Linux Mint 18 will include Cinnamon 3.0 and Mate 1.14 versions

Also in today's open source roundup: Why Microsoft needs Linux, and BlackBerry will launch two Android phones

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Linux Mint 18: Get ready for Cinnamon 3.0 and Mate 1.14

The Linux Mint developers have been working hard on version 18 of the popular desktop distribution. Linux Mint 18 will offer Cinnamon 3.0 and Mate 1.14 versions when it is released. There are also be some other new goodies that will be included in Linux Mint 18.

Marius Nestor reports for Softpedia:

First of all, the big news is that Linux Mint 18 will offer Cinnamon 3.0 and Mate 1.14 flavors. While Cinnamon 3.0 is still in the heavy development, the Mate 1.14 major release was announced a couple of days ago with numerous enhancements in various areas, including updated GTK+3 support.

"We'll talk a bit about development this month. It's still too early to talk about some of the big things we're working on (vertical panels and multiple backgrounds in Cinnamon, new icon and GTK themes) but some cool changes landed already so I'll try to give you a little overview," says Clement Lefebvre in the monthly newsletter.

Linux Mint 18 will ship with a new version of the Update Manager software, the default graphical package manager of the distribution, which sports HiDPI support, stack widgets and subtle animations support for the main and preferences screens, support for alternative themes, as well as new settings for selecting kernel updates.

Moreover, there will be a revamped kernel selection window, which will give newcomers a lot of info on the kernels available, how DKMS modules work with multiple kernels, etc. Also, for newcomers, the Update Manager now has a first-time configuration screen.

More at Softpedia

Why Microsoft needs Linux

Quite a bit has been written recently about Microsoft and Linux, but many people are still wondering why Microsoft has suddenly decided to more or less embrace Linux. A writer at TechRepublic thinks he knows what is motivating Microsoft, and it isn't a selfless love of Linux or open source software in general.

Jack Wallen reports for TechRepublic:

And now, Microsoft brings Bash to Windows. The juggernaut has finally realized where the future lies…and it is not in the desktop platform. The future is the cloud, SaaS, and virtualization. The future is big data, and massive databases.

The future is Linux and Microsoft knows this. This isn't the 90s or early 2000s when it was chic to look down on the underdog and laugh as the powerhouse raked in cash like leaves on a Midwestern autumn lawn. The time for spreading Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) is over. This is now and now is all about open source.

Microsoft fully understands and embraces this. And so they are bringing to Windows the tools they need to make it happen. This move isn't so much about Linux, but about Microsoft.

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad that Microsoft has opened their arms to open source. They have (maybe without even realizing it) fully validated Linux and open source as the future of IT and business. For that, every fan of FOSS should celebrate. But this is the same company everyone teased would someday patent ones and zeroes.

So when this company makes such a move, you cannot believe said move to be without agenda. Microsoft wants a piece of this very delicious and profitable pie. That is why they brought MsSQL to Linux ... not because they wanted to give back, but because they had to. Microsoft needed to gain a foothold in a market (big data) dominated by Linux and open source. The fastest way to do that was to play nice. And here we are, watching something unfold we never thought would happen.

More at TechRepublic

BlackBerry will launch two Android phones

BlackBerry is a company that has suffered from the mobile revolution by having its products displaced by devices running Google's Android operating system. Now the company is getting ready to release two Android phones in the hopes of reviving its mobile business.

Arjun Kharpal reports for CNBC:

BlackBerry is planning to launch two mid-range Android devices this year in what analysts are calling the "last opportunity" for the firm to get it right in handsets.

This comes after the company admitted that the Priv, its first phone running Google's mobile operating system, was too expensive. In an interview with Abu Dhabi-based publication The National, BlackBerry chief executive John Chen said there would be one Android handset this year with a keyboard and one full touchscreen, but gave no timing on when they would be released.

BlackBerry has struggled in recent times to make its hardware business profitable. In its fiscal year ending February 29, BlackBerry reported a 39.8 percent year-on-year drop in hardware revenue. It said it recognized revenue related to approximately 3.2 million BlackBerry handheld devices in fiscal 2016, a large drop from the 7 million the previous fiscal year.

Chen has previously said that 3 million device sales a year at an average price of $300 would get the hardware division to breakeven. As part of this plan, Chen told The National that there would be no devices for the forseeable future running its own proprietary BB10 operating system.

More at CNBC

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