Microsoft picks over Google's Windows exit strategy
Irony? We've heard of it
Microsoft responded to yesterday’s report that Google was internally ditching the company’s operating system in favour of
Linux, Mac OS X Chrome OS by telling anyone that would listen that the Mountain View Chocolate Factory wasn’t exactly immune to occasional security gaffes.
Redmond blogger Brandon LeBlanc felt obliged to, in his words, “set the record straight” about Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
“There is some irony here that is hard to overlook,” he opined, before pointing to an example of an organisation - in this case Yale University - reportedly turning its back on a planned shift to Gmail and Google Apps due to security concerns.
But the very fact that Microsoft felt the need to wheel out its top Windows flack in an effort to bat away some of the bad press the software vendor received suggests that the Redmond high command felt a little wounded by the level of ink the Google story scored yesterday.
LeBlanc grumbled that the assertion of the Financial Times (which wrote the report) that “Windows is known for being vulnerable to attacks by hackers and more susceptible to computer viruses than other operating system” could not be supported by the facts.
“When it comes to security, even hackers admit we’re doing a better job making our products more secure than anyone else. And it’s not just the hackers; third party influentials [sic] and industry leaders like Cisco tell us regularly that our focus and investment continues to surpass others,” he argued.
LeBlanc went on to point out all the stuff Microsoft is working on to keep hackers at bay, including security updates, BitLocker for disc encryption, Windows 7 parental controls (presumably to stop the kids breaking into the virtual drinks cabinet) and Internet Explorer 8, which the company has repeatedly stated is tip-top secure.
But doth the lady protest too much? Probably. After all, Google was always going to “go Google” - a fact wryly acknowledged by MS chief flack Frank X Shaw just yesterday.
Look across the techplex: Would HP wonks happily let its workforce run the ink empire on Dell servers? Is Oracle dead keen to run Microsoft's SQL server database in-house? Nope. That type of self-defeating behaviour isn't really a reality any business would want to endorse, except to eye up the competition, of course.
Why would Microsoft - or indeed anyone else - expect anything less from Mountain View, which just so happens to be planning to unleash Chrome OS later this year? ®
...but that's just retarded.
I am a Linux man myself, but no system is invulnerable. It is insane not to use the firewall system provided to secure your PC. There are security vulnerabilities discovered regularly for all pieces of software, including FOSS.
I admit that their are few Linux virii in the wild, but they do exist. Also, you could potentially forward on an email containing an infected attachment to one of your mates unknowingly. When a free AV (such as Clam) could scan your email, and use very few resources doing so, I don't see why you would not do it. In adition, Linux virii will likely become more commonplace as it gains more of a following, so as time goes on your chances of infection will increase (and they are not zero right now).
Anti-spyware, I'll grant you, is not as big a deal. But the others... I must point out the huge FAIL in your decision.
Don't get me wrong, I agree with the argument that Linux is "more secure"* than Windows, but only providing you use the security facilities available.
* "more secure" in quotes because it isn't the right phrase to use, but ICBA, it'll do, take it with a pinch of salt
Yawn, the same old misinformation. Don't you just love it when people wheel out 5 year old boilerplate myths.
Windows 7 comes with a firewall and if it weren't for all the antitrust issues they would have included their own antivirus / antispyware too. As it is you can download MS Security essentials which is more than adequate for general purpose use.
Besides, a bog standard (NAT) home router blocks out 99.9% of all attacks almost out of the box. The only thing that really left is trojans and phising which other OSs are equally prone to.
I have a great respect for Linux. In fact if things were different I might have gone that route but it's not the operating system that make Windows what it is, it's the apps and frankly, most Linux apps are second rate. I've spent over 20 years in IT and I've tried a couple of times to move over to Linux but I'm always brought back because a) the Linux apps just don't work as well and b) because I've built up a heck of a lot of knowledge on Windows apps and I'm, not going to ditch all that and start again.
I also think Android is a great smartphone OS and whilst I can imagine owning an Android Tablet to mooch around the house on, but I still can't imagine it on my main desktop at home. It's far too limiting. Chrome by all accounts will be even more restrictive in features and require an internet connection.
I support small businesses running PCs of all sorts (Windows, Macs & Linux) and the number one issue they have is due to internet problems of one sort or another. I would not want to be in a situation where I couldn't even type out a letter, run an accounts package or do some spreadsheet work if the connection suddenly went down.
Chrome may be getting ready for the internet but the internet is certainly not ready for Chrome.
Google are going back to the 'mainframe'. Chrome OS is basically nothing more than a thin client OS. Google has the servers onsite so going the Chrome OS route inhouse makes total sense. I'm just not sure there will be enough flexibility in the system for all the small & medium sized businesses out there.
I'm worried about Chrome OS as a philosophy too. If you take thing to the logical end, this will mean Google will own all your apps and hold all your data. Where does the application developer fit into this? If you were a developer be happy with one outfit controlling what you could or could not distribute?
Lastly, If you thought Microsoft's monopoly was bad, just wait five years and see how bad it's going to get when Google, Apple (and Microsoft) really start locking things down. They all talk of 'standards' but they're all trying to differentiate, through fair means and foul and I believe there's going to be a massive issue of top level fragmentation which is going to hurt businesss and especially small developers. The web is about to be chopped into pieces and Business will end up having to pay three times (or more) to make sure they're connected to everything.
(not one for sticking to a point and much prefers a good ol ramble)
My shiny new MacBook Air comes with the firewall off _by default_ - a situation not seen in the Windows world since XPSP2.
"Does anybody dare to connect a fully patched windows install to the internet, without it running
1) a firewall
That's a load of crap, you'd have to deliberately disable the firewall first anyway and I doubt there are that many known unpatched remote execution and elevation exploits out there for this to be possible.
What you are actually doing is quoting ~5 year old anti-MS propaganda where someone would use a pre SP1 disk with no patches half a decade after release and then be all surprised when they got rooted in 5 minutes.
Do try to keep up.