Complete Switch to *NIX and Linux: May 17, 2015


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HeartsOfWar

In all fairness Windows can be awfully intimidating and unforgiving to the uninitiated.  I'm my entire families tech support and have seen jaw dropping things as a result of a BSOD :laugh:

 

I'm simply pointing that out due to the level of polish I've seen getting back to Linux in recent weeks. Anyone using windows could just as easily use a mildy tweaked install of Ubuntu/Mint or even Opensuse. Enough so to get me to order another laptop that will be strictly Linux for home use.

 

I agree... I will admit that I haven't spent much time with Windows 8 / 8.1, but what I have seen / used... I think it has a lot of awful /horrible design decisions. Charms bar??? What?

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adrynalyne

Aren't they the same?

No.

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Lazy8s

I agree... I will admit that I haven't spent much time with Windows 8 / 8.1, but what I have seen / used... I think it has a lot of awful /horrible design decisions. Charms bar??? What?

Once used to it it's not that bad....kind of...but enough to make MS backpedal on the start menu. The charms bar lol...I rarely use it. The UI isn't really all that much different from the all apps function in Opensuse, but Suse's layout and design are just...simpler, and more aesthetically pleasing imo.

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Max Norris

The UI isn't really all that much different from the all apps function in Opensuse, but Suse's layout and design are just...simpler, and more aesthetically pleasing imo.

Assuming KDE?  (OpenSUSE supports multiple environments.)  Yea, it's pretty nice, OpenSUSE does put some decent polish on it, KDE in general probably having the nicest (in my opinion) balance of usability and modernization, just wish they'd fix some of those long time bugs.  Others like Cinnamon are nice but still feel pretty dated, that taskbar for example, ick, straight out of XP.  Get something like Gnome 3 though.  Yikes, some crazy design decisions in that, makes Windows 8.x look positively tame. 

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Lazy8s

Assuming KDE?  (OpenSUSE supports multiple environments.)  Yea, it's pretty nice, OpenSUSE does put some decent polish on it, KDE in general probably having the nicest (in my opinion) balance of usability and modernization, just wish they'd fix some of those long time bugs.  Others like Cinnamon are nice but still feel pretty dated, that taskbar for example, ick, straight out of XP.  Get something like Gnome 3 though.  Yikes, some crazy design decisions in that, makes Windows 8.x look positively tame. 

Mentioning the DE would have helped eh? Lol - yes, KDE is what I'm running now,and haven't bumped into any bugs yet,although it's only been a week. You worded my impressions perfectly - I liked Mint/Cinnamon a lot, but dated feeling is the perfect description. KDE just feels more modern. Well done and very user friendly imo.

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+InsaneNutter

Really? Then tell me, how many cell phones need their users to type terminal commands or edit files or whatever, in order to fix an issue? You can't compare the desktop with phones. It's like apples and oranges. It doesn't matter if the mobile OS is based on Linux, it's not the same thing as using Linux on your desktop.

 

"Linux is capable of providing a complete friendly experience" - well, by this logic Windows is also capable of providing a complete friendly mobile experience too, right?

 

I agree it's like comparing apples to oranges, however you can certainly call up the terminal with Android and do things you can't from the UI. Such as use iptables to make it so any device tethering via Wi-Fi is routed through the phones VPN connection.

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TDT

I agree it's like comparing apples to oranges, however you can certainly call up the terminal with Android and do things you can't from the UI. Such as use iptables to make it so any device tethering via Wi-Fi is routed through the phones VPN connection.

I know you can, that wasn't the point. I meant you don't have to do this if you have issues on Android, most of the time it comes down to a reboot or reflash of the rom and that issue is fixed. On the desktop, things can get messy very fast if you're a noob. 

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Depicus

On the desktop, things can get messy very fast if you're a noob. 

 

Indeed I've seen more than my fair share of Windows machines messed up by tinkering fingers. 

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gohpep

Nope. I wasn't comparing Android to the Linux desktop. What I was doing was stating that if developers recognize their audience correctly, even Linux can succeed in the wild against Windows. It's not impossible for Linux just because it's an unforgiving OS according to most. It just takes an exceptional design vision / goal.

 

In case you haven't figured it out: 99% of the market that is Linux / Unix is the cell-phone market... not the desktop as you think. You need to read / comprehend better.

The kernel doesn't affect the user experience that much. What does is the OS components, like Xserver, GNU stuff, etc.

Aren't they the same?

https://www.gnu.org/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html

 

----

 

Personally, I really feel like GNU/Linux with a modern window manager suits the needs of many computer users. You don't have to use the terminal anymore, except if you are doing things that are meant for advanced users anyway. Of course, GNU/Linux is not ready for the masses, just for people who are a little less than computer savvy. This situation is improving, as we see less focus on making a complete operating system and more a usable one.

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f0rk_b0mb

Yeap. Linux breaks so easily just because it's not so easy to fix something. Sometimes trying to fix an issue leads to other issues and so on until the system becomes a complete mess. Yeah, you're protected against viruses, but who needs viruses to get their system screwed when you can do it too? :rolleyes:

 

Linux does exactly what you tell it to do because it assumes you are a technical user. If Linux broke, it's because you broke it due to your tweaking or you are running unstable repositories, and in that case you have what's coming to you.

 

Linux is stable if you leave it alone and let it do its job. The same theory applies to Windows, OS X, and pretty much every OS out there. 

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adrynalyne

Linux does exactly what you tell it to do because it assumes you are a technical user. If Linux broke, it's because you broke it due to your tweaking or you are running unstable repositories or someone pushed a broken package to the stable repos, and in that case you have what's coming to you.

 

Linux is stable if you leave it alone and let it do its job. The same theory applies to Windows, OS X, and pretty much every OS out there. 

FTFY.

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TDT

Linux does exactly what you tell it to do because it assumes you are a technical user. If Linux broke, it's because you broke it due to your tweaking or you are running unstable repositories, and in that case you have what's coming to you.

 

Linux is stable if you leave it alone and let it do its job. The same theory applies to Windows, OS X, and pretty much every OS out there. 

Spot on. So you can agree that Linux is NOT for any noob. There, 1,57% market share explained :)

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gohpep

Spot on. So you can agree that Linux is NOT for any noob. There, 1,57% market share explained :)

No, because non-technical users won't mess around. The technical users have already configured your operating system. Further tweaking it is up to you, for your needs, as the default config might generalize too much, but this again only matter to technical users.

 

The only reason it has that market share is because of marketing, and legacy. Free projects don't have that much of a marketing budget. Windows is the standard because it has been the most used operating system, and people will continue to use it. Why do people continue to use it? Because they used it in the past.

 

 

FTFY.

Many popular distributions have a strict testing policy and QA to ensure this never happens. Of course, as with any operating system, or any human made product, bugs come up with updates, just like that Windows update that bricked some systems.

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TDT

No, because non-technical users won't mess around. The technical users have already configured your operating system. Further tweaking it is up to you, for your needs, as the default config might generalize too much, but this again only matter to technical users.

 

The only reason it has that market share is because of marketing, and legacy. Free projects don't have that much of a marketing budget. Windows is the standard because it has been the most used operating system, and people will continue to use it. Why do people continue to use it? Because they used it in the past.

 

Non-technical users WILL mess around simply because they don't know that they could break things. And if they break something and realize that a reboot doesn't fix it, bye bye Linux. Also, one other thing that really bugs me about Linux: when you have a problem, try to ask somewhere (like FB, or G+) in the official community of that distro and you get a "file a bug at Launchpad". Gladly, but I had bugs that after almost 1 year never got past the "undecided" status. I had to dig a lot to fix my issues. So this is another annoying thing...

And the last line, seriously? The force of habit? THAT's why people still use Windows? If you really believe that, then I'm sorry but I really don't want to give an answer...

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gohpep

Non-technical users WILL mess around simply because they don't know that they could break things. And if they break something and realize that a reboot doesn't fix it, bye bye Linux. Also, one other thing that really bugs me about Linux: when you have a problem, try to ask somewhere (like FB, or G+) in the official community of that distro and you get a "file a bug at Launchpad". Gladly, but I had bugs that after almost 1 year never got past the "undecided" status. I had to dig a lot to fix my issues. So this is another annoying thing...

And the last line, seriously? The force of habit? THAT's why people still use Windows? If you really believe that, then I'm sorry but I really don't want to give an answer...

There isn't anything to do in the UI that could break your system. I don't think anyone is apt enough to use the terminal if they are clueless already. You can do tons of bad things using the Command Line and regedit on Windows. It is just that non technical users never mess around past a few settings. Most will never even touch their settings. It is a known fact that the majority of computer users keep their computer defaults. They just want to use their computer.

 

You also are acting as if Windows never has problems. There are tons of many successful businesses thriving on the fact that Windows will break and they can fix it.

 

I've never had that problem, nor have I seen it. I've seen that Linux has a more vibrant community than Microsoft in this field. With Microsoft, you get an MVP on their question forums answering your question with a generic answer that has nothing to do with the question, so they can get more points to get an upgraded forum status. On linux questions, and Linux Stack Exchange, you have experienced users that know exactly what they're doing and they can explain to you your problem, and how to fix it. If you're not technical, you can just say that and they will guide you through it that way.

 

 

Sorry, that last sentence had implied implications. When people use Windows previously, it means they are in an environment with Windows tools and apps, and it is easier for them to continue in this environment. Since they've been on Windows previously and are continuing to do so, Windows retains its market share, and these enhanced environments stay on Windows rather than moving to Linux. So, when someone considers change, they've already been locked in with apps so they can't switch. I'll admit that if you expect Linux to be exactly like Windows or compatible with it, or you want to make it that way, it requires technical skill for messing around with Wine, or even Crossover and PlayOnLinux, although the situation is rapidly improving. Of course, there are mostly free, Linux alternatives for pretty much every Windows app. Though again, people like to stay with what is comfortable and what they are used to, and changing operating systems is enough for even most semi technical users, much less changing their programs.

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TDT

There isn't anything to do in the UI that could break your system. I don't think anyone is apt enough to use the terminal if they are clueless already. You can do tons of bad things using the Command Line and regedit on Windows. It is just that non technical users never mess around past a few settings. Most will never even touch their settings. It is a known fact that the majority of computer users keep their computer defaults. They just want to use their computer.

Well let me give you an example: the UI freezes, for some reason (happened to me just yesterday, with the damn Openshot app). In Windows, before you hit the reset button, you at least try ctrl+alt+del to launch the task manager. Believe me, to this day I don't know if Linux has something like this and WHAT is the damn keyboard combination. And this is frustrating.

And while it's true that today they have "dumbed down" Linux (some distros) so people can't screw it up, it wasn't always like that. My first Linux installation was Slackware, and I broke that thing like 3 times/day.  :laugh: I was a total noob. 

 

You also are acting as if Windows never has problems. There are tons of many successful businesses thriving on the fact that Windows will break and they can fix it.

I never said such a thing. Of course Windows has problems, but it's quite normal, and I've been saying this to people complaining about it: think of how many different types of PC configurations are in this world, how can you expect Microsoft to test Windows on EACH one before they launch it? Also, higher market share means malware, viruses, etc., it's a target. This "our OS has no viruses and no malware" thing that you hear at Apple (and maybe Linux too) is just a marketing crap.

 

 

I've never had that problem, nor have I seen it. I've seen that Linux has a more vibrant community than Microsoft in this field. With Microsoft, you get an MVP on their question forums answering your question with a generic answer that has nothing to do with the question, so they can get more points to get an upgraded forum status. On linux questions, and Linux Stack Exchange, you have experienced users that know exactly what they're doing and they can explain to you your problem, and how to fix it. If you're not technical, you can just say that and they will guide you through it that way.

I'm sorry, but Microsoft's support line (not some forum, use the phone, is much faster), at least in my country, has always been excellent. I never had an issue that wasn't fixed fast, without the need to report bugs on Launchpad and never hear back (I get the need for feedback in the Linux community, but I also expect FAST answers). If we're talking about online communities, then maybe Linux has a much bigger one, but if I'm at work and I have a problem with Windows, do you really think I'll post on a forum rather than calling their support desk? :)

 

To end this with a conclusion, I would say that switching to Linux fully means you know what you're doing and you enjoy these occasional challenges, like making a Windows app run in Wine for example. This is what I do, I "play" with Linux every day and I love to experiment all kind of stuff, but that's because (most of the time) I know what I'm doing. I really don't care about the free part, because most of the apps that I NEED to use are shareware so I need a license even if I make them work in Wine. I don't use free apps, except browsers and VLC, and these are free in Windows too.

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gohpep

Well let me give you an example: the UI freezes, for some reason (happened to me just yesterday, with the damn Openshot app). In Windows, before you hit the reset button, you at least try ctrl+alt+del to launch the task manager. Believe me, to this day I don't know if Linux has something like this and WHAT is the damn keyboard combination. And this is frustrating.

And while it's true that today they have "dumbed down" Linux (some distros) so people can't screw it up, it wasn't always like that. My first Linux installation was Slackware, and I broke that thing like 3 times/day.  :laugh: I was a total noob. 

I never said such a thing. Of course Windows has problems, but it's quite normal, and I've been saying this to people complaining about it: think of how many different types of PC configurations are in this world, how can you expect Microsoft to test Windows on EACH one before they launch it? Also, higher market share means malware, viruses, etc., it's a target. This "our OS has no viruses and no malware" thing that you hear at Apple (and maybe Linux too) is just a marketing crap.

 

I'm sorry, but Microsoft's support line (not some forum, use the phone, is much faster), at least in my country, has always been excellent. I never had an issue that wasn't fixed fast, without the need to report bugs on Launchpad and never hear back (I get the need for feedback in the Linux community, but I also expect FAST answers). If we're talking about online communities, then maybe Linux has a much bigger one, but if I'm at work and I have a problem with Windows, do you really think I'll post on a forum rather than calling their support desk? :)

 

To end this with a conclusion, I would say that switching to Linux fully means you know what you're doing and you enjoy these occasional challenges, like making a Windows app run in Wine for example. This is what I do, I "play" with Linux every day and I love to experiment all kind of stuff, but that's because (most of the time) I know what I'm doing. I really don't care about the free part, because most of the apps that I NEED to use are shareware so I need a license even if I make them work in Wine. I don't use free apps, except browsers and VLC, and these are free in Windows too.

I didn't say that Linux was always user friendly. But now that Linux is generally stable and feature-rich, more focus is going into usability.

Linux doesn't have very good crash handling, I'll admit that, but it mattering depends on how stable your distro is. Some distros provide little QA to their packages, while distros like Fedora are rigorous in testing.

 

Yeah, both operating systems have their problems that don't outweight each other in that regard.

 

As for Linux malware, Linux is a very secure operating system, and unlike Mac OS, "Linux doesn't get viruses" is a mostly true statement. Even though Windows has more market share, Linux systems are generally more high value targets, as servers (with tons of client info) typically use Linux.

 

I don't know where you go for support, but suggesting to report a bug for a computing issue is wrong. In my experience, with the sites I've gone on, this has never happened. Microsoft's support has always been bad for me, no matter the system, phone, internet, live chat. As for waiting for an answer, a lot of issues have already been posted on forums and most of them have been answered on Linux forums. The same can be said about Microsoft forums, however the answers are never helpful. Of course, if you find the telephone support more convenient, I won't argue with you.

 

I guess it is always preference that decides. Though I think you may agree that Linux is on the road to becoming even more friendly and someday it will be a superior OS in all aspects. I don't expect Linux to always require technical aptitude for some issues.

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TDT

I don't know where you go for support, but suggesting to report a bug for a computing issue is wrong. In my experience, with the sites I've gone on, this has never happened. Microsoft's support has always been bad for me, no matter the system, phone, internet, live chat. As for waiting for an answer, a lot of issues have already been posted on forums and most of them have been answered on Linux forums. The same can be said about Microsoft forums, however the answers are never helpful. Of course, if you find the telephone support more convenient, I won't argue with you.

 

I guess it is always preference that decides. Though I think you may agree that Linux is on the road to becoming even more friendly and someday it will be a superior OS in all aspects. I don't expect Linux to always require technical aptitude for some issues.

I agree. That's why I said is annoying. Right now, I have 6 bugs posted on elementary OS Launchpad page, and guess what? 5 of them are "undecided" and one is "incomplete". Of those 6, I managed to fix 4 of them by reading a lot of forum posts and opinions... This was time consuming and clearly not the way to go. But I guess if I got the OS for free, I can't argue, right? :) This, right here, makes the difference. I got a lot of "you got this for free and now you're bitching about some issues?" from Linux users, and while I clearly don't judge all of them because of a few, it's stuff like this that really makes you think that paid stuff comes with warranty and support whenever you need. Oh well, I guess each one has its own experiences with Linux.

And yes, I do agree that Linux has come a long way since my first encounter with Slack. But they always play catch-up and there always seems to be "the year of Linux", and it never is. And I disagree with the marketing thing and the legacy thing, those are not the primary reasons why Linux doesn't have a bigger impact in desktops. It's because of this fragmentation, there are a LOT of distros out there and this is not good for the user, even if "choice is good". He sees Ubuntu as the most used distro and might think to try that, but hey, here's a related article about Mint, that looks better than Ubuntu. Oh, but wait, here's elementary, wow, so clean and shiny. And so on. Like I said before, these developers should really come as one and do ONE Linux distro to "crush" all others and be the number 1 choice without any doubt.

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f0rk_b0mb

FTFY.

 

Mistakes happen. Both Microsoft and Apple have shipped broken products only to pull them and issue fixes and a proper product. 

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f0rk_b0mb

Spot on. So you can agree that Linux is NOT for any noob. There, 1,57% market share explained :)

 

Yes, I've never stated a noob should be using Linux. I'm also not screaming "YEAR ON THE LINUX DESKTOP!!! MICROSUCKZ IS DEAD!!!!! KILL BILL!!!!!!!!" from every mountaintop. I'm simply documenting my experience on an internet forum.

 

My computer works for me and i like it the way it is configured. I don't give a rat's if someone else's preference is different from mine.

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gohpep

I agree. That's why I said is annoying. Right now, I have 6 bugs posted on elementary OS Launchpad page, and guess what? 5 of them are "undecided" and one is "incomplete". Of those 6, I managed to fix 4 of them by reading a lot of forum posts and opinions... This was time consuming and clearly not the way to go. But I guess if I got the OS for free, I can't argue, right? :) This, right here, makes the difference. I got a lot of "you got this for free and now you're bitching about some issues?" from Linux users, and while I clearly don't judge all of them because of a few, it's stuff like this that really makes you think that paid stuff comes with warranty and support whenever you need. Oh well, I guess each one has its own experiences with Linux.

And yes, I do agree that Linux has come a long way since my first encounter with Slack. But they always play catch-up and there always seems to be "the year of Linux", and it never is. And I disagree with the marketing thing and the legacy thing, those are not the primary reasons why Linux doesn't have a bigger impact in desktops. It's because of this fragmentation, there are a LOT of distros out there and this is not good for the user, even if "choice is good". He sees Ubuntu as the most used distro and might think to try that, but hey, here's a related article about Mint, that looks better than Ubuntu. Oh, but wait, here's elementary, wow, so clean and shiny. And so on. Like I said before, these developers should really come as one and do ONE Linux distro to "crush" all others and be the number 1 choice without any doubt.

What sites do you try to get help from?

 

And really, the problem was making a stable operating system, but now they have a lot more support, especially because of Valve, so I am pretty excited for the future.

 

Although there a lot of distros out there, and it may feel overwhelming, I feel like the choice is comforting. I've switched distros many times, from Ubuntu when I was a noob, then Debian because I started to hate Ubuntu, and then Fedora because Debian wasn't very modern, and then Arch Linux because I became technical and wanted control, and then back to Fedora (on my laptop, for ease of use).

 

Now, I don't think tons of choice is making GNU/Linux lag behind. Look at Android, or even Windows itself. You have tons of choice on the OEM you go with, and they both have majority market share. They also both have a main sponsor/owner that has a lot of available cash for advertising. Not many people even know anything past 'I use an Apple and a computer', they don't even know they're running Windows.

 

Now about unifying distros, not only is it a bad idea, but it will never happen. Each distro was made because of different ideologies and missions, that's why they are separate. It is a bad idea because it will cause a lot more fragmentation. Think about Ubuntu. They haven't contributed a lot upstream and are making tons of their own products for Ubuntu, some of them even proprietary. Let's say Ubuntu had 49% OS market share world wide. They have their own custom made stuff for Ubuntu. People will make Ubuntu apps that work nice with say, ubuntu-systemd, but not other systems. This will cause fragmentation as it becomes more important to just support Ubuntu and not other systems, due to development costs.

 

The Linux community is already together, but separate. Most distributions contribute to upstream, and share ideas. This is the purpose of open source. Each distribution may have its own way of doing things, but they also work together in a way.

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f0rk_b0mb

I went ahead and switched to regular flavored ubuntu to see what's new. I really like it so far...it's actually faster and much less clunkey than Gnome 3. Ialso love the hud. Just tap Alt and type what you want in. Saves me from digging through menus.

 

Did I nail it?

 

post-447111-0-05960800-1436205229.jpg

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Unobscured Vision

If it works for you, run with it. :) I currently have to dual-boot, as I'm Developing and the software actually requires Windows (but it'll cross-compile for everything, so no worries. ;) ).

 

Looks good from where I sit, bud.

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    • By zikalify
      Ubuntu 16.04 LTS moves to paid Extended Support Maintenance
      by Paul Hill



      Canonical has announced that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS has reached the end of its normal support lifecycle and has now been moved onto the Extended Support Maintenance track. This allows personal users to run Ubuntu 16.04 ESM on up to three machines and for enterprise customers to pay for the continued support. Extended Support Maintenance (ESM) will last until April 2024.

      With Ubuntu 16.04 LTS reaching end of life status in April, it will no longer receive security updates, therefore, anyone still running it needs to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. For systems in enterprise environments, this may be easier said than done so Canonical offers ESM.

      With Ubuntu 16.04 ESM, customers will be provided with security updates for high and critical CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) in the Ubuntu base OS and scale-out infrastructures such as Ceph and OpenStack. At the time of writing, only 64-bit x86 machines are supported by Canonical's ESM scheme.

      Explaining ESM a bit more, Canonical said:

      If you find yourself with Ubuntu 16.04 systems that can’t be upgraded to a newer release for whatever reason, head over to the Extended Security Maintenance product page to learn more about enabling ESM on your systems.

    • By Sszecret
      Microsoft Weekly: Actual F2P multiplayer, update trouble, and performance on Edge
      by Florin Bodnarescu



      Among the things that happened this week, there was the arrival of Linux GUI app support in WSL, a performance mode in Edge, and even the dropping of the Gold barrier of entry for free-to-play multiplayer games on Xbox. You can find info about that, as well as much more below, in your Microsoft digest for the week of April 18 - 24.

      Actual F2P multiplayer


      While it’s true that some other interesting news surfaced this week, perhaps one of the most noteworthy tidbits concerned Xbox Live Gold.

      After a long tradition of requiring an Xbox Live Gold subscription even for free-to-play games, Microsoft has decided to adjust its strategy. As a result, you will no longer need to have a Gold sub to play free-to-play multiplayer games on console, with party chat also no longer being locked behind the paywall.

      In other good news, Microsoft has announced its Agility SDK to accelerate DirectX 12 adoption, Halo: Reach is set to gain a custom server browser next week – at least in testing -, and the ever-present Deals with Gold once again make an appearance, featuring Outlast, Resident Evil, DARQ, and more.

      Of course, Xbox’s bread and butter at the moment, Game Pass, has not stopped expanding, with MLB The Show 21, Fable I and Fable III, Destroy All Humans!, Second Extinction, and others now being available as part of the subscription.

      The above coincides with the Xbox April update which adds achievement support on phones, enhancements to Game Pass itself, and even marks the arrival of cloud gaming on PC and iOS via the web. Keep in mind that the latter feature (on PC and iOS) is currently in limited beta and is available to Game Pass Ultimate subscribers.

      Last but not least, we should mention that 13 Electronic Arts titles have gotten the FPS Boost treatment, 12 of which – Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Battlefield 1, Titanfall, and Unravel, to name but a few – support up to 120Hz refresh rates, with Sea of Solitude (the 13th title), going up to 60Hz.

      Update trouble


      To the surprise of perhaps nobody, Microsoft released yet another Windows 10 build to the Dev channel, namely 21364. What is however surprising is the reasonably long list of fixes, the appearance of Edge process classification in Task Manager, and most interesting of all, the ability to run Linux GUI apps on Windows via WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux)’s GUI app support preview.

      As we’ve seen with previous Insider build releases, the firm also put out build 21364.1000, merely to test the servicing pipeline.

      There were some update hiccups this week though, as the previously released KB5001391 update began causing bugchecks. It’s worth keeping in mind that this is affecting Beta and Release Preview channels of the Insider preview, netting the now traditional Green Screen of Death - the color of choice for Insider bugchecks.

      A more recent update, KB5001030, seems to be impacting game performance on certain systems, although the Redmond giant is aware of the problem and will provide a fix in a future build.

      Performance on Edge


      This wouldn’t be a weekly recap of Microsoft things without at least a passing mention of Edge, or rather more accurately, the Chromium-based version of Microsoft’s browser.

      Let’s begin with testers in the Canary channel, some of whom have gotten a peek at the browser’s ‘Performance Mode’. According to its brief description, it optimizes “speed, responsiveness, CPU, memory, and battery usage”, while also disabling the timer for the Sleeping Tabs feature.

      Whether this is roughly equivalent to the High Performance mode in the Windows Power Settings is a bit of a mystery at this point, even more so given that not all Canary users have gotten their hands on it.

      Folks in the Dev channel have been given a brand-new build of their own, 91.0.864.1, which adds enhanced printing options, as well as a prompt before closing a window with multiple tabs open – among other features.

      Switching to capabilities already present in the browser, but which may annoy you, we put together a short guide on disabling the Search in sidebar option, as well as highlighting EdgeDeflector 1.2.0.0, which allows you to circumvent Edge as the default News and Interests browser and instead open the links in your browser of choice. We’ll focus on News and Interests a little more in the last section of this column.

      Dev channel
      Visual Studio 2022 is now available in preview, and in a 64-bit variant. The Microsoft Store is reportedly going to receive a bit of a UI and policy overhaul. Discord has rejected Microsoft’s offer, and is reportedly set to go for an IPO instead. The Classroom Pen 2 is set to launch April 27 for $19.99. Outlook and Teams have gotten new features to protect users’ mental health, with the latter also gaining support for community mentors. Windows Package Manager 0.3 now lets you export and import package lists, as well as upgrade packages. Sony is apparently still in talks with Microsoft, but the cloud strategy will be ‘only on PlayStation’. Office LTSC and Office 2021 for Mac are now available for commercial preview. Microsoft Lists is now available on iPad, and supports Intune app configuration. Logging off
      We end with a feature that seems to be a tad controversial, and that’s News and Interests.



      If you don’t remember, News and Interests is that little taskbar widget which shows you the weather and news stories, and which can be opened by simply hovering over the relevant taskbar area. Luckily (or not, depending on your opinion of it), Microsoft has stated that it’ll bring this feature to Windows 10 versions 21H1, 20H2 (October 2020 Update), and 2004 (May 2020 Update).

      Don’t get too excited though, since this’ll have a gradual rollout, as is the case with many such features.

      In case you’re not a fan of opening those news articles from News and Interests in Edge, there’s a way to force the widget to use your default browser. Thankfully, there’s also a way to turn it off entirely if the widget just seems utterly useless to you.

      Let’s just hope News and Interests doesn’t go the way of Paint 3D and the People icon in a few months’ time.

      Missed any of the previous columns? Be sure to have a look right here.



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