Monday, September 14, 2015

Microsoft Gives You The Windows 10 Upgrade Whether You Want It Or Not!

Microsoft recently confirmed that it has been pre-loading Windows 10 installation bits onto devices whose owners have not "reserved" a copy of the operating system, let alone showed any interest in it at all. Naturally, this has upset some users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 with many complaining that the unsolicited downloads have caused them to exceed data caps from their internet service providers or seized storage space without their consent.

Microsoft released a statement acknowledging the downloads stating, "For those who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update, we help customers prepare their devices for Windows 10 by downloading the files necessary for future installation. This results in a better upgrade experience and ensures the customer's device has the latest software. This is an industry practice that reduces the time for installation and ensures device readiness."

If a Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 user has Windows Update set to the default option, which was recommended by Microsoft, that allows the operating system to download and install security and other bug patches automatically in the background then Microsoft will push the Windows 10 upgrade files to the drive.

This upgrade can range from over 3GB to almost 6GB and is placed in the hidden "$Windows.~BT" folder. This folder has long been a destination for Windows upgrades and the Windows 10 upgrade will remain here until the user expresses an interest in installing the operating least that's what we hope.

Microsoft has been pre-loading the Windows 10 upgrade on systems since the end of July, though it was believed that the practice was limited to PCs whose users had accepted Microsoft's free offer and reserved a copy of the operating system through an app the company automatically installed back in the spring and early summer on nearly every single PC running Windows 7 Home and Windows 8.1 Home, and on many PCs running Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 Professional.

Once the Windows 10 upgrade was downloaded to the device, the user was notified via the app that installation was ready. But this new scheme is completely different in the fact that the bits are downloaded to the PC, regardless of the fact that the user has not asked for the upgrade whatsoever. What's not surprising is the people who noticed this first were the ones with data caps mandated by their internet service providers, especially those who relied on cellular connection to the internet.

There is a particularly long thread on Slashdot that has several commenters claiming that they had exceeded their caps because Microsoft downloaded this massive update to their devices without their approval. One comment reads, "I had to travel recently, so I took a laptop with clean Windows 8.1 Pro install. At my destination, I purchased a SIM (they only had 1GB data packages) and put it into the 3G/Wi-Fi router I carry. I powered the laptop, connected to Internet via said router, checked a few things, then went away for a few hours. When I got back to the apartment, my data package (and Internet connectivity) was killed because Microsoft idiots decided to start downloading Windows 10 even though I have explicitly closed/rejected all the offers."

Other users did not appreciate the unwanted upgrade that landed on their limited storage space. Anyone with a 128GB SSD would be very unhappy if 5% of their storage capacity was suddenly occupied without their approval. Others wondered whether Microsoft would take the next logical step by either giving users notifications telling them to apply the installed upgrade or make the move of triggering the download automatically.

If they triggered the download automatically it wouldn't be much different from what they've already done with those users who accepted the free upgrade and reserved a copy. It is also possible that a lot of users on the receiving end of the notifications would approve of the upgrade or even appreciate the fact they didn't have to wait a long time for the download to complete. However, if Microsoft downloaded the update without consent (again) then the people may very well grab their torches and pitchforks.

Content originally published here

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

IBM Creates A Limitless Linux

With significant drivers expanding the mission critical applications in the industry, it's no surprise that Linux is the fastest growing operating system in the business. Speed, agility, a unified development environment and cost are all factors to this success. In addition to that, Linux's quality has advanced in recent years with mobile driving an increased focus on this platform. IBM has a lot of eggs in this basket, pushing its z Systems platform to take advantage of this trend and provide the strongest large scale offering around. IBM is convinced that they can expand their capability by taking Linux to new heights and are doing so by announcing the expansion of their coverage. Customers have begun wanting IBM to take Linux and give it the same focus as the company's most capable systems, and that's exactly what IBM is doing.

IBM's LinuxOne Portfolio is designed to provide a selection of Linux distribution of its choosing and with the scale and support you would expect from IBM's most powerful systems, like the z System. In addition to that, there are two other offerings, both of which are named after penguins. These two systems are known as the LinuxONE Emperor and the LinuxONE Rockhopper. Emperor is the premier offering, providing the greatest flexibility and scalability along with performance and trust for business-critical Linux applications. Emperor also has the greatest capacity range and no top end, meaning it can be expanded whenever and however you need to. Rockhopper is the entry system that starts much smaller than Emperor and provides a solution for a smaller company or unit.

Both of the systems allow you to choose your distribution, hypervisor, runtime, management tools, your choice of databases, and your choice of analytics. There are other coverages on hypervisors as well, including PR/SM. z/VM, and KVM. Languages include Python, Pearl, COBOL, Java, and Node.js. On the management side, we have WAVE, IBM Cloud Manager, OpenStack, Docker, Chef, Puppet, and VMware vRealize Automation. In terms of databases, there's Oracle, DB2LUW, Maria DB, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL with analytics include Hadoop, Big Insights, DB@BLU, and Spark. The range of offerings is also pretty good, including single platform, multi-platform, on premise, off premise, and multiple mixed cloud environments with a common toolset.

When it comes to pricing, things are pretty flexible. There's a Pay-Per-Use model with no upfront payment needed, a fixed monthly or quarterly payment, and variable costing that scales based on usage. A second pricing model uses a 36-month fixed lease with a 36-month usage contact and a right to return after 1 year. The final payment style is a Pre-Core rental model that allows you to order what you need when you need it, add licenses as needed, decrease licenses as needed or cancel with a 30-day notice.

Scale out and up supports up to 8 thousand virtual servers in a single system along with tens of thousands of containers, tens of thousands of concurrent users, and the ability to run test, development, and production in a single system. There is a significant focus on speed here as IBM has included its fastest processor, biggest I/O pipe, up to 10TB of memory, and 4 levels of cache, all of which brings you a sub-second end user response time at full load. The platform is designed to run at 100% utilization and to spin containers and virtual servers in a matter of minutes, automatically provide physical resources as needed in seconds via automatic resources provisioning and reallocation.

IBM testing has shown that it can handle up to 30 billion RESTful web interactions per day with up to 350,000 database read and writes per second. This is twice the performance of competitors for any NoSQL database, along with the longest single DB node. This assists in avoiding costs, complexity, and overhead of sharding.

This is Linux without limits. The Open Mainframe Project is a key element in the effort and it is being pushed forward by the Linux foundation in order to drive capabilities and growth. IBM is showing a commitment to driving this project with a lot of funding and company resources. This includes IBM Linux Technology Centers, Open Source Community Contributions, Academic Initiative and Training Programs, and open access to Mainframe community clouds. Members of this project include CA, CompuWare, BMC, Marris College, and the University of Washington.

IBM is pulling out all the stops here and this is definitely one of the most significant moves by the company in the past 10 years. IBM is enabling its centers worldwide to port, test, and benchmark key applications with free access to the Mainframe Community Cloud for developers and students across a plethora of top-tier universities. IBM definitely sees its future tied closely to Linux and a score of students coming from educational institutions and is focused on ever more mobile, flexible, applications.

Content originally published here
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