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Article from Issue 219/2019
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In the news: Microsoft gets an Open Source Web browser; Canonical launches MicroK8s; A new Raspberry Pi board; OpenStack Foundation changes name of the OpenStack Summit; Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 beta; and System76 announces a line of US-made PCs.

Microsoft Gets an Open Source Web Browser

The "new" Microsoft under Satya Nadella is now going deeper with open source. The company is dropping its own technologies that power its Edge web browser, which replaced Internet Explorer. But instead of reinventing the wheel and creating their browser from scratch, Microsoft will use Google's open source Chromium browser as the base of its web browser.

Microsoft will cease to use the EdgeHTML rendering engine for its Chromium-based web browser and will use Google's Blink rendering engine.

"We will move to a Chromium-compatible web platform for Microsoft Edge on the desktop. Our intent is to align the Microsoft Edge web platform simultaneously (a) with web standards and (b) with other Chromium-based browsers," said Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Windows in a blog post (https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2018/12/06/microsoft-edge-making-the-web-better-through-more-open-source-collaboration/#zeyDolmr4eDwoZzX.97).

Microsoft is also planning to bring its Chromium-based web browser to competing platforms like macOS. "We also expect this work to enable us to bring Microsoft Edge to other platforms like macOS. Improving the web-platform experience for both end users and developers requires that the web platform and the browser be consistently available to as many devices as possible," said Belfiore.

Will it also come to Linux? Does this also mean that one day we may see Linux-powered Windows? Time will tell.

Canonical Launches MicroK8s

Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, has announced MicroK8s

(https://snapcraft.io/microk8s?\_ga=2.230786783.1983860557.1544593799-633225961.1544593799), a Snap package of Kubernetes that supports more than 42 flavors of Linux.

MicroK8s further simplifies Kubernetes deployment with its small disk and memory footprint. Users can deploy Kubernetes in a few seconds. It can run on the desktop, the server, an edge cloud, or an IoT device.

Snap is a self-contained app package solution created by Canonical that competes with Flatpak, which is backed by Red Hat and Fedora. Snap offers macOS and Windows-like packages with all dependencies bundled with it. A Kubernetes Snap package means any Linux distribution that supports Snap can benefit from MicroK8s

To deploy MicroK8s use the command sudo snap install microk8s --classic.

Canonical said in a press release that the benefits of providing MicroK8s as a Snap include automatic updates and well-defined security capabilities. Automatic updates ensure developers are always working from the latest upstream Kubernetes with binaries delivered directly from the source and configured in seconds.

A New Raspberry Pi Board

Raspberry Pi Trading, the company behind the revolutionary Raspberry Pi platform, has announced a new board – Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ (https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-3-model-a-plus/).

"You can now get the 1.4GHz clock speed, 5GHz wireless networking and improved thermals of Raspberry Pi 3B+ in a smaller form factor, and at the smaller price of $25. Meet the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+," said Eben Upton, the founder of the Raspberry Pi project.

The board is powered by Broadcom BCM2837B0, Cortex-A53 (ARMv8) 64-bit SoC at 1.4GHz; it comes with 512MB LPDDR2 SDRAM and 2.4GHz and 5GHz IEEE 802.11.b/g/n/ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.2/BLE.

Upton adds "By halving the RAM to 256MB, and removing the USB hub and Ethernet controller, we were able to hit a lower price point, and squeeze the product down to the size of a HAT" (https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/introducing-raspberry-pi-hats/).

The new board has an extended 40-pin GPIO header, full-size HDMI, single USB 2.0 ports, CSI camera port for connecting a Raspberry Pi Camera Module, DSI display port for connecting a Raspberry Pi Touch Display, 4-pole stereo output, and composite video port, a microSD port for loading your operating system and storing data, and 5V/2.5A DC power input.

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