Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘Microsoft’

Platform Tilt ➝

Mozilla:

This dashboard tracks technical issues in major software platforms which disadvantage Firefox relative to the first-party browser. We consider aspects like security, stability, performance, and functionality, and propose changes to create a more level playing field.

There are more issues for Apple platforms than Microsoft and Google combined.

➝ Source: mozilla.github.io

A Sour Solution ➝

Michael Tsai:

Microsoft got in trouble for bundling their browser with the OS and for preventing resellers from pre-installing competing browsers. They never interfered with other companies making their apps available. Apple doesn’t let resellers pre-install apps and does prevent certain apps (including third-party browser engines) from even being available.

What Apple has done by locking down the platform is far worse than anything Microsoft ever did with Windows.

It hurts users, it hurts developers, and I think it hurts the platform overall. Imagine how much more powerful our pocket computers could be if, for example, the folks at Panic were afforded the freedom necessary to make Transmit and Coda work on iOS.

How many developers gave up on an incredible idea because they knew it would never be approved by Apple, because the business model just wouldn’t work without the ability to sell upgrades, or because it wouldn’t be feasible with Apple taking a 30% cut of the revenue?

➝ Source: mjtsai.com

Microsoft Discouraging Chrome Downloads With Prompts in Edge ➝

Tom Warren, writing for The Verge:

Windows 10 and Windows 11 have both started displaying new prompts when people navigate to the Chrome download page, in an effort to discourage people from installing Google’s rival browser.

This is pretty scummy, but not surprising at all given Microsoft’s history of anti-competitive behavior.

You really shouldn’t be using Google Chrome, though. Try Firefox or Brave instead.

➝ Source: theverge.com

Microsoft Is Bringing Windows to a Web Browser ➝

Parker Ortolani, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:

Today, Microsoft unveiled a new service called Windows 365, and it makes it possible for users to run a full version of Windows in a web browser on any device. The new service is only available for businesses at first, but given Microsoft’s emphasis on cloud platforms, it is highly likely that it will become available for consumers at some point in the future. Microsoft is offering Windows 365 for businesses of all sizes, whether you are a one-person show or a giant organization. The best part? You can run Windows 365 on an iPad in addition to a Mac.

Because of Apple’s stranglehold on native applications on iOS, I have a feeling the browser is going to become a lot more important over the next few years. I’ll be curious to see how resistant Apple will be to some much needed improvements to web app support and how much developers start really clamoring for them — the lack of support for notifications immediately comes to mind.

➝ Source: 9to5mac.com

GitHub Copilot ➝

Bryan Lunduke:

To be fair, from a technical perspective, Copilot is an impressive accomplishment. The sheer amount of data that needed to be collected, indexed, and processed (every line of public code on GitHub)… that’s impressive. The A.I. that predicts the code that it thinks you will need… also incredibly impressive.

Just the same, Copilot is such an astoundingly bad idea — on so many levels — that it is truly baffling that it was created at all.

Despite the extensive use of GitHub at Automattic, I don’t know too much about Copilot. But from what I do know, it doesn’t sound good.

This specific bit related to licensing is probably the most concerning to me:

“All public GitHub code was used in training. We don’t distinguish by license type.”

Meaning, if you use Copilot to insert code into your software, you have absolutely no clue what (or how many) licenses are now involved.

GPL? MIT? Apache? BSD? Probably. Others that are likely incompatible (at least in some way)? Almost assuredly.

Looking to ship your software under a specific license? Maybe even as closed source?

Good-friggin-luck.

Is some of your code, which you hosted on GitHub, now being used in other projects without proper attribution or licensing? Maybe? Who knows!

I have a feeling, because of the licensing implications alone, Copilot is dead on arrival.

➝ Source: lunduke.com

On Microsoft’s Surface Duo and Neo ➝

John Gruber:

But in very typical Microsoft fashion, the Neo and Duo are both just prototypes. They’re over a year from shipping according to the company, the software is so early days that the media weren’t allowed to play with them, there’s no word on pricing, and Panay admits they haven’t even decided fundamental aspects like how many cameras they’ll have.

And in the meantime, they’ve completely overshadowed the real products Microsoft actually announced yesterday.

Microsoft announced some pretty neat products, but who knows what changes will take place in software and hardware before they actually ship. How many of the neatest little features will be scrapped because they can’t quite get it right before it’s time to ship? How many hardware details will change because they discovered that the original design just isn’t sturdy enough?

Microsoft’s product announcements would be a lot more compelling if they only unveiled things that were just weeks away from release.

➝ Source: daringfireball.net

‘Everything About This Operating System Feels Like a PC Living in a Tablet Body’ ➝

Matt Birchler, on his newly purchased Microsoft Surface Go:

My initial impressions are that this is not the iPad-like experience I am used to. This is full on Windows 10, and it feels like almost zero effort has been put into making this operating system touch friendly. Everything about this operating system feels like a PC living in a tablet body, not necessarily an operating system that was built for this form factor.[…]

This has all meant that I use the Surface Go in laptop mode most of the time, using the Type Cover from Microsoft. This keyboard really is excellent, with keys that travel more than they do on some laptops (you know the ones I’m talking about) and feel really good. It’s not quite full size, but as someone who does most of his computing on an iPad with Smart Keyboard, this is pretty normal for me. I don’t know how much I’ll like this in the long run compared to the Smart Keyboard, but it definitely one-ups Apple’s offering by having a full function row with media controls, brightness, and even home, end, print screen, and delete keys.

I always enjoy Matt’s perspective on non-Apple devices and I look forward to reading his impressions as he spends more time with the Surface Go.

Microsoft’s Answer to Chromebooks ➝

Romain Dillet, writing for TechCrunch:

Microsoft’s answer to Chrome OS is called Windows 10 S. This new operating system is a streamlined and secured version of Windows 10. It runs sandboxed apps and doesn’t require expensive hardware.

And this is where Microsoft shines as it can talk with all major PC OEMs to convince them to build Windows 10 S devices. The company announced that Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung and Toshiba are all working on Windows 10 S devices.

These machines will start at $189 and will ship with a one-year subscription of Minecraft: Education Edition alongside free access to Office 365’s online apps for students and teachers.

The downside is, these devices won’t be shipping until sometime this summer. Many schools do their purchasing at the end of the school year — like, right now. And having to wait a few more months for these is a deal breaker.