Linux and Microsoft

Windows 8.1 is still being supported, and they say will be until  January 9th, 2018. Windows 7 has, according to their site, been cut off though. A terrible decision, in my opinion, given the huge success of that OS. A lot of people have jumped ship because of Windows 10, and I don’t blame them.

Linux has a bit over 3% of the market share, according to Wiki’s graphs. Linux has been gaining ground for many years, while interest in various Windows iterations is dropping. Fewer people are using Windows as time goes by.

I use Linux (PeppermintOS 7, built on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS) more than ever now; it’s my primary OS and I rarely go near Windows. Thanks to privacy and glaring security concerns, I don’t think I’ll ever feel safe using Windows anymore, despite having used and loved them since Windows 3.1 at primary school. Linux has opened my eyes to a new way, ‘though it wasn’t an easy journey.

I don’t like the way Microsoft conducts their business and I don’t think they care about the customers at all, only money. I find them deceptive, manipulative, and underhanded.

Linux, however, is open source; it’s all about sharing, creativity, and freedom. There’s even a Hannah Montana distribution; ridiculous? Sure, but wonderful that someone was able to create that and freely share it. At least if you don’t like a developer of your chosen distribution, you can jump to another; it’s not like you’re short of options.

That said, I am, or at least was a gamer. I still dabble. I’d need Windows for gaming. Linux does support games, and I do have Steam on it, but the graphical performance in many games seems terrible or lackluster in comparison, at least in my experience.

I have a feeling I’ll eventually just let go of the many Windows-only games on my Steam account and stick with Linux indefinitely. I barely game anymore anyway.

With Linux gradually gaining ground and Windows steadfastly losing it, that leaves Linux an opportunity to really step up. I think it needs some serious work in both gaming performance and a more approachable UI for those uninterested in the command line interface (Terminal) before it’ll have a shot at some day besting Windows.

I’m all for choice though, so if Microsoft is offering what you want, that’s fine. There’s a lot of Linux fans that generally make it all really personal against users of Windows and probably Mac too, but that’s not where I’m coming from here — not at all.

My issue is with Microsoft.

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Windows 10 Notification in the Windows 8.1 System Tray

Before I begin, “Windows 10 is coming on 29 July 2015,” to quote Microsoft on the Q&A page of their website. For those that don’t know, the offer explained below is open for a year after release, after which we have to pay for it.

I had mostly kept my distance from Windows 10, thinking it’d just be another mess that would take ages to fix, and end up a PR mess, but I saw my way to being excited when I saw the following on the system tray:

Windows 10

Windows 10 Download,” the highlighted item reads, followed by, “Reserve Free Upgrade,” “Run Windows Update,” and “Get to Know Windows 10.” I say, Microsoft, you sure do know how to whet my appetite.

Upon clicking the download option, we’re met with a nice little window:

Windows 10 2

This window tells us that this free Windows 10 upgrade can be reserved and the download will begin when the upgrade is actually available. Apparently, you can also cancel the reservation at any time, so fear not, if you change your mind, it’s all good. The window also states that the free upgrade is for the full version, and not a test version. I would assume that to be obvious, since you can already freely download the Technical Preview of Windows 10. The download will be 3GB in size, which will fit nicely onto a DVD, assuming they’ll make the ISO available.

Once you’ve set your reservation, you are you to wait for a notification, after which Windows 10 will be downloaded onto your device. Once available, and presumably downloaded, you can carry out the installation another time or immediately.

Microsoft tell us here, “Viel spaß,” German for “Have fun.” I’m not sure if I should make a sarcastic comment about how we’ll probably all have a severe headache on launch day, as opposed to actual fun … oh wait, I just did. After the installation, you’ll have Windows 10 as is currently available.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. If you don’t have Windows 7 or 8.1, then I suppose this will be an interesting read, otherwise I imagine you’ll have already read in on the window itself!

Are you excited for Windows 10?

If you observed the white title bar text atop the black border, then perhaps you might be interested in knowing how to do that. Head on over to The Return of Black within Windows 8.1, to learn how to make your cheerful Windows 8.1 go to the dark side.

Update…

Apologies, I completely missed the arrow that revealed more information!

In a nut-shell, it’s Windows selling their product; making it sound super hot. To translate the German I’m seeing: “Windows 10 is trusted and user-friendly,” Microsoft claim. “The start menu is here again and with that you can use a mouse, keyboard, or touchpad.” Apparently you’ll find, “all the trusted features and much more.”

Microsoft are claiming that Windows 10 “starts and wakes up from standby quickly,” which, to be fair, is exactly what we already have with Windows 8.1—my copy of Windows 8.1, with decent hardware and an SSD, boots up and logs in from nothing extremely quickly, and as far as standby is concerned, well, it typically wakes up and goes to sleep faster than I can sit down and stand up.

Microsoft are showing off the multitasking and ability to have 4 windows on one screen; big deal! We’ve been doing that for ages. Come on, Microsoft, show off something new. Windows 8.1 already lets you tile 4 windows neatly on the screen. Surely people don’t want to buy the same old crap—stick with the new stuff that shows it’s worth the upgrade.

Windows 10 is apparently, “full of innovations.” Microsoft says, like Cortana, your, “entirely personal, digital assistant.” Riiiiight—because we’ve never seen a personal assistent before! Totally innovative, Microsoft. Bravo. I’ll try to hold my pessimism, but it strikes me as a lot easier to do things the normal way, rather than faffing about with some “entirely personal, digital assistant,” that may or may not work reliably.

For those of you interested in apps, Windows 10 looks like it’s going app-crazy. This Windows 10 Download window isn’t really saying anything about what the new app features or the new apps actually are, but I was impressed by their claim of having 47,000,000 popular music titles on the app store, films in HD, TV series, and of course games.

So, that’s really it! We’ll have to wait and see what happens next.

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