* Posts by Franco

205 posts • joined 11 Apr 2008

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Guess who gets hit hard by IR35 tax clampdown? Yep, IT contractors

Franco
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Re: Another Brexiter here...

I am glad someone has managed to get a substitute past their engager on an SC Cleared Contract, cos I never have and neither has anyone I ever worked with on one.

I worked with a guy who broke his leg, and was told not to bother arranging a substitute as he would be back before the substitute (already SC Cleared) was cleared for the site.

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Franco
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Re: Another Brexiter here...

One of the things I am going to mention in my response to the document is the ridiculous tests they use.

Using your own equipment simply isn't an option in IT, most Public Sector organisations won't let personal devices anywhere near their network and quite rightly. Similarly the "Right of Substitution" clause is also nonsense in much of the public sector as HMRC (for example) would require SC Clearance or similar and a vetted (by them) contractor.

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Franco
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HMRC: We can't go after Google or Amazon or Starbucks, their lawyers are too good. But we need £400m to make up our shortfall. I know, lets go after contractors. People don't like them, expecially the ones who are too scared to try it themselves, so they're a soft target. Even if we don't get £400m (because we pulled that random figure out of our collective arses) it looks like we're doing something.

You know the law isn't fit for purpose when private companies are insuring against it and beating HMRC, IR35 status should be simple to determine but it's even different if you are a PSC or an Umbrella Contractor.

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Firefox to banish hidden Flash files – and kill off sneaky ad snoopers

Franco
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Re: Re BBC

For a real showstopper, the WM10 version of the iPlayer app works perfectly in normal mode. However, it is a Continuum aware UWP app (allegedly) but when you connect to a large screen it tells you the content isn't available without Flash.

Does work via Edge though.

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Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

Franco
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I have visions of the packets sprouting legs to go faster like the Ant Hill Mob in Wacky Races.

It absolutely terrifies me the number of people in positions of power to make decisions about technology who have not even the slightest inkling of what they are talking about.

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Gaming apps, mugging and bad case of bruised Pokéballs

Franco
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I'm not much of a gamer, but recently I've been playing Wolfenstein: The Old Blood and have just got Doom. More of a nostalgia thing than anything else, I played the orginals in the 90s.

What I find odd is that people in the office saw me with the Doom DVD and some offered comments along the line of my being a nerd, gamer, weirdo, potential axe murderer etc then proceeded to spend their lunch hours lining up bottles of soda or catapulting anthropomorphic birds at thieving pigs and failed to see the irony.

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You can’t sit there, my IoT desk tells me

Franco
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Re: How mainstream will IoT get?

I can just about see the point of the heating control, and to a very small extent fridges/freezers that can remotely tell you what's in them when you go to the shops, but not enough to want one, buy one, or trust one.

On the subject of office furniture, I used to work with a guy who demanded Microsoft Natural keyboards everywhere he went, and whined like a little girl with a skint knee if he had to use a pleb keyboard like the rest of us. Same guy demanded natural light bulbs (think that was what they were called, he might just have watched a lot of 70s porn and preferred soft focus though, and may also explain any wrist issues caused by keyboards....) so he didn't get migraines.

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A trip to the Twilight Zone with a support guy called Iron Maiden

Franco
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One of my colleagues was on the phone last week telling a member of staff that InfoPath has been deprecated from Office 2016. I heard this as defecated and wondered why a feature had been shat out rather than omitted, but it's possible my subconscious knows something I don't...

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Maplin Electronics demands cash with menaces

Franco
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To be fair most of the tools aren't theirs but Rolson, although I agree that they are utter shite.

I used to use Maplin quite a bit for guitar effects projects parts, but TBH it's easier ordering from specialists in this area as it's a bit of a niche. It's rare I can get all the components, pots and enclosures I want just from Maplin.

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Lester Haines: RIP

Franco
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My sympathies to Lester's family, friends and colleagues.

I greatly enjoyed reading most of his articles, particularly the Post Pub Nosh Neckfiller series and will this evening be having Nasi Goreng Pattaya in tribute.

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The Microsoft-LinkedIn hookup will be the END of DAYS, I tell you

Franco
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Re: Canada?

I signed up (under protest) when I started contracting, and whilst I have some useful contacts about 1 in 5 new contact requests is from a recruitment consultant who then never contacts me directly. And about half of the ones who do contact me haven't read my profile before getting in touch about a role I am "perfect for" but have no interest or qualifications for.

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Scots denied Saltire emoji

Franco
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Re: "sadly no deep-fried Mars bar"

When I was a student at St Andrews the chippie on South Street used to do deep fried Cadbury's Creme Eggs as an "Easter Special"

No, I did not try one. Even thinking about it now gives me the dry boak.

One of my work colleagues also tells of a chippie in Stonehaven that sells deep fried Tunnocks Teacakes, which might be even worse.

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Franco
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In the spirit of being properly representative of Scotland, if we have a flag emoji we should also have:-

A "See You Jimmy" hat emoji

A pizza emoji (battered)

A Duke of Wellington emoji (with a traffic cone on his head)

A square sausage emoji (Not square, but rectangular)

I'm not quite sure how to encapsulate the essence of our sporting heroes in emoji form. How do you have a single icon for the inherent ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

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Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies

Franco
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Common affliction amongst rugby players, at least at my old club, although it was referred to as Stubby Wee Bastard syndrome.

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Franco
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I have the same issue with suits. I'm 6 feet tall, near enough, but have a 29" inside leg. If I was in proportion I'd be 5'5" or 6'7". Shops often tell me that you have very short legs for your height sir, as if I had reached my current age without being aware of this. Consequently attempts to buy off the shelf suits result in trousers that are far too long, and jackets that fit perfectly across the shoulders but end at the navel.

Thankfully my local gentleman's outfitter offers free alterations and you can order online, so I don't need to be told once again about my very short legs.

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BOFH: What's your point, caller?

Franco
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Re: How do I order a new keyboard online if this one is broken?

Right up there with BT when you call to report a DSL fault. "Have you tried visiting our support webpage?"

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Ooh missus, get a grip on my notifications

Franco
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I frequently see posts liked by other people on LinkedIn from the proprieter of "Solutions On Demand IT" with a suitably contracted email domain.

There's also a tanker hire firm here in Scotland with an Italian domain name. For a quote just email info@wemovesh.it

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Franco
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Asterix was brilliant for the different levels of humour. Kids love the cartoons, adults loved the puns and the comedic names.

On a related note of Carry-On levels of humour, as I was driving to work this morning I passed a lorry for a timber merchant. Their slogan is "Wood. Just the Way You Like It." In the words of Eric Idle, say no more!

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We're calling it: World hits peak Namey McNameface

Franco
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This joke should now be designated Floggy McDeadhorseface.

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EU vetoes O2 and Three merger: Hutchison mulls legal challenge

Franco
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Re: Fud!!!

Wait until your contract/minimum term is up. Mine just expired and they tried to move me from £6.90 a month to £15 as it "better fit my usage patterns" apparently. When I phoned up to quit they admitted there was the same package as I already had but at £7.99 a month.

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Spying on you using fake social media profiles: One Scots council could

Franco
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This being East Lothian council they'd be far more concerned if you weren't recycling the husks of your organic beans or didn't rinse your milk bottles before disposal.

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You can always rely on the Ancient Ones to cock things up

Franco
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Cars and computers have that inherent ability to fail at the very moment you discuss replacing them in my experience. Or once, when I was doing an SBS 2003 to 2011 migration, the RAID controller on the old server died during the one reboot I had to do to get the server in migration mode.

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BT to splash £550m integrating EE. Firm shrugs: Cheap!

Franco
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Re: Bad News - BT prices will increase

3 have done something very similar, whilst pledging not to increase prices if they get their mitts on O2 they are increasing prices now for existing customers.

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Is VMware the power it once was?

Franco
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Favourable licensing in that Hyper-V server is free, and Hyper-V as a role has no additional cost on top of a Windows Server license. Add to that the free VMs available (IIRC 2 on Standard, Unlimited on Datacenter) and if you are a Microsoft shop it makes a lot of sense.

The learning curve, I was speaking from my own experience of how quickly you can get a VM up and running. I've had all manner of fun myself with iSCSI, MPIO and 3rd party software not playing nicely together.

Both products have their foibles, my point was that Hyper-V has closed a lot of the gaps between itself and VMware in the last few years.

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Franco
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I know that Azure and AWS and such like are the current trend, but I am slightly surprised to see not a single mention of Hyper-V in the article.

As much as Microsoft were late to the party with their Hypervisor, Hyper-V has come on leaps and bounds over the years, and whilst it still suffers greatly (as of 2012 R2, not tried 2016 yet) in terms of managment compared to VMware (Having to look at Hyper-V manger, Failover Cluster Manager or Virtual Machine Manager depending on setting/environment), the favourable licensing and less steep learning curve make it a viable product in a lot of places. I know of a lot of very large companies and public sector bodies making the shift from VMware.

I'm also hearing a lot of grumblings from VMware guys about the support, most are saying the sooner it's split back off from Dell/EMC the better.

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Good enough IT really is good enough. You don't need new hardware

Franco
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Interesting that El Reg post this sensible and well written piece on the same day as the latest round of you must all use DevOps propaganda.

It all goes back to first principles, design based on requirements rather than on trends.

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Microsoft to hike certification exam prices

Franco
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Re: As a holder of various MS certs, I'm inclined to agree...

Much the same, MCSE 2003->MCSA 2008->MCSA 2012 and looking at System Center exams.

As much as MS are taking the piss a bit (Went from £88 to £99 not that long ago, and changed from Prometric who didn't charge VAT to Pearson VUE who do), the fact that VMware "require" you to sit their course before certifying you even if you pass the exam is ridiculous. Haven't seen the VCP course for less than £1400 anywhere.

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How IT are you? Find out now in our HILARIOUS quiz!

Franco
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Re: 'Ow Yorkshire?

Dreams? You were lucky!

(this could carry on for a while....)

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Windows 10 Mobile races to summer with useful facelift

Franco
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Re: Yes, we get it. MSFT BAAAD!

Have to agree with the other repliers, I've disagreed with a lot of what AO has posted about Windows Mobile over the past few months, but there is nothing in this article to criticise. It's a statement of new features, a warning about poor battery life and praise for the OS looking more attractive.

If you want to read anti-MS propaganda with no basis for it, try reading some of Chris Merriman's columns on the Inquirer.

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I am sending pouting selfies to a robot. Its AI is well buff

Franco
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An app named for hipsters that categorises all hipsters as ugly? That may well be the most hipster thing there has ever been, it's certainly within standard "irony" parameters for them.

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It really is time to sort out your professional indemnity insurance

Franco
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Re: This is not news, its marketing

To be fair, this one is marked as a Promo, unlike the frequent DevOps propaganda.

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Half of people plug in USB drives they find in the parking lot

Franco
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This is why I always want USB port lockdown, becuase as Vinnie Jones says

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQKUXDB27Dg

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Field technicians want to grab my tool and probe my things

Franco
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For some reason the distress call from the IoT devices reminded me greatly of the episode of Red Dwarf where Kryten is due for replacement by the manufacturer. I hope you didn't tell the device there was no silicon heaven.

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Which keys should I press to enable the CockUp feature?

Franco
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Ah, CTRL-ALT-Right Arrow. I discovered that particular keyboard shortcut quite by accident when I was playing Doom in DOSBOX and attempted to fire and strafe at the same time.

My wrath was swiftly moved from Mars based demons to the numpty at Intel who thought that shortcut was a good idea by default, although at least it was easy to disable "hot keys" as Intel called them.

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William Hague: Brussels attacks mean we must destroy crypto ASAP

Franco
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Re: History tells us...

One-Time Pads, developed in the 1880s, spring to mind. Very much a KGB favourite in books by le Carre, Frederick Forsyth etc.

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Franco
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Opening of the next Parliament:-

Good news and Bad news.

The good news we've banned encryption so terrorism is a thing of the past.

The bad news is we've fucked the global economy as ecommerce is now a thing of the past and bank branches have to send each night's transactions via snail mail to head office like they did in the good old days (before terrorism obviously), we've fucked R&D as scientists can't collaborate on projects without being in the same room and we have fucked defence until we get hard lines to the nuclear silos.

Feel free to add any more of the quite literally thousands of legitimate uses of encryption I've omitted. I feel the need to quote Einstein in regards to the current attitude from Governments on encryption. The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has it's limits.

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Gov to take axe to big IT contracts soon, will hand chunks to SMEs

Franco
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Not just insurance, when I worked for a small company we put a bid in for some work for a local council organisation and the ISO certification they wanted before even letting us bid would have cost more than our turnover at the time.

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Franco
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Re: Whitehall needs to bring in "thousands" of technical staff

And as of next year won't be able to offer competitive rates to contractors either.

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'Hot Tech Talent' IT job board ads caught up in sexism allegations

Franco
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I'm not going to criticise anyone's right to be offended by this, or to ignore it completely.

I WILL say that having been out of work for a bit last year and having perused the IT Job Board (as was), after one look at their site clickbait is the only way they would ever get any repeat visits. There were jobs on there that had been filled months previously but never removed from the site.

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Successful DevOps? You'll need some new numbers for that

Franco
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Headmaster

Be careful, as a sub-optimal codification will lead to an impending vocational pardigm shift.

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Franco
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Honestly, what marketing fucktard:-

A: Came up with this DevOps nonsense

B: Thinks that El Reg needs to run an almost daily article telling us we all need to embrace it and are doing it wrong.

If Developers wanted to build, manage and maintain systems then they wouldn't be Developers. If Infrastructure guys wanted to spend all day looking at code, then they wouldn't be in Infrastructure.

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Labour: We want the Snoopers' Charter because of Snowden

Franco
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The issue I have with this is (notwithstanding the invasion of privacy and erosion of liberty by default) that it will be misused and misinterpreted and the innocent will suffer. We saw prevention of terrorism legislation being used to challenge a man taking a picture of his daughter in a shopping centre 5 years ago for example.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-15251848

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Web ads are reading my keystrokes and I can’t even spel propperlie

Franco
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With me it's watches rather than wallets. Admittedly I do have 2 wrists, but I feel no need to have a watch on each. Nor do I subscribe to the theory that different occasions require different watches, it's not like the time isn't consistent whether I'm at the Gym, in the car or skiving at work reading SFTWS.

Leaving the evils of advertising aside, I've never had a Facebook account and never will. And I am perfectly happy with that, even more so after reading about mutating adverts.

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Brits seek rousing name for polar research vessel

Franco
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If we're going to name it after an explorer, I vote for RRS Dora.

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Data-thirsty mobile owners burn through 5GB a month

Franco
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Re: Same here

I suspect they are trying it on with the letters and the "recommended" new plan, give them a call and you'll probably find they've got something closer to what you use. All you can eat data is no more I think though.

Agree that the advertising is a joke, but I had a look round and only Giffgaff has a plan anywhere close in price to mine. Didn't check BT though, for obvious reasons.

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Franco
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I'd feel more sympathy if I wasn't just shunted to a new tariff. I was on the old £6.90 a month (200mins, 5000txts, 500mb) and they wanted to move me to a plan costing twice as much. Only after I called them did they admit my tariff still existed, just costs £8 a month now

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Go DevOps before your bosses force you to. It'll be easier that way

Franco
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Re: I have a question

Yeah, good one. All of us proper IT professionals make decisions based on Wikipedia articles.

It's very hard to take any of these industry buzzwords seriously. One week it's docker/containers, another it's DevOps. Given that the current trend for cloud computing is fundamentally the old client-server model but with the server somewhere else, it's hard not to see the whole thing as turd polishing.

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Behold, Microsoft SQL Server on Linux – and a firm screw-you to Oracle

Franco
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Re: Beware !

Standard MS support cycle is 5+5, I.e 5 years normal support then 5 years extended. Even products that have low uptake, like Vista, get the same lifecycle.

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SQL Server for Linux: A sign of Microsoft's weakness. Sort of

Franco
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Re: @Franco

They are, but Office is already on 2 flavours of Linux (broadly speaking, iOS and Android) and Office has been propping up Microsoft's revenues for years.

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