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Author Topic: Where Windows 10 Is Headed: What Will This Mean for the Linux Community?  (Read 5423 times)

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Offline perknh

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In Windows 7 I don't believe there was any such thing called SkyDrive.  In Windows 8, there was Windows SkyDrive, but it could be uninstalled.  In Windows 8.1, SkyDrive's name was changed to OneDrive, and it can not be uninstalled, but you can enable the disablement of file storage on OneDrive.  Next I want to see what's going to happen with these Windows Hello and Windows Passport functions.

An introduction to Windows Hello and Windows Passport:

http://winsupersite.com/windows-10/windows-10-will-be-more-secure-using-windows-hello-and-passport

No doubt personal computing will be moving forward in this direction.  And this is certainly where Windows 8 and 8.1 users will be headed in a couple of weeks.  I suspect Ubuntu will move, sooner or later, in this direction too.  Windows 10, apparently, will be a game changer within personal computing.   My question is this:  Will the Linux community be able come up with open source alternatives to Windows Hello and Windows Passport?  Doing so would give end users much more confidence that their personal biometrics would remain both more private and secure.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 03:30:21 pm by perknh »
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Offline scifidude79

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Did you see all of the stuff you have to buy just to use Windows Hello?  That's a joke.  You know computers will come with none of that and it won't be cheap, so 99% of home users won't even bother with it.  The ones that do will be the ones that have too much money and nothing better to do with it.  I suspect that will be more useful for government offices (that don't already have their own system in place) and companies where security is an issue.

The Passport thing sounds like nothing more than the wallet system that Linux has had for ages.  Basically, you can set it to where you have to log in with a password to use your stored passwords.  It may be slightly fancier than that, but not much.

I can guarantee you that there are already coders working on their own Linux versions of these, if they aren't available already.

Also, with Windows 10 being more web centric, I want to know where all of that biometric data is stored.  Is it confined to your PC or will it be stored in a place online that can be hacked?
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 03:40:27 pm by scifidude79 »

Offline perknh

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...with Windows 10 being more web centric, I want to know where all of that biometric data is stored.  Is it confined to your PC or will it be stored in a place online that can be hacked?

Hello scifidude79,

If I were to guess, I'd suspect the latter --with a pipeline straight towards our beloved DHS too!  And I believe this too:  Expert hackers, maybe for government agencies, or for organized criminal organizations, will somehow get to that personal information one way or another.  You can be count on it.  ;)  Now as for your point of needing to buy a lot of added stuff just to use Windows Hello.   For now, yes!  But I can't imagine Microsoft selling Windows 10 computers for home users, even at out local Walmarts, without some of these new features being built into the new Windows devices. 

scifidude79, remember Scotty in Star Trek IV:  The Voyage  Home:  Scotty looked at the computer from the 1980s and began talking to it, and then into the mouse,  "Computer......Computer?"  Then we heard, "Hey, try using the keys."  I believe after seeing this, that over time, we'll be talking to computers more, and doing a lot less typing too.

scifidude79, I see what Windows is doing here as major development within personal computing --both promising and disturbing at the very same time.  Honestly, I had thought that Microsoft's shipped had sailed, and that they were in a dive and on a major downward spin.  But now that they've come up with these new functions for public use, a lot of people will take notice.   You can be sure Google, and probably even GNU/Linux, will begin trying to do these things too. 

I can't imagine Ubuntu not going in the same general direction.

perknh
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Quote
What will this mean for the Linux community

I don't get the question ?

There's nothing new here .. biometrics and password management are not new ?
(and biometrics have in fact been disregarded as a mainstream authentication method in the past)

Quote
Will the Linux community be able come up with open source alternatives to Windows Hello and Windows Passport?

Can't see why not .. they had drivers for the laptops that came out with finger print readers a awhile back (that nobody used) .. I don't get why you think anything Microsoft do would be beyond anyone else ?
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Offline scifidude79

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Unless you count their Surface tablets or game consoles (which I don't) Microsoft doesn't and has never made computers.  They make software.  Companies like HP, Dell, ASUS, etc. make computers.  They put Windows on it.  Do you think they're going to sell systems with fingerprint and face readers for the economically mined?  Of course not, that will be a "feature" that they'll charge a lot more money for.  Honestly, can you see the Walmart crowd going for the $200 more (just a guess) computer with a built in fingerprint or retina scanner when they can get the one without it for $200 less?  I can't.  People already balked about being forced to buy the XBOX One with a Kinect camera just so that you could voice command it.  Microsoft finally caved on that one and started offering one without the camera for less money a few months back.

As PCNetSpec said, it's not like Microsoft is doing anything that revolutionary.  Hell, I had voiceprint security software for my computer in the late '90s.  (and I still had to buy the microphone separately)  You know what it was?  Big pain in the butt.  If you had a cold or there were other sounds in the room, you may not have been able to unlock your PC.  I put up with it for maybe a month before uninstalling it.  They already sell the add-on devices that make it possible to use fingerprint scanners, retina scanners and a whole bunch of other stuff that will allow you to do what Microsoft Windows 10 "allows" you to do.  But, Windows 10 having that function doesn't mean anything without the hardware to accompany it and I'm willing to bet that your major computer companies aren't going to be building decently priced computers that come with these functions.  Computers that come with these things will be expensive and your average Joe ain't going to buy them.

Little crap like this isn't a "game changer."  The only thing that will change the game for Microsoft is if people like Windows 10 well enough to switch to it and keep it as a day-to-day OS.  That won't be known until they release it later this month.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 05:05:49 pm by scifidude79 »

Offline perknh

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Well gentlemen, I can see I'm very much behind the times here.  I've never experienced anything like what I've seen here before.  Sorry for the alarm response:  These kinds of computer functions are all very new to me.

@PCNetSpec  

What I meant by that question is whether or not Linux would follow a similar path --except by using verifiable open source code so we know that our private data will be stored safely and securely locally.  I was wondering if this would put the Linux community behind Windows when it comes to voice, iris, and facial recognition.  This does seem to be where things are headed in personal computing.  I did not know that "biometrics [had been] disregarded as a mainstream authentication method in the past."  Compared to others within the Linux community, I'm a latecomer to personal computing.  With the exception of a little language lab work years ago in college, I started with Web TV, and not a computer.

@scifidude79

Windows users have to like Windows 10 more than Windows 8 and 8.1.  Don't they?  If computer users do not like Windows 10 better than Window 8 and 8.1 then it really will be sayonara for Windows, I would think.  I mean:  Is it possible for Windows make a worse OS than Windows 8 and Windows 8.1?  I don't think so.  Windows 8 and 8.1 are not user-friendly OSes.

I will admit the graphics are very nice looking in Windows 8 and 8.1, but I don't see much more than eye candy there.  This is not sufficient to compel a Linux user to go back to Windows.  These OSes are not user friendly:  They take a awful lot of upkeep and configuring; they can take more than an entire day to update; they need antivirus programs and a malware removal tool; and you need to have and use a product key --which may or may not work as intended.

Therefore, I suspect, when the opportunity arises, most Windows users will jump at the opportunity to move to Windows 10.  That is my best guess.  Windows has one more shot --Windows 10-- to make things better for its ordinary users.
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Offline PCNetSpec

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By "disregarded" I meaant that there have been laptops made with fingerprint readers in the past, but they never really took off .. just something else that you're having to pay for that can (and did)  go wrong and lock you out.
(the Linux community quickly developed drivers for these things .. though in the end it turned out to be a waste of time)

The OEM's thought biometrics were going to be the next big thing back then too .. beyond a brief curiosity nobody cared, they certainly didn't want to have to pay for the additional hardware, and deal with data that was impossible to decrypt when the reader went wrong (which they did)
(if it's easy to circumvent a failed reader, it's kinda pointless)

People also quickly found ways to con the readers .. as it's been widely reported that the iPhone 5 and 6 fingerprint readers have quickly been defeated.

Generally (if implemented correctly)  passwords and a secure OS, and encryption for those that need an added layer of security for data is enough .. biometrics are just a gimmick solution to a non existent problem.
They'll find niche usage in say corporate management laptops .. but for the rest of us it's a non-starter

[EDIT]

For your interest, and in answer to your "Will the Linux community be able come up with open source alternatives":
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/03/how-to-get-your-fingerprint-reader-working-in-ubuntu

If there's interest, the Linux community can come up with solutions faster than Microsoft .. quite simple it has a larger developer pool .. but ONLY if there's genuine interest, in the FOSS world it's hard to mandate interest from above.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 07:29:53 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline VinDSL

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By "disregarded" I meaant that there have been laptops made with fingerprint readers in the past, but they never really took off .. just something else that you're having to pay for that can (and did)  go wrong and lock you out[...]

I've always wanted to buy a fingerprint reader for my 'road warrior' (just 'cause they look cool) but I *know* it will lock me out, at the worst possible time - Murphy's Law #151

Heh!  You can buy them NIB on fleabay for USD $7.99 w/free shipping  :D
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 07:46:06 pm by VinDSL, Reason: Addendum »

Offline scifidude79

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@scifidude79

Windows users have to like Windows 10 more than Windows 8 and 8.1.  Don't they?  If computer users do not like Windows 10 better than Window 8 and 8.1 then it really will be sayonara for Windows, I would think.  I mean:  Is it possible for Windows make a worse OS than Windows 8 and Windows 8.1?  I don't think so.  Windows 8 and 8.1 are not user-friendly OSes.

Nobody has to do anything.  Some people love Windows 8/8.1.  Though, since the number of Windows 7 users still outweigh Windows 8 users, I think they're more the issue than Windows 8 users are.  If Microsoft can't get them to convert, then they're screwed.

I have friends in the CGI community who have already said they won't touch Windows 10, they'll keep Windows 7 on their machines.  I was chatting with another friend earlier who is talking about possibly going the Linux route because he doesn't like the looks of Windows 10.  So, those are the people Microsoft needs to be trying to grab.  I'm not a gambling person, but I'm willing to wager a hypothetical amount that Windows 10 isn't going to catch on any more than 8 did.  It's still very far away from 7, which is what many people consider to be the last "normal" version of Windows.  All of these "new and exciting" features that M$ is banking on and has spent loads of cash developing (like biometrics, cloud integration and Cortana) are going to be things that most computer users aren't going to care about or even want.  What M$ fails to get is that people don't want complex, they want simple.

Offline perknh

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First of all, thank you everybody for all of the responses, but before I lose my train of thought, permit me to go further out on a limb here, and even put my head just a wee bit closer to the chopping block.  I'm going to make the assumption that the Internet of Things is coming --yes?

If so, wouldn't the concept of Cortana for personal computing make sense --in a Linux setting of course (where it would be as secure and as private as we would want it to be)?

I mean, why not speak to our personal computers?  Now I know it's a nuisance talking to a computer when we call for a train reservation, or we call our banks or credit card companies, and we end up waiting endlessly answering questions to a computer before we can speak with a real live human being.  I know this.  But, if we could talk back and forth to our personal computers, couldn't that be terrific?  Imagine if your computer really could transcribe what we wanted to email to someone, or if our computer could help us learn a foreign language, or the principles of physics, etc. --wouldn't this be great?  This is where I see the virtue of being able to talk back and forth to a computer --in order to learn something, or to communicate with others.

Now, let's fast forward in time.  Now we have a home, apartment, condo, etc. built incorporating the Internet of Things.  Now, instead of sitting in front of your computer, you've got speakers built in throughout the walls of your habitat.  Now, say, you're in your kitchen and say out loud, "Hey, I want to go visit the mayor of Peppermint.  What do tickets to Amsterdam cost?"  And, out of the walls, and in a human sounding voice, you get an answer "$1,200 if you purchase right now on American." Now you tell the computer, "Computer I want you to replace an English word with a Dutch word every ten words we speak --and then I want you to tell me what that Dutch word means in English after you've spoken the word, and then repeat the word again...."  You get the idea, I'm sure.  You could inquire about medical conditions or anything.

See, I see the Cortana concept as potentially very, very helpful.  Now, do I trust the gatekeeper bringing us this?  No --not at all!  To begin with Windows is a very difficult system to work with --when it works correctly at all, and, more importantly, I don't really have much trust in Windows either.  But, still, the concept behind Cortana for personal computing is sound.  And, if the computer could locally pick up recognition our voices, or recognize of our faces, and we didn't need to sign in with a password manager, or type in over and over again a complicated password, hey, that would be great too.  :)

I agree with scifidude79, people want simple.  But I don't know how we're going to get to the Internet of Things without going through an evolutionary process such as Cortana, and even Windows Hello.  No, as I said before, Microsoft may be the wrong gatekeeper for these things, but I got Microsoft credit for giving these things a whirl.

What I didn't know until tonight, and thanks to information I've learned from PCNetSpec,  is that Linux has a larger developer pool than Microsoft.  I would never had imagined this to be so --because of all of the money that Microsoft sinks into everything.  This being said, having a larger developer pool than Microsoft, theoretically at least, would mean that the Internet of Things should, or will, eventually end up in good hands at last.

By the way, VinDSL makes a good point.  The finger print reader concept is a real loser.  Forget about it:  I'm not going to buy one either --even if one is going for only $7.99!  ;D
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Offline scifidude79

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I've spoken to my computer plenty of times.  I think, in those instances, it's likely a good thing it couldn't understand me, especially back when I was running Windows.  I mean, if it understood some of the things I've said and the things I've called it, it would have shut itself down and refused to ever have anything more to do with me.   :o

Offline perknh

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I've spoken to my computer plenty of times.  I think, in those instances, it's likely a good thing it couldn't understand me, especially back when I was running Windows.  I mean, if it understood some of the things I've said and the things I've called it, it would have shut itself down and refused to ever have anything more to do with me.   :o

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Offline VinDSL

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By the way, VinDSL makes a good point.  The finger print reader concept is a real loser.  Forget about it:  I'm not going to buy one either --even if one is going for only $7.99!  ;D

I *still* might buy a couple, and install them (I own 2 D-series Dells), perknh.  I just won't go to the trouble of enabling them.

They DO look badazz...  ;D


Offline PCNetSpec

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Dictating an email has been with us for some time now .. Dragon Naturally Speaking wass pretty much spot on the last time I tried it.

and simple voice commands same

Meaningful conversations on the other hand would require a major leap in AI, and unless it were to be run on offsite servers siri/cortana style, a leap in home computer horse power.

Sure it's coming, but do we really want it, I get annoyed enough with real people misunderstanding me, I'm going to be verging on CPUicide when instead of Amsterdam it buys me a ticket to Hampstead, and a Ham .. and being Microsoft controlled, well how would you react if every time you asked a human to do something, they asked "Are you sure?".

Trust me, the IoT is a way off yet .. again it's nothing new, you could buy power controllers/switches that you could turn on across the web years ago .. sure simpler than what they have in mind today, things like "you plug your kettle into a box, you plug the box into the wall, you can then send a message over the interweb to say I'm on the way home, send power to the kettle (or lamp/cooker/etc.), nobody bought them.

IoT is still OEM (not consumer) driven, they're at the "let's pour money in in the HOPE it takes off, and in the hope that the broadband infrastructure improves to the stage it can handle the strain" stage.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2015, 04:10:43 am by PCNetSpec »
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Offline Slim.Fatz

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Hi everyone,

I remember back in the early 1990s (before 1996, for sure) I used IBM's OS2 and voice commands to move around on the desktop and file system. I think that I also could write messages via dictation, as I recall. Of course, the system was rather slow, but that was back in the dark ages of PCs ...  ;D

Regards,

-- Slim
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