Tag Archives: operating systems

Windows 10 expected to lock out Linux and FreeBSD operating systems

As Windows 8 launched, #Microsoft imposed #restrictions on OEMs who wanted to display a “Designed for Windows 8″ sticker on their #products. Which meant OEMs had to ensure their machines would support UEFI Secure Boot. This was supposed to be a good security feature but it also all sorts of problems for people looking to run alternative operating systems, such as Linux or FreeBSD. Microsoft then included a solution as well as eased fears. OEMs were obligated to build a user accessible switch which could turn Secure Boot off, allowing users to run alternative operating systems. Now Windows 10 brings its own set of rules.

In a post originally reported by Ars Technica, this switch to allow secure boot to be turned off is now optional and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) will not have to include it as an option on hardware that ships with Windows 10, a less-than-tactful change compared to Windows 8.

windows_10_eufi_secure_boot_oem_optional

Microsoft supposedly implemented UEFI Secure Boot to protect the machine against malware that could interfere with the boot process and inject itself at a low level. When this feature is enabled, the correct cryptographic signatures are required by core components in order to boot the computer. UEFI firmware verifies the signatures before boot processes are allowed to proceed.
If UEFI detects files have been tampered with and signatures broken, the (UEFI) firmware does not allow the system to boot. So Windows 8 users who wanted to turn this security feature off, or add their own cryptographic certificates and signatures, could take advantage of Secure Boot while having freedom to compile their own OS.

At the WinHEC hardware conference in Shenzhen, China, Microsoft talked about the hardware requirements for Windows 10. The precise final specs are not available yet, so all of this is somewhat subject to change, while Microsoft says the switch to allow Secure Boot to be turned off is now optional. Hardware can be “Designed for Windows 10” and can offer no way to opt out of the Secure Boot lock down. Also assuming users will not be allowed to add their own signatures or certificates, Microsoft continues to keep silent on this topic for now.

None of these changes completely cut off Linux and the other operating systems, so there could be a scenario where the correct set of signatures are included to allow the OS to boot alongside Windows. Some manufacturers could decide to allow the switch to stay in place after all.

From the standpoint of Linux Game News, this would severely impact hardware vendor sales. Buying a motherboard or even a laptop, that would only allow Windows 10 to function while deliminating other operating systems, this does not seem marketable.

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The PISTON Console Xi3 Revealed

Modular mini-PC manufacturer Xi3 has revealed plans for its new PISTON Console due for release later this year. The incredibly small and upgradable PC will hit stores on Nov. 29 and will retail in the US for $999.

The PISTON Console houses a quad-core 64-bit processor running at up to 3.2GHz and 8GB of DDR3 RAM in addition to dual SSD connectors, an internal microSD card slot, 128GB SSD, 3 display ports, and 12 USB ports. The graphics chipset supports 4K resolution output. The network port will prioritize game data, allowing for smoother streaming for network based games while minimizing demand for secondary network activity.

The Xi3 PISTON Console

Because it’s PC based, the PISTON Console can support PC and web-based games and Windows and Linux programs and it’s compatible with all PC peripherals. The system can run either Windows or Linux operating systems allowing complete customization and personalization for the end-user. The PISTON also features the ability to install multiple operating systems on the same console.

The modular design of the PISTON’s computer architecture will enable gamers to easily upgrade the console. Instead of a single motherboard, the PISTON contains three small interconnected boards. Replacing one or more of the boards with an upgrade PISTON board will improve; processing power, graphical rendering capabilities, network throughput, additional connections and more.

The PISTON console will launch with preloaded games which will be announced at a later date. Additional details on the console will be released before its launch on Black Friday 2013.

Reblogged from: gamingillustrated.com

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Will there ever be a Linux version of The Elder Scrolls Online?

Bethesda just confirmed it: The Elder Scrolls Onlinewill be coming to Mac.

“We’re currently developing #ESO for PC(Windows OS), Mac, PS4, and Xbox One,” reads a tweet on the Elder Scrolls Online Twitter feed.  This is both good news and bad. The good news is that those of you using Macs will be able to play the MMO at launch. The bad news?

From the sounds of it, Linux won’t be a priority (at least for the time being).

Will there ever be a Linux version of The Elder Scrolls Online?

The Elder Scrolls Online is the game pretty much every Elder Scrolls fan has been asking for since Morrowind: a multiplayer offering that allows players to explore the whole of Tamriel at their leisure. With combat and mechanics similar to Skyrim and a rich story set a few hundred years before The Dragonborn’s quest, ESO is shaping up to be one of the best Elder Scrolls games yet.

We’re currently developing The Elder Scrolls Online for PC (Windows OS) and Mac computer operating systems as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We don’t have plans to support other operating systems such as Linux.

So it really is interesting to see a company like Bethesda supporting other operating systems and consoles, but no Linux. Hopefully we will have Leadworks to come to the rescue with Darling. Despite the speculation of the usefulness of Darling, it seems to already have it’s potential in the gaming community.

Reblogged from: gamedynamo.com

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title="Linux Game Gaming News

What if Microsoft Opened the Interface Environment for Windows 8?

In recent years, Microsoft has steadily become friendlier toward open source and more open standards, although the company still draws criticism for not going far enough in the open direction. This fall, the company is expected to start beta testing Windows 8 – the next major release of its operating system. Could the company benefit from opening up the desktop interface for Windows? There are calls for that to happen, and it could make a lot of sense for Microsoft.

Many OStatic readers are Linux users, and are very familiar with using various desktop environments that don’t necessarily come standard with this or that Linux distribution. This is a form of freedom that many Linux users embrace, but it has never been Microsoft’s way to encourage use of desktop interfaces that differ from the standardized ones it delivers in its versions of the Windows operating system.

Ironically, in the early days of Windows, when there were countless companies making what was dubbed “utility software,” you could easily and fluidly run other environments on top of Windows. Slowly but surely, though, Microsoft incorporated the utilities that these companies made into Windows itself, and most of these companies went away.

With Windows 7, Microsoft pursued a much wider and more open beta testing cycle than it ever had before. Part of the reason for that was the disaster that Windows Vista was, and Vista was not as thoroughly and openly beta tested as Windows 7.

There are those calling for a much higher level of desktop interface openness for Windows 8. For example, PCMag’s John Dvorak writes:

“With Windows 8, apparently you will be offered two options. The system will boot to the Windows 8 new GUI or you can go back and operate under a Windows 7 shell. How about this: You can do both and/or you can boot under a third party GUI. Heck, some people may design their own. Applying a modified license that would let Microsoft use any of the third party features in a future release could easily be done, adding incredible versatility to the interface.”

Indeed, a healthy ecosystem of third-party desktop interfaces and environments for Windows might introduce a new level of flexibility that enterprises and consumers alike would embrace. Developers of interfaces and environments might work as the open source community does, introducing new desktop concepts that could benefit Microsoft as well as users.

On this front, Dvorak adds this: “Microsoft’s terrible not-invented-here policy regarding ideas like this may affect the interface and thus affect the way the OS works. Its old-fashioned attitude will kill the company in the long run. By embracing alien ideas—developed for free, mind you—actual new ideas can emerge. Users would enjoy the ability to jump from interface to interface the way you can jump from desktop to desktop.”

Don’t expect Microsoft to immediately embrace this idea. It does run counter to how the company has approached user interaction with the Windows OS. But Microsoft could look to Linux, and the flexibility with which Linux distress distros allow users to choose their interface environments, for guidance. It would be a new chapter for the folks in Redmond – a much more open one.

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