mix up Skype, MSN and Linkedin to regain the sort of market and mindshare share it had in the days of MSN Messenger. Or they just accepted they need to spend 26Bn dollars to ensure that there is one large social network with a Windows Phone native app.

Slashdot Top Deals

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. -- Henry David Thoreau