linux

We know that Windows Phone 8 moved 10.9 million handsets during the fourth quarter of 2013 and by doing so saw a year over year growth of 104% for the platform. But how’s Windows 8 doing? Some new numbers out from Net Applications show how Windows 8 (including Windows 8.1) are doing when compared to other platforms like Windows 7, Windows XP, OS X, and Linux. Time to see check out the current market share for desktop operating systems.

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Do you trust Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8? If you are the Federal Republic of Germany, the answer to that question is "no". Last week internal documents from IT professionals within the government showed a strong rejection of the new operating system calling it "unacceptable for the federal administration and the operators of critical infrastructure".

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It is Monday so what better way to start the week off than with a roundup of some of the more interesting Microsoft news? We have three more stories for you that might strike your fancy:

  • Microsoft gets caught with juvenile coding prank in Linux
  • AT&T and Microsoft differ on counting online gaming for broadband
  • Microsoft’s Live services (Hotmail, Skydrive) are set to go Metro in the coming weeks

So head on past the break for some roundups!

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Confession: we here at WMExperts, unfortunately, know jack about Linux, their distros (sounds like a fun party) nor how to really do anything in the OS.

Still, we imagine there are a handful of you who want (but can't) sync your trusty WM6.5 device with your favorite Linux OS. TrueFalse? We dunno.

Luckily Linux pro 'Feedsbrain' (ahem) has written a nice tutorial on how to just that.

Now to us, his directions are written in an alien language, but for your linux-experts out there, we're pretty sure this will make sense.

Now go read and let us know if this was remotely helpful!

"Synchronize Windows Mobile 6.5 and Linux Box"

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The big smartphone news today is that Nokia finally got their act together and set forth a unified game plan for the Symbian platform. They're buying up the rest of it and then re-jiggering the Symbian Foundation as a non-profit that will offer its members Symbian for free to use on their smartphones. Or at least, that's the thumbnail version.

Most folks (right) see this as a big shot across the bow at Google's Android platform. If you have a choice between Android and Symbian you're choosing between two free smartphone platforms - one is brand new with a handful of developers, few shipped phones (none yet) and is tied very closely to Google, the other is well-estabilished with a legion of developers, hundreds-of-millions of shipped phones, and helps out Nokia but can also be tied to whatever carrier-based services you like. Google: that's gotta hurt.

What about the rest of the market? What about Windows Mobile? After the break, y'all.

Ok, so we're not entirely sure. WM is no slouch worldwide (as the above, slightly outdated graph shows, WM is maintaining a foothold despite Symbian's dominance and the iPhone's comeuppance), but will it be able to continue to attract developers and users? The short answer is yes, WM will do just fine.

Let's start with North America. While the new Symbian will eventually mean that they'll be able to make a real push into North America in a couple of years, it's still not going to make a significant dent in what is increasingly a fractured US market. By the time Nokia massages Symbian's S60 (or whatever the successor will be) so it's more palatable to US consumers, they'll be trying to make an entry into a market where BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Palm's Linux / Palm's Garnet, and of course the iPhone all will have marketshare that is not to be sniffed at. Sure, that gives Symbian a chance to grab a chunk, but it will be such small potatoes that I wonder if Nokia will really be able to put their heart into trying. They haven't in the past, I tend to doubt they will in the future.

Internationally, Windows Mobile is still competitive (very competitive) in the enterprise market. If anything, the new Symbian system might hurt BlackBerry more than it hurts Windows Mobile. The hot WM devices are coming a lot faster than what RIM is able to put out and should help WM keep a spot as a 2nd or 3rd fiddle to Symbian worldwide. Witness the Touch, Touch Diamond, Touch Pro, Samsung's offerings, and more. All of these are selling and selling well. RIM has a bunch of stuff coming -- but after the Bold hits the rest is still pretty mysterious. Everywhere except North America, Smartphone == Symbian for most people, and for those that opt-out the question is what the backup choice is. I think Windows Mobile has the best shot at being that choice -- both for consumers and developers. That goes double for enterprise.

Since we're discounting BlackBerrys as too slow to come out to stay competitive in Europe, discounting Android as too Google-nichey (and not out either!), and believe that WM is going to be able to hold its own, the only X factor left is the LiMo Foundation and/or Palm's upcoming OS (read: Linux). We're pretty sure that Symbian puts Linux in a box too, but it's too early to say.

What do you think? Will Nokia's gambit pay off?

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So we mentioned last week that Microsoft was going to be wooing Linux developers to start working on Windows Mobile too at the Linux World Conference. Wooing them with free beer. Slick. Well apparently it was a rousing success:

The "Microsoft Connection Cantina," held at Jillian's sports bar in San Francisco's Metreon, used free drinks and food such as "CE dip" and "embedded nachos" to lure Penguinistas from the convention center across the street. And it worked: Hall blogged before the event that "there's already a crowd waiting outside the bar."

Read: Did LinuxWorld survive Microsoft's Mike Hall?

"Embedded Nachos." I don't even have to make a joke about that. Just repeat it: "Embedded Nachos." Ah, I love it when people are unabashedly corny. Turnout was great at 250 people or so, standing room only, really. All those Linux folks received T-shirt, demos of .Net Compact Framework, and the aforementioned libations.

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Just had to follow up on yesterday afternoon's post about Microsoft and Linux developers. I came across this mystifying site this morning: Open Source at Microsoft (via Wedong)

By embracing diverse application development approaches and partner business models, Microsoft participates in a world of choice in which individuals and organizations can pursue their goals based on what uniquely inspires them, including open source.

Now the title and the graphics make you think "Microsoft's going open source? LIES." And you're right, there is something a little "off" about the copy. Some reading around, though, and it becomes clear that the site is about helping *other* open source projects play nice on Windows products. So it makes perfect sense that Microsoft would go to a Linux conference dedicated to talking about things like Linux Smartphones. Microsoft wants those open source app developers to know that if they want their app to be *used* on devices people in the US actually *buy*, Windows Mobile won't reject open source code like a failed kidney transplant.

...On another "Linux and Windows Love" note, remember Silverlight, the "Flash Killer" that also might just serve (this is just me riffing here, so don't read too much into this) as a great basis for Photon's UI? Well back in May some developers got it working on Linux in one weekend of coding. So Silverlight, when it's finally released, will work on Windows XP, Vista, Windows Mobile, Mac OSX, and Linux. "Flash killer" indeed.

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I've done my best thus far to avoid making jokes about Microsoft being the Borg, or an Evil Empire, or whatever. I'm only human, of course -- once I posted a sweaty photo of Steve Ballmer. Normally, though, I find cheap shots like "Micro$haft," well, cheap.

However, this story over at Linux For Devices demands the the cheap shot encapsulated in the above photo. The Windows Mobile Team is apparently planning on setting up camp outside LinuxWord next week. That's fine, everybody likes to visit the competition and see what's going on. But Microsoft's folks will be giving away free chicken wings and beer. If I know anything about Linux Developers, I know this: the only thing more tempting than a "free as in beer" joke is free beer. It's totally below the belt, Microsoft.... bravo.

So come on, Linux Developers, come to the Dark Side. We have free beer here. Also, as Mike Hall notes, they'll give you the "Windows CE kernel source code and development tools for FREE." Free source code. You know you want it. You don't understand the power of the dark side, but with some wings and a couple drinks in you, you probably could.

Read: Microsoft offers treats to Linux hackers

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Palm Developing Linux OS, Still Keeping WM

Microsoft's job of offering the best mobile OS in the market just got a little more interesting, as Palm announced today that they're working on a Linux-based PalmOS. The current PalmOS is, to put it gently, a dog. It's user-friendly, sure, but it can't multitask and is, in my humble opinion, ugly. In any case, by the end of the year the number of players in the smartphone space with modern OSes wil be much larger than it is now: Microsoft, Apple, Palm, Symbian, and heck, probably some other random Linux platforms from the likes of Access and LiMo.

  • PalmOS 5 devices (currently the latest version) will still be released later this year
  • Devices based on the Linux kernel should be released by the end of the year.
  • The OS is separate from the Access Linux Platform, it is Palm's own homegrown OS.
  • Palm will not license the OS to other manufacturers
  • It is highly likely that the new OS will use Opera as its default browser, given the recent agreement between Palm and Opera.

Palm, by the way, has no intention of dropping Windows Mobile. They'll still be releasing WM Treos.

Read: treocentral.com >> Stories >> Business >> Palm Developing New Linux Powered PalmOS

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