Reasons to Avoid Microsoft
These pages are a compilation of links and quotes to news articles and
others sources that might help convince you to switch to Linux.
Next 25 Articles
- Microsoft warns of serious computer 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 Hidden Cost of Using Microsoft Software
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
- One Year Later, "Dead" XP Still Going Strong
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
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
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,
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
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
'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
'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
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
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
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
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
[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
- HP Opens Up Open Source for Small Businesses
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
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
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
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
... 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
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,
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
- Geneva schools completely switch to Open Source
((IDABC) Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment Services to public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens),
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
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
- Canadian school district serves up lessons on the power of Linux
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
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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