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02.15.09

Leave Microsoft Alone

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Servers, Windows at 11:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chris Crocker
via Wikipedia

“IT IS NEVER our own fault,” Microsoft would vigorously insist. Even when its systems are open to user intervention-free hijacking, it wants to find scapegoats, be them the ‘stupid’ users or those ‘evil’ crackers who merely exploit an open door.

Had the world embraced Microsoft’s logic, banks would not be liable for loss of money when the safe is left open to intruders and the ‘stupid’ customers would be blamed for not spotting anomalies in their bank statements.

Anyway, rants are being written at a high pace at the moment, particularly because even military computers are being suspended for running Microsoft Windows.

Here is Carla having a go at it:

So why isn’t Microsoft being sued into oblivion? Businesses sue each other all the time for stupid stuff. Is it against the Secret Code of the Suit to engage in litigation on meaningful issues? I don’t get it. Manufacturers get in trouble with government regulatory agencies all the time for unsafe products, and even when customers misuse their products and get hurt. I would say that using Windows at all is a classic case of misuse, because it is impossible to use it safely.

Why aren’t news media treating this like the scandal that is? They get all foamy over some Congresscritter using public funds to buy him or herself some expensive goodies, which for an especially talented spendthrift is a few tens of thousands of dollars. That is nothing compared to the tens of billions of damage caused by Redmondware every year, and I can’t put a price tag on not being able to fly the fighter jets when they’re needed. Is Microsoft more powerful and fearsome than Congresspeople?

Lawsuits are an interesting possibility, which we wrote about a few months ago.

Here is another valid complaint that Carla referenced yesterday.

Conficker affected me… though I don’t use Windows

[...]

I hadn’t thought about it for a while, but given the recent Conficker outbreak, I got to rethink of the whole thing again. Now…. there was something that bothered me A LOT…. and it still does (though I’m not working with them anymore, I still feel like I’m a part of the family). They are still developing applications in-house using proprietary frameworks tied to Windows. And here is why it bothers me: They have invested and continue to invest time (hence money.. public money, should I add) on getting themselves tied to one proprietary platform. Every line of code that they add up to their already enormous code stack is another line of code that ties them even tighter to Windows. And that’s sad. What’s done is done.. there’s not much they can do about the code they have already written… but they could be changing the languages they use to develop their applications that could allow them to move to another platform if they so wished later on (doing it gradually). When I was about to leave, the head of development quit his job as well… and that would have been (probably) the best moment to make a push for multiplatform languages, but unfortunately I was quiting as well so there was no change in development frameworks.

It hurts me to see one organization that I care so much about tied to that security hole disguised as an operating system that’s Windows. And even more that they still don’t take the necessary measures to try to get out of that platform, even if it’s one small step at a time. Conficker just reopened that small wound I carry with me.

One reader recommended this lecture series. He wrote: “The first lecture, by Clarke, is quite interesting, especially if consider the Microsoft Exchange / Microsoft Windows Server angle to preventing access to records. Being able to blame “technology” is a lot easier than carting off and locking up / burning shelf meters of paper.”

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