Microsoft and Linux: Too little, too late?
Microsoft has recently made some moves toward accepting Linux in a prominent way, but has the company taken too long to do this? One writer at InfoWorld thinks Microsoft's embrace of Linux might be far too little, and far too late.
Paul Venezia reports:
In case you missed it, Microsoft made a bunch of Linux-related announcements recently. First, we found out Microsoft was offering SQL Server running on Linux. Then at Build last week, Microsoft introduced "native Ubuntu Linux binaries running on Windows" and treated us to a demo of Bash on Windows 10.
This isn't Microsoft embracing Linux, even as part of its traditional "embrace, extend, exterminate" scheme. This is Microsoft belatedly taking a step toward Linux acceptance. Microsoft will face big problems down the road due to this procrastination, but at least it has begun the process. Before, this would have been an impossibility because the powers that be refused to see what was apparent to everyone else: Linux was winning the cloud server space, and for better or worse, that's where the world is headed.
Microsoft has a long and storied history of getting to the party late, all the way from the apocryphal "640K ought to be enough for anybody" statement to completely ignoring the Internet to realizing the virtualization thing might be a big deal. Microsoft is not really an innovator. Once it steps into a space, however, it brings its Goliath weight and pour resources into it until there's a viable, competitive product or service.
In this case, Microsoft is very, very late to the game and isn't offering a competing product – it's trying to accommodate the competition in an effort to save itself. We haven't seen that before, and it will be interesting to note how it all plays out.
DistroWatch reviews Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5
Parsix GNU/Linux is a desktop-oriented distribution that is based on Debian. Like many other distributions, it offers a range of desktop applications as well as some useful customizations. A writer at DistroWatch did a full review of Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5 and found it to be a competent offering, but didn't see much to set it apart from other distros.
Joshua Allen Holm reports for DistroWatch:
Beyond the standard GNOME applications and the big name extra software, Parsix ships with two programs I had never heard of before. The first is Grisbi, a financial management tool. Much simpler than GnuCash, but still very powerful and useful, Grisbi lets a user manage their finances with ease. The other is xFarDic, a bilingual English-Persian dictionary and language tool. Users can use xFarDic to look up definitions and it includes a Leitner box utility for helping a user to memorize new vocabulary words.
For many users the default applications in Parsix should be enough to do most basic tasks, but plenty of additional software packages are in the distribution's repositories. Unlike some distributions that use another distribution as a base, Parsix does maintain their own repositories, so it is not just Debian repositories plus an extra repository or two for customization. There are four repositories available: Parsix Official, Parsix Continent, Parsix Wonderland (Multimedia), and Security. Looking through the available packages listed in Parsix's GNOME Packages graphical software manager, I found just about every single program that I might want to install, including packages to completely change to a different desktop environment. Packages are available for all the major desktop environments, should a user want to switch to something other than Parsix's default GNOME desktop.
Parsix's greatest weaknesses are the documentation and support forums. Right on the project's website is a notice asking for help with the documentation, which is very out of date. The support forums are not much better. Neither the English nor the Persian forums are particularly active. The most recent posts in some of the forums are from 2015, and some are even older than that. The content that is available in the documentation and forums is good, but often too out of date to be usable.
Overall, I liked Parsix 8.5, but even after spending time with it, I am not sure what its specific niche in the Linux ecosystem is. It is a polished desktop distribution and it looks nice, but it is not really unique in that respect. The Persepolis inspired logo and inclusion of an English-Persian dictionary point to a possible niche -- a Persian-friendly or Persian-focused distribution, but it could do much more than it does in order to best fill that niche.
Nitpicks about Parsix's place in the multitude of Linux distributions aside, it is a good distribution. There are some things that need to be fixed, especially the problems running under virtualization and the failure to create a full set of folders in a user's home directory, but it is a good release. If Parsix's visual customization appeals to you, give it a try. You might like it. If they do not appeal to you, there are, of course, plenty of other options to choose from.
Debian GNU/Linux 8.4 'Jesse' available for download
The Debian developers have been busily plugging away on the latest version of the granddaddy of all Linux distributions. Now version 8.4 of Debian "Jesse" is available for you to download.
Marius Nestor reports for Softpedia:
We reported the other day that the Debian Project announced the availability of the fourth update in the stable Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie" series, along with the Debian GNU/Linux 7.10 maintenance release.
Existing Debian GNU/Linux 8.3 "Jessie" and Debian GNU/Linux 7.9 "Wheezy" users can apply these updates by making sure their operating systems are up to date. For that, use the "sudo apt-get update" and "sudo apt-get dist-upgrade" commands in a Terminal app.
However, as promised, we're writing this article to inform our readers who want to deploy the Debian GNU/Linux 8.4 release on new computers that they can now download the installation-only ISO images via the official channels or our website.
…the Live DVDs with various desktop environments, including GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon, and Xfce, are yet to come, and we will write another blog post in the coming days to inform you about their availability as well. Debian GNU/Linux ISOs are available for the 64-bit, 32-bit, ARM64, Armel, ARMhf, MIPS, MIPSel, PPC, PPC64el, and s390x architectures.
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