Will Microsoft make Windows free to defeat Android?

Today in Open Source: Windows Phone and Windows RT for free? Plus: A Linux powered crock-pot, and Calibre 1.18 released

By , ITworld |  Open Source, Linux, Microsoft

Windows Phone and Windows RT for free?
I missed this story back in December, but I think it's worth taking a look at even now. The Verge reported that Microsoft is considering giving device makers Windows Phone and Windows RT for free.

Microsoft is considering making Windows Phone and Windows RT available free of charge to device makers. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans have revealed to The Verge that free future versions are under serious consideration by OS chief Terry Myerson. We understand the plans aren’t fully set in stone, but they’re part of broader changes Myerson is planning for the future of Windows.

We understand that any decision to axe the license fees for Windows Phone and Windows RT would be backed by a push for revenue from Microsoft’s apps and services.

More at The Verge

Hat Tip: Foss Force

This can only be viewed as a seriously desperate attempt by Microsoft to grasp at any straw left within reach. Google and Apple have both hit Microsoft hard by providing free operating systems, and Microsoft is flailing around trying to figure out how to become relevant again.

I doubt that making Windows Phone or Windows RT free will help much. Neither product has enough appeal to dethrone Android in the short term, and Microsoft doesn't seem nimble enough to come up with a new version that offers features that Android doesn't already provide.

Microsoft is truly a day late, and a dollar short.

My how times have changed! Remember when Microsoft seemed invulnerable back in the 90s? Those days are long, long gone and they're never coming back. The folks at Microsoft should give a listen to the Bruce Springsteen song "Glory Days," it sums up their situation quite well.

Here's a sampling of the lyrics:

Now I think I'm going down to the well tonight
and I'm going to drink till I get my fill
And I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinking about it
but I probably will
Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture
a little of the glory of, well time slips away
and leaves you with nothing mister but
boring stories of glory days

And the full song:

Slow Cooker powered by Linux
Just when you thought Linux was done proliferating into devices, it moves into slow cookers!

We live in an age where more and more devices are being run by operating systems, and are being connected to the internet that can seemingly be found all around us. The latest of such is a Belkin Smart Slow Cooker. As you might have guessed, the Slow Cooker is powered by WeMo, which is based on Linux and powers a multitude of other home based devices.

This crock-pot is able to be controlled remotely via the WeMo app for Android or iOS and will be sure to have an edge on other slow cooking challengers.

Image credit: Muktware

More at Muktware

I have a crock-pot but I never considered that they might run Linux someday. I wonder if my next one will let me play games on Steam for Linux? What a way to spend time while your food cooks! Heh.

Calibre 1.18 released
Version 1.18 of the Calibre ebook manager has been released.

Highlights of Calibre 1.18:

• A check for too large HTML files when running the check book tool has been implemented;
• The CSS rules in the output stylesheet are now sorted using a “natural” sort algorithm, so that calibre2 sorts before calibre10;
• The cover thumbnails are now uploaded in the proper format for Cybook Orizon;
• A Linux/OS X driver for Trekstor Pyrus LED has been added;
• A driver for Tagus Lux has been added;
• The live replacement of entities is now working properly on some non-US keyboard layouts;
• A bug in the regex engine that Calibre uses and that could cause various incorrect results in some special circumstances has been fixed.

Image credit: Softpedia

More at Softpedia

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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