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Linux User Group Files Complaint To E.U. Over Microsoft Windows 8
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msg:4558891
 2:44 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

A Spanish association representing open-source software users has filed a complaint against Microsoft Corp to the European Commission, in a new challenge to the Windows developer following a hefty fine earlier this month.

The 8,000-member Hispalinux, which represents users and developers of the Linux operating system in Spain, said Microsoft had made it difficult for users of computers sold with its Windows 8 platform to switch to Linux and other operating systems.
Linux User Group Files Complaint To E.U. Over Microsoft Windows 8 [reuters.com]


In its 14-page complaint, Hispalinux said Windows 8 contained an "obstruction mechanism" called UEFI Secure Boot that controls the start-up of the computer and means users must seek keys from Microsoft to install another operating system.

 

bwnbwn




msg:4558900
 3:32 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Good Had someone buy a desktop with 8 installed from Best Buy could not get it off the machine to install 7. Thinking it was my lack of knowledge I called Best Buy. They said it was easy so I said OK took it to them. After an hour or so they came back and said it wasn't posible to wipe it and install another OS. I then took it to another expert and after he called MS he was told the same information. I could still be wrong, but from this I suppose I am not.

Leosghost




msg:4558909
 4:01 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

You can install other OS's side by side with win8..or wipe it and put win 7 or whatever ..but it is a nightmare compared to doing it with machines prior to win8.and if you are not careful you can brick the machines..

sevencubed is currently wrestling with win8 ( I can't find his last post about it at the moment though) and installing other stuff..

MS have made it as difficult as they possibly could to install anything ( even win7 ) over or next to win8..

bhonda




msg:4558910
 4:03 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

I know we've come across that problem here, but it's not impossible to do, but apparently it's not straight-forward.

IT bought a load of machines that turned out to be Windows 8, and since the rest of us are still on 7, each had to have 7 installed on it.

It took the junior techie lad a couple of hours to get everything working per machine, but from the looks of it, there were a number of specific steps that needed to be followed, and if anything was missed, bad things happened (his first attempt).

So, definitely not as easy as formatting the disk and installing something new, but then again if MS have changed how the machine boots, then I wouldn't expect it to work as it always has done.

ken_b




msg:4558919
 4:24 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Here is a link to SevenCubed's thread about this issue.

Hello World [webmasterworld.com]

incrediBILL




msg:4559002
 8:09 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

IMO it's kind of silly as most computers these days are sold as an appliance. You don't buy a TV and complain it's Linux vs Windows or a tablet or phone and complain it's iOS vs Android for that matter, it's an appliance. Hand full of nerds care that those computers can't be reloaded and the rest of the world doesn't give a squat but MS will be punished anyway as the needs of the few will make the needs of the many suffer.

If Linus usage and adoption at the desktop was a big deal these machines would come ready to install it or they would even have it pre-installed. Wait, isn't Apple's OSX linux based? THEN USE AN APPLE! Can you even re-install some other OS on an Apple?

There are plenty of sources where you can buy computers built from scratch with no OS until it's loaded and they aren't these appliance machines being sold at Best Buy.

Next thing you know people will complain that their toaster doesn't come capable of making Cylon toast out of the box.

Sheesh.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 8:13 pm (utc) on Mar 27, 2013]

Leosghost




msg:4559003
 8:11 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

There are plenty of sources where you can buy computers built from scratch with no OS until it's loaded and they aren't these appliance machines being sold at Best Buy.

Not in Europe ..and more especially Spain..where the complaint has been raised..

Cylon toast

Sounds like something a terminator would munch..

Apple is UNIX based as you ought to know ..not linux based..

[edited by: Leosghost at 8:15 pm (utc) on Mar 27, 2013]

incrediBILL




msg:4559005
 8:14 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Sounds like an opportunity for some business in Spain or the UK to step up and market to the Linux crowd as there's money to be made but it's obviously not profitable or someone would already be doing it.

Legislation is hardly the answer here as any little computer shop with a bunch of boards from China can slap a Linux box together in about an hour.

Leosghost




msg:4559007
 8:18 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Not a question of marketing to..question of retail space costs at B&M..( waaaaay too expensive to set up a "bespoke" box retail outlet..even on line due to EU postal rates ) and MS threatening any supplier/ manufacturer, who they deal with who also offers linux..

Some "mom and pop" shops do build "bare machines"..but the shipping rates mean that they don't / can't sell outside of their immediate area..

Most linux users ( moi, par example ;) build our own boxen..from scratch..even the ones that we are going to use windows on..

Try shopping ( even on line, in EU or maybe even the USA ? ) for a laptop that isn't preloaded with either windows or mac..

incrediBILL




msg:4559010
 8:27 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

We have little Asian computer outlets all over the place and they operate in little office parks in tiny little shops. It's just a big room full of Chinese computer parts and you place an order and an hour later it's built to spec and MS hasn't got squat to do with it and it's not a big retail outlet, it's like a counter in a TV repair shop.

I used to get all sorts of custom machines built that way in the past until the commercial appliance computers finally caught up with the hardware specs I required.

If the EU and postal issues are the problem, address the real problem and leave the appliance computer vendors out of it.

Like I said, if there was any money to be made selling Linux boxes someone would do it including the big box stores. Walmart actually experimented with a really cheap Ubuntu box for a while and the thing flew off the shelves it was so cheap but I don't think it's available anymore for whatever reason.

I'm thinking they should move to Asia where I think China just declared Linus the national operating system :)

Leosghost




msg:4559015
 8:33 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

You forgot ..MS strong arm the manufacturers into not offering bare machines..especially laptops ( which your little "Asian outlets" don't make )..and until win8..no one had a problem putting another OS onto a pre loaded win box..

I've set up loads of winboxen ( towers and laptops ) with Linux as dual boot..was easy ..until win8 ..now it can be done ( I have done so, a few times recently ) but for your average "installer tech" they now risk "bricking it" ..and that is what MS intended..make them leave it alone out of fear of breaking it..

Like I said, if there was any money to be made selling Linux boxes someone would do it including the big box stores. Walmart actually experimented with a really cheap Ubuntu box for a while and the thing flew off the shelves it was so cheap but I don't think it's available anymore for whatever reason.


Gave you the reason above..pressure from MS..either directly or via the box shifters suppliers .."offer that, and you can't offer ours, and over 90% of your customers are looking for ours, because we have the ad budgets to get them asking for it"..

incrediBILL




msg:4559018
 8:43 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Actually my little Asian outlets did make laptops and I used to rent them when I traveled back when they were too expensive to own just for a few trips. Remember the little Asian shops just stocked motherboards, power supplies and cases and assembled them to spec, whether tower or laptop unless the laptops came pre-assembled as I didn't watch them do it.

Regardless, I should point out I use Linux servers and Windows desktops and laptops, plus a pile of Android devices so I have no real allegiance to any specific platform except to use what I find appropriate for the task at hand.

If I needed a Linux box I sure as heck wouldn't buy a Windows machine in the first place but that's just me, I'd get a blank machine and load it myself.

Leosghost




msg:4559024
 9:04 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Regardless, I should point out I use Linux servers and Windows desktops and laptops, plus a pile of Android devices so I have no real allegiance to any specific platform except to use what I find appropriate for the task at hand.

ditto :)

Unless the laptops came pre-assembled as I didn't watch them do it.

doubtless they did..:) very very few "blank" laptops around..that were / are reliable :)

The people who ask me to put linux on their winboxen are definitely not upto "self build"..( mainly older people who's family have bought them a machine to keep in touch and look at pics of the grandchildren etc ) and they are usually laptops..for their use a good tablet with a decent keyboard would be better IMO..but MS don't make one of those either..not for sensible price..so there are a selection of ishiny things and some android slabs..I leave them "as is " and show them how to do the basics..

I don't charge for that kind of thing..I'm just the guy who can make computers work whose wife works with /takes care of the old folks / Alzheimer patients..:)

incrediBILL




msg:4559028
 9:17 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

I used to do computer stuff for people too.

They showed up at my door bearing six packs of beer and some nerdly hardware I'd never seen before like the first touch screen monitor, a packet radio modem, all sorts of wacky stuff but I digress.

I would probably draw the line at reloading an OS as I don't even like to do that myself and I used to work in the HD/Tape industry and wrote and tested drivers and backup software all day long.

I like the appliance computer where you plug it in, it works until it breaks, you plug in the replacement and it works. Your dual boot Frankencomputers take away that simplicity from those using them as it's not dual boot out of the box.

As a matter of fact, the Android app model is going to win over the marketplace because you don't have to even remember what apps to reload, and your contacts and data download from the cloud automatically, opposed to reinstalling Window and Linux software so their model is closer to the appliance model than all of this but I digress.

Leosghost




msg:4559031
 9:25 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Most of my people can hardly walk..if they can ..some are bedridden..I go to them..

Hopefully if I get that way there'll be someone like me around..brought my son up to "help out" so there should be..

We digressed :)

rogerd




msg:4559043
 10:04 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Seems crazy to complain that you bought a piece of consumer electronics and found it difficult to change out the preinstalled operating system. I can't easily change out the OS on my Samsung phone, even though I'd love to get a later Android version. Getting rid of the Verizon and Samsung crapware would be great, too.

My Samsung home theater box is similarly resistant to OS changes, even though I'd love to change it to one that handled an Amazon Prime app.

I used to be in the computer biz, and for a while a big part of it was building PCs. We'd buy "barebones" boxes from Asia and build to order. I expected that business to die a lot sooner than it did, as it made no sense that I could pay people to hand-assemble and configure computers and beat companies like Dell on price. Eventually, as IncrediBill notes, they finally became appliances with no need for customization.

I'm sure if the big makers could sell a million or two Linux boxes, they'd happily start cranking them out. A few have tried over the years, but sales were terrible.

Now, the market is shifting toward tablets, which promise even less of an opportunity to customize.

incrediBILL




msg:4559049
 10:28 pm on Mar 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Now, the market is shifting toward tablets, which promise even less of an opportunity to customize.


Exactly.

Modern desktop consumer grade computers are being designed the same way as these people selling them aren't in the OS tech support business and those machines are appliances designed to aid the consumer into using it as painlessly as possible without helping them change it do something they didn't intend it to be in the first place.

While I can sympathize with those that want something else, don't make these companies suffer because you don't want what they're selling. That's frankly just too bad.

Band together and show you have some financial power and get some big box company to start stocking Ubuntu boxes or something because TBH the Linux consumer market to date is completely hidden from site of the manufacturers because you buy a different product and covert it.

Sorry, converting it is no longer an option so you need to tell them how many boxes your group will buy and figure out how to get them delivered to those wanting to buy them.

Money talks and the rest is just nonsense.

Before anyone slays me on this I've been in this biz longer than possibly anyone on this board getting into electronics as a teen in the mid 70s due to an Uncle that worked at TI and got my first computer in '78 and for many years loaded the OS, whichever OS I wanted and I had several, off a floppy at a whim and I also had dual boot drives and removable HDs with different OS per drive, etc. so I'm not exactly out of touch with the plight of the people in this situation but in this day and age, especially for machines for oldsters, it's a pretty level playing field as my mom is as blind as a bat in her late 80s with macular degeneration and I set her Windows box up with super big fonts and icons the size of trees with MAIL, INTERNET, etc. across the screen and all the software enlarged to the max and she's good to go forwarding me all the humor mail and links to humor sites that old blind people forward.

Leosghost




msg:4559072
 12:15 am on Mar 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

Before anyone slays me on this I've been in this biz longer than possibly anyone on this board getting into electronics as a teen in the mid 70s

Slay ..? no ..why would any one of us crotchety older folks ..be nasty to one of the "young 'uns" :)..
Began this stuff in 74 ( waaaaay later than many ) with punch cards and fortran and cobol..

That said ..bear in mind..

There are some ( and especially some ladies ) here who who have been in this longer than me or thee..but for the ladies..and thee or me .."who can piss further up the wall of time" is not good for our dignity..and will make our zimmers rusty as all hell ..and nurse may well confine us to our rooms...;)..as incontenent whippersnappers ..

swa66




msg:4559073
 12:25 am on Mar 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the Original Post. I didn't know it was a potential problem to get rid of 8.

The simplest basis the EU can use to act on I guess is the abuse of monopoly. MSFT has been convicted to pay record breaking fines before. It's just yet another examples of the same. This time not browsers or media players, but now it's the hardware itself that get's locked in.
Pity it'll take far too long to have any decent effect.

(Mac) OS X is FreeBSD derived - it's got nothing to do with Linux. [GNU license vs. BSD license]

Buying a "wintel" computer you intend to use under alternative OSes without windows coming along is terribly hard as the hardware is bundled with windows per Microsoft's deal with the manufacturer. Regardless what the chain of distribution and retail does: it's bundled at the source already. The manufacturer is not allowed to offer it to you without windows - or they risk to lose the lucrative discounts they get for bundling it with *all* they sell to consumers. This is where the (illegal in the EU) abuse of monopoly occurs.
So even if you try real ahrd, you'll not get a discount -not even a penny- for not wanting the windows license.

Servers typically are still available exempt from the bundling deal - I've to yet to buy any with a windows license. But it sometimes does limit choice. I typically run my servers under OpenBSD.

Mom-and-pop places building computers: all I know out here went out of business a few years ago when the discount supermarkets began to sell "PCs" without any form of support or after sales care for less than the mom-and-pop places could procure either pre-build asian sweat-shop stuff or -even worse- components. Let alone that they needed to give decent support and build/configure it all to be actually usable. I had a friend owning such a store: they saw their sales drop, got people expecting support on hardware they bought elsewhere but were unwilling/unable to pay for the support, so they let the shop phase out - there was no way to make a profit anymore.
It also coincided with the price drop of laptops to be affordable enough to be favored over the old fied machines.
It's also the same time I -and many like me- stopped giving PC support to friends and family: it became a bottomless pit. People just trash perfectly good hardware cause they can't fix the software problems - or more common: use employer provided hardware for personal use as well.

Obviously those folks not having an employer provided machine they're allowed to use for private stuff migrate to things like a iPad: why bother with a machine they cannot find support for (for free nor for pay), nor are able to service it themselves. If they bought it, it would just become "e-waste" in a matter of a few months.

Any of my friends or family that wants/gets support: they have a mac - "I don't do windows" is the mantra they get for any windows related issue. I don't even look at it or they'll assume I'm going to help them and won't stop demanding ever more.
Paying customers can get me to cover their windows machines - but they pay for it.

drhowarddrfine




msg:4559184
 1:03 pm on Mar 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

US citizens can file a complaint with the Justice Department's anti-trust division here: [justice.gov...]

I did and received an email from two attorneys. One of them is the same attorney who headed the previous anti-trust court case in the '90s.

I also emailed my two congressmen. I figured I'd just get some canned response but, interestingly, they were VERY aware of the situation and even said it was a topic of conversation in their office.

drhowarddrfine




msg:4559185
 1:10 pm on Mar 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

Seems crazy to complain that you bought a piece of consumer electronics and found it difficult to change out the preinstalled operating system.
The difference is being able to buy computer hardware separate from the operating system and the operating system preventing or blocking competitors from being installed. Remember that you are buying computer hardware and not necessarily the operating system that came with it. And since the Microsoft and Windows are a monopoly on the desktop, this smacks of anti-trust which is where the EU is stepping in and, possibly, the US Justice Department.

With regards to phones, no one phone monopolizes that market and when you buy a phone you are also buying the service and the software to run it. As I said before, with desktop computers you don't always want or need to buy the operating system which is sold by a separate company.

rogerd




msg:4559211
 2:46 pm on Mar 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

So, does that mean Apple's dominant iPad should allow easy installation of Android or Windows? Once a product becomes a consumer commodity, manufacturers don't find it attractive to allow lots of tinkering by customers. They will incorporate features (like a Linux OS or touchscreen) when there's enough demand to allow a thoroughly tested product to be sold in quantity.

PCs are well past the hobbyist stage as far as major producers are concerned. There are still some firms and parts distributors who cater to the tinkering set, though they won't have the economies of scale of an Apple or Dell.

incrediBILL




msg:4559281
 5:55 pm on Mar 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

Remember that you are buying computer hardware and not necessarily the operating system that came with it


Actually that's no the case at all because it says with on the box Windows 8 which is what you're buying just like when you get an Apple you're buying OSX.

It's an appliance and like I said before if the number of nerds reloading the machine with an OS had enough clout, and weren't hiding behind voiding the warranty on a Windows appliance, then you might find some vendor selling Linux boxes in those electronics supermarkets but instead people would rather complain to the DOJ instead of putting their money where their mouth is an putting up a site to find out help establish the size of the potential customer base.

Desktop schmesktop, it's an appliance for %99.9999 of the population that need a pug and play device, just like the tablet and the phone. Sure I can install software on both, I can install apps on my TV too, but I don't buy something with X and expect it to work with Y and then pitch fits when it doesn't.

What we're talking about here is the same as gear heads that buy a car and replace the engine except MS trying to defeat some vulnerability issues has figured out a way to stop you from removing the engine.

Like I said before, I understand your plight but don't mess with what works for the rest of the world and make your financial buying power known to hardware vendors instead of throwing temper tantrums to elected officials. Sheesh.

You can buy machines preloaded with Linux, here's a small list of vendors like SaReason:
[smallbusinesscomputing.com...]

Dell sells pre-loaded with Linux:
[dell.com...]

HP claims to have Linux for their desktops:
[h71028.www7.hp.com...]

Vote with your wallet.

Yeah yeah, I know, those aren't the cheapo computers in the big box store well sometimes you can't always get what you want according to the Rolling Stones.

Leosghost




msg:4559292
 6:24 pm on Mar 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

More to the point none of those vendors sell those machines preloaded in Spain..and the complaint ( subject of the thread ) is about what is happening in Spain..You know ..the Spain in Europe ..

What company x, y or z sells or claims to sell in the USA..has nothing to do with it..

Leosghost




msg:4559299
 6:34 pm on Mar 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

What we're talking about here is the same as gear heads that buy a car and replace the engine except MS trying to defeat some vulnerability issues has figured out a way to stop you from removing the engine

Far better simile would be that you buy the car ( hardware ) which has been rigged to work with one kind of petrol ( software )..due to pressure on the hardware company by one software company..

Imagine if 90% all cars ( Ford, GM, Toyota , BMW, VW etc ) you could buy in one country came preloaded with exxon petrol..and that in order to run any other brand ( you could adjust the engine..not change it ..remember the engine is hardware )..to run on other brands of petrol..but exxon had strong armed each car manufacturer to say that if you did tweak your carb to run using non exxon petrol..then the cars guarantee would be voided..

graeme_p




msg:4560046
 6:26 pm on Mar 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

The whole point about computers is that they are programmable: i.e. NOT just an appliance.

As for tablets and phones, they do not do anything to make it easy to install another OS, but they do not add a special mechanism to stop you doing it either. They have no obligation to make it easy to install another OS, but going out of their way to make it more difficult in another matter altogether.

bill




msg:4560457
 2:33 am on Apr 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

UEFI is not a special mechanism to stop the installation of another OS. It's a security measure to tie the operating system to the firmware. It's also an upgrade to BIOS which was developed in 1979 and is a bit out of date. (Want to boot from a hard disk that's bigger than 2.1TB? BIOS isn't going to help you there.)

Yes, it's a real shame that Linux aficionados can't play with the UEFI hardware quite as easily as they could with BIOS, but there are work-arounds. People who replace the OS like this are truly a tiny minority. To the vast majority a PC is an appliance, and the security and speed that UEFI adds to a system is a benefit.

brotherhood of LAN




msg:4560462
 3:09 am on Apr 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

>the Spain in Europe

IANAL but it'd seem Europe is more the key word than Spain, after all the EU is the common market.

FWIW the UK does have a very nice range of companies supplying alternative OS's and/or custom made PCs.

I'm sure this will all end in another 'generous' fine for Microsoft, if it gets anywhere.

Kendo




msg:4560504
 7:19 am on Apr 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

You buy an appliance. You use the appliance as designed and supplied. End of story. If they can't purchase barebones machines, they are not looking very hard at all. Besides, aren't Linux users mostly DIY enthusiasts that prefer to assemble their own computers? Something fishy going on there... methinks just another excuse for a handout.

Kendo




msg:4560515
 7:41 am on Apr 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

One thing that may be overlooked here is that systems are sold and then need to survive an onslaught of disasters at the hands of virus, power surges and the idiot factor that attacks all computer equipment.

Consequently, the manufacturer and vendor need to minimise support and repair costs (unless they want to go broke) and one way of doing that is by supplying computers that are either idiot-proof or self-restoring. Not much can be done about the idiot factor and here I talking about the guy who brings in his computer because he changed the boot-from-CD option and now his computer tries to boot from from a photo-album DVD. If it can be done newbs will find a way to destroy a perfectly working computer.

But a lot can be done about providing a computer that can be restored easily in the case of software failure. Because users can lose or damage their install disks, the installation software can be stored in a protected partition on the hard drive and if the restoration process can also be seeded in bios, all the better for the end-user because he then has less chance of trashing his computer beyond self-repair.

So why is this made out to be a problem, when it's actually a blessing?

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