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2012 May 28 09:01

Reasons to Avoid Microsoft

[Bug] [Education] [Government] [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt] [Security Hole] [MSN Hotmail] [MS Internet Explorer] [MS IIS Webserver] [MSN Instant Messenger] [License] [Linux/Open Source] [Monopoly] [MS Outlook] [Piracy] [Privacy] [Virus/Worm] [MS XBox] [MS Windows XP] [WOW!]

These pages are a compilation of links and quotes to news articles and others sources that might help convince you to switch to Linux.

  • Microsoft warns of serious computer security hole (Associated Press, 2009.07.06)
    [Security Hole] The vulnerability disclosed Monday affects Internet Explorer users whose computers run the Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 operating software. It can allow hackers to remotely take control of victims' machines. The victims don't need to do anything to get infected except visit a Web site that's been hacked. Security experts say criminals have been attacking the vulnerability for nearly a week. Thousands of sites have been hacked to serve up malicious software that exploits the vulnerability.

  • The Hidden Cost of Using Microsoft Software (Slashdot.org, 2009.06.30)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt] Detractors of free software like to point out it's not really 'free,' and claim that its Total Cost of Ownership is often comparable with closed-source solutions... [yet] they never include a very real extra that users of Microsoft's products frequently have to pay: the cost of cleaning up malware infections. For example, the UK city of Manchester has just paid out nearly $2.5 million to clean up the Conficker worm...

  • One Year Later, "Dead" XP Still Going Strong (Slashdot.org, 2009.06.30)
    [MS Windows XP] [License] Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows XP a year ago today, no longer selling new copies in most venues. Yet according to a report from InfoWorld, various downgrade paths to XP are keeping the operating system very much alive, particularly among businesses. In fact, despite Microsoft trumpeting Vista as the most successful version of Windows ever sold, more than half of business PCs have subsequently downgraded Vista-based machines to XP...

  • Windows 7 Licensing a "Disaster" For XP Shops (Slashdot.org, 2009.06.16)
    [License] PCs bought after April 22, 2010, however, can only be downgraded to Vista — no help for XP-based organizations, which would be wise to wait 12 to 18 months before adopting Windows 7, so that they can test hardware and software compatibility and ensure their vendors' Windows 7 support meets their needs. XP shops that chose not to install Vista will have to either rush their migration process or spend extra to enroll in Microsoft's Software Assurance program...

  • The Anti-ODF Whisper Campaign (Slashdot.org, 2009.06.10)
    [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt] [Monopoly] Groklaw is examining the possibility of an anti-ODF [OpenDocument Format] whisper campaign and the effects it has had on the ODF and OOXML [Microsoft's Office Open XML] Wikipedia articles. In the ODF article, Alex Brown [convenor of the OOXML BRM] bends the truth to make it seem like no one is supporting ODF, and that it is a flawed and incomplete standard.

  • Microsoft Update Quietly Installs Firefox Extension (The Washington Post, 2009.05.29)
    [Security Hole] A routine security update for a Microsoft Windows component installed on tens of millions of computers has quietly installed an extra add-on for an untold number of users surfing the Web with Mozilla's Firefox Web browser. ...'this update adds to Firefox one of the most dangerous vulnerabilities present in all versions of Internet Explorer: the ability for Web sites to easily and quietly install software on your PC.' ... Microsoft tells us that the only way to get rid of this thing is to modify the Windows registry, an exercise that -- if done imprecisely -- can cause Windows systems to fail to boot up.

  • City of Vancouver embraces open data, standards and source (CBC.ca, 2009.05.22)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Vancouver city council has endorsed the principles of making its data open and accessible to everyone where possible, adopting open standards for that data and considering open source software when replacing existing applications. ... About 15 members of the public signed up to speak about the motion. All who spoke were in favour, Reimer said. "The only sort of negative [comment] was 'Can't you go further? Can't you do more?'"

  • ECIS Provides A History of Microsoft's AntiCompetitive Behavior (Groklaw, 2009.04.21)
    [WOW!] [Monopoly] 'Once Microsoft had achieved wide distribution for its own browser through these tactics, it then moved to "extend" (in effect, customize) industry standards for HyperText Markup Language ("HTML") and Cascading StyleSheets ("CSS") to ensure that users would become reliant on Microsoft's own web browser. Microsoft also introduced its ActiveX technology extensions, which allowed software written much like traditional computer programs to run in the Internet Explorer browser, but that only worked on Microsoft's monopoly operating system.' ... 'Even when Microsoft claims to be implementing a standard, the reality is that Microsoft's implementations routinely either only partially conform or else somehow extend the standard, so that software developed to work with Microsoft's version of the standard will not work with other vendors' implementations of the same standard.' ... '"We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger....If you're going to kill someone, there isn't much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger."'

  • Dvorak Likes Linux (PC Magazine, 2009.03.09)
    [Linux/Open Source] 'I'm tired of dealing with Windows malware, patch Tuesday, and the never-ending deterioration of the OS as it clogs up like a drain in a greasy-spoon restaurant. I can't take it anymore.' ... 'the biggest differences between Ubuntu and Windows are the cost and the subsequent headaches, because Microsoft is constantly fretting over bootleg copies. The company monitors machines to make sure they are running legal copies of software. There have already been instances of computers shut down by Microsoft HQ because of some glitch in the cloud. This is simply unacceptable. I don't want to rely on a system like that.' ... 'If I had a small or mid-size company, I'd probably use only Linux and open-source software, just to stay out of the way of the software police and their onerous "audits" — another abhorrent situation that, to me, is intolerable.'

  • Draconian DRM Revealed In Windows 7 (Slashdot.org, 2009.02.17)
    [WOW!] [Privacy] The days of capturing an audio program on your PC seem to be over... Win7 allows programs like Photoshop to insert themselves stealthily into your firewall exception list. Further, that the OS allows large software vendors to penetrate your machine.

  • Microsoft's advice on Downadup leaves users open to attack, says US-CERT (ComputerWorld, 2009.01.21)
    [Security Hole] Microsoft Corp.'s advice on disabling Windows' "Autorun" feature is flawed, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) said today, and it leaves users who rely on its guidelines to protect their PCs against the fast-spreading Downadup worm open to attack. ... The problem is that Downadup, which as of last week had infected nearly 9 million PCs worldwide, tries to spread using USB-based devices, typically flash drives. ... One security researcher said he was surprised that Microsoft didn't catch its recommendation errors, particularly in light of the ongoing Downadup attacks. "Seems unbecoming of Microsoft not to have been the one posting this information on a blog of theirs,"... He also bemoaned the need to edit the registry to disable Autorun. "Not only [is] editing the registry outside the [reach] of most people, but now we have learned that the information from the source is not complete."

  • Windows worm trickery for Vista (BBC News, 2009.01.21)
    [Security Hole] [WOW!] The worm is unusually clever in the way that it determines what server to contact... 'This makes it impossible and/or impractical for us good guys to shut them all down'... [The virus] has spread to an estimated 9m computers globally.

  • 1 in 3 Windows PCs Still Vulnerable To Worm Attack (Slashdot.org, 2009.01.16)
    [Security Hole] [WOW!] The worm that has infected several million Windows PCs, Downadup or 'Conficker,' is having a field day because nearly a third of all systems remain unpatched 80 days after Microsoft rolled out an emergency fix.

  • Microsoft confirms that all versions of IE have critical new bug (ComputerWorld, 2008.12.12)
    [Security Hole] [MS Internet Explorer] [Microsoft] adds IE6 and IE8 Beta 2 to the list, recommends disabling .dll to stay safe. The unpatched bug in Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) that hackers are now exploiting also exists in older versions of the browser, including the still-widely-used IE6, Microsoft Corp. said late yesterday.

  • HP Opens Up Open Source for Small Businesses (OStatic, 2008.12.11)
    [Linux/Open Source] HP is approaching this market with both fists flying. Wednesday, it announced two new open source products, geared to small businesses and educational institutions.

  • Worm Transcodes MP3s To Infect PCs (Slashdot.org, 2008.07.18)
    [Virus/Worm] Kaspersky Labs has discovered malware that inserts links to malicious Web pages within ASF media files, posing a danger to Windows users who download music files from P2P networks. Infected files launch IE and load a page that asks the user to download a codec. The download, a Trojan horse, installs a proxy program to route other traffic through the PC. The malware also has worm-like qualities, according to Secure Computing. It searches for MP3s, transcodes them to WMA format, wraps them in an ASF container, and adds links to further copies of the malware, all without modifying the .MP3 extension.

  • Move Your Business from Windows to Linux (PC World, 2008.07.06)
    [Linux/Open Source] Windows XP is available only as a costly 'downgrade' from Windows Vista... If that feels like a waste of your small business's precious IT budget, and you're still looking for an alternative to Windows Vista, look no further than Linux. The latest distributions are free, easy to install, and highly customizable; they harness your existing hardware without overtaxing it; and they include a wealth of productivity applications and utilities. ... Linux is different from Windows, but it isn't an alien life form. The human investment you make in transitioning away from expensive Windows and Office licenses may pay for itself quickly. More important, you'll be free to run the desktop and server software of your choice, on hardware you can afford.

  • Linux captures the 'green' flag, beats Windows 2008 power-saving measures (Network World, 2008.06.09)
    [Linux/Open Source] Independent tests show that Red Hat Linux pulls as much as 12% less power than Windows 2008 on identical hardware. For this test, we examined power consumption as a way to judge whether Windows Server 2008 or Linux is, in fact, the 'greener' operating system. As the price of power hits record heights, power reduction mechanisms shipping within an operating system should play a key role in you energy conservation plan. Our tests point to Linux as the winner of the green flag by margins that topped out at 12%.

  • Sneaky Blackmailing Virus That Encrypts [Your] Data [and holds it hostage] (Slashdot, 2008.06.05)
    [WOW!] [Virus/Worm] ... the criminal tells the victims that the file has been encrypted and offers to sell them a decryptor. Is this a look into the future where the majority of malware will function based on extortion?

  • Windows XP SP3 Sows Havoc, Users Complain (InformationWeek, 2008.05.08)
    [MS Windows XP] Within hours of its release, Microsoft's Service Pack 3 for Windows XP began drawing hundreds of complaints from users who claim the update is wreaking havoc on their PCs. The problems with XP SP3, according to posters on Microsoft's Windows XP message board, range from spontaneous reboots to outright system crashes.

  • KDE on Linux now de facto platform for Brazil primary school education system (SMB Tech Advice.com, 2008.04.30)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Education] Brazil has made KDE on Linux the official computing platform of the primary education system. [...] [I'm] elated to see that 52 million young people will grow up in a free (as in freedom) environment where they will learn and flourish without the trappings of proprietary technology.

  • Geneva schools completely switch to Open Source ((IDABC) Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment Services to public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens), 2008.04.24)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Education] About 70,000 students and their 7,000 teachers in the Geneva school district will gradually be moving to Open Source.

  • Ubuntu breathes new life into school's abandoned hardware (Computerworld, 2008.04.08)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Education] Implementing a kiosk mode Kubuntu setup allowed Westall Secondary School, located in eastern Melbourne, to save money, exact greater control over security measures, and extend the life of older and discarded hardware without sacrificing performance. But according to [the school's IT support magager], the 'huge amount of flexibility' offered by the Linux operating system was the primary motive behind its adoption.

  • Canadian school district serves up lessons on the power of Linux (ITBusiness.ca, 2008.04.07)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Education] For two large school districts -- in Canada and the U.S. -- Linux and other open source software is the plat du jour on the education menu. ... The largest Linux implementation is running close to 200 diskless clients in a single school. ... 'We get better support with open source software: online wikis, forums, mailing lists etc are much faster and better to get support than phoning up Microsoft and listening to someone read off answers from flash cards.' ... 'We give everyone FreeNX access to their Linux desktop from home so they can get all the same programs without having to install Linux at home.'

  • 9000 PCs in Swiss schools going Linux only (ZDNet Education, 2008.04.06)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Education] Beginning this September, all 9000 computers [in Swiss schools] will run only [the Ubuntu distribution of Linux, and other] free and open source software. While officials are happy to be saving money on licensing, the Department of Public instruction largely made the move out of what they considered best practices for student education...

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Collection originally created by, donated to LUGOD by, and maintained by Bill Kendrick.

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