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06.14.10

Windows Has Reputation and Security Problems

Posted in Mail, Microsoft, Security, Vista 7, Windows at 10:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: As Service Pack 1 (SP1) of Vista 7 comes nearer there is “a big yawn” and new security problems devastate hope of a secure Windows; Microsoft kills Hotmail taglines

THE Windows ‘Marketing Machine’ blew a gasket based on the fact that the reality behind Vista 7 remains unchanged. There are many problems under the rug and a Service Pack will hardly address any of them.

Let’s begin with a quick word about Windows in the press. Most articles seem to have something to do with “OS wars” or Windows security problems. There is not much of them, either (Apple is increasingly covered at Microsoft’s expense). Having looked at the past week’s news, we found nothing at all matching “Vista” (in the headlines) and few headlines about SP1 of “Windows 7″ (the rest is dross and just a handful or more). There is nothing about “Silverlight” either, but that’s another story about a largely-defunct Slog [PDF].

“There is nothing about “Silverlight” either, but that’s another story about a largely-defunct Slog.”Coverage about SP1 of Vista 7 came from three or four Microsoft spinners (we were unable to find any coverage from writers who are not de facto PR folks of Microsoft*). There are these typical three [1, 2, 3] with another Microsoft booster whose headline is: “Windows 7 Service Pack 1 a big yawn, and that’s good … sorta”

That’s amusing because even proponents of Microsoft (biased sources) are not particularly positive. Microsoft may be resting on its laurels while Windows declines. The Motley Fool asks, “Is It Time for You to Quit Windows?” (it’s a pro-Microsoft publication, so the headline is just provocative)

A batch of security issues that we covered here before makes its appearance again. SharePoint is impacted and so is Internet Explorer [1, 2].

Windows in general is a risk as Web sites get hijacked and malware then delivered to Windows users. From the news:

All of the infected sites appear to be using the Microsoft Internet Information Services Web-server software running with Active Server Pages, according to researchers at Sucuri Security.

The Windows flaw reported by a Google engineer was mentioned here before, but here is more coverage [1, 2] and spin from Microsoft Nick. He possibly suggests there’s a vendetta here, despite the fact that Windows flaws are a dime a dozen. The problem is confirmed by Microsoft [1, 2], but “Microsoft leaves some Office XP users patchless,” says the title from IDG (also in [1, 2]).

From the persistently pro-Microsoft IDG blog (see for example [1, 2] to get an idea) we learn that “HP takes on Microsoft on application security” (also see [1, 2]). To be fair, there are other proprietary software vendors with security problems this month, e.g. Adobe and Apple. Microsoft is probably different because it lies about the number of flaws that it’s patching.

We could not help but notice some press hype around Hotmail. It came about for no apparent reason other than the fact that Microsoft kills Hotmail taglines [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. That’s funny coming from Microsoft/Hotmail, which is responsible for a lot of the world's spam.

Spam leads to/is the cause of insecurity (phishing, malware in mail, links to malicious downloads, or compromised sites) and it is also caused by greater insecurity (botnets, zombies).
_______
* Microsoft boosters emit a lot of promotion and spin disguised as “news” (maybe systematically pushed to those writers by the PR agencies of Microsoft).
[addendum: we later found exceptions to the claim that only Microsoft boosters covered it , after more extensive search outside of Google News [1, 2, 3, 4]. Google News did not make them visible.]

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