EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.05.10

Cash Cows Watch: Windows and Office Are Suffering

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenOffice, Security, Vista, Vista 7, Vista 8, Windows at 1:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cows

Summary: A roundup of one week’s news about Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office

THE reality behind Vista 7 continues to expose itself and Windows in general has grown somewhat weak, unless one judges it based on mockups. “Vista” was mentioned in last week’s news (headlines) only once, in relation to security issues. Insecurity and Windows are almost synonymous in the context of computing. New from IDG: “Death of Windows XP SP2 Support a Security Risk, Says Report”

There was not so much in the news headlines about “Windows 7″ either. Instead, Microsoft boosters started touting something which does not even exist — something which may actually harm adoption of Vista 7, according to IDG:

The Web is abuzz following the leak of an alleged Windows 8 presentation outlining Microsoft’s vision for the next iteration of the flagship desktop operating system. As media pundits speculate on the potential features and capabilities of Windows 8, the news also has the potential to make some IT administrators and business customers currently considering a migration to Windows 7 to hold off.

The Microsoft boosters from IDG were actually critical of it:

Also from IDG:

‘Don’t Get Excited’ About Windows 8, Says Analyst

[...]

Leaked Windows 8 slides, which may not be genuine, include a development timeline without dates. (Credit: Windows Kitchen)

We are citing and comparing IDG articles only for the sake of reference. We hardly recommend IDG as a news source.

The thing is, IDG also had its share of good words about something that does not quite exist (without verifiable evidence at least):

Let’s get back to the malarkey about “Windows 8″. Some say it’s accidental [1, 2], but it probably is not. Microsoft has already been caught faking “leaks” (pushing it voluntarily and pretending it was in error), just like Apple. It’s a marketing strategy.

Getting back to reality, Microsoft boosters are still floating articles about Vista 7 SP1. It will potentially be more disruptive than constructive:

Windows 7 SP1 Beta and Microsoft Security Essentials Can Fail to Play Nice Together

Major upgrades to Windows client and server platforms introduce extensive changes both on the surface and under-the-hood, down to the very core of the operating systems. It’s no wonder then, that the installation of new service packs can be prevented by programs designed with the specific purpose of safeguarding the platforms’ integrity. Early adopters deploying the Beta of the first Service Pack for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 can experience installation problems if they are running security software on their computers. According to Microsoft, the issues can affect Service Pack 1 (SP1) Beta when testers attempt to have it integrated on top of Windows 7 RTM and Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM on computers where Microsoft Security Essentials or Microsoft Forefront Client Security are already installed.

No matter one’s personal opinion on Vista 7, it is being dumped by HP, at least for tablets/Slate. Now it’s more official:

Hewlett-Packard completed its acquisition of Palm this week and gave a hint that it could be ditching Microsoft’s Windows 7 Home Premium operating system for Palm’s webOS platform in the upcoming HP Slate tablet PC.

“HP Reveals Plans for WebOS Tablet,” says IDG:

HP has officially completed the acquisition of Palm, making it the proud owner of Palm’s coveted intellectual property including WebOS. It is hardly a surprise that before the ink was even dry on finalizing the purchase, HP announced its intent to build an array of mobile devices around the WebOS platform–including the predicted WebOS tablet.

Microsoft Nick confirms this too. HP dumps Vista 7 and moves to Linux (for this form factor at least).

Dealing separately with security problems in Windows, most Windows users are susceptible to 0-day attacks at the moment:

The number of malicious attacks exploiting an unpatched vulnerability in older versions of Windows has mushroomed over the past week, prompting Microsoft to warn customers to deploy countermeasures until an update is released.

This is also covered in:

This workaround is not a solution and amateur users will not be able to apply the changes. “Trojan Writers Target UK Banks With Botnets,” says this new IDG report (they say “PCs” instead of “Windows PCs”)

The company identifies two pieces of malware — the previously undetected Silon.var2 and the longer-established Agent.DBJP – as the two bank Trojans being distributed by Zeus-based botnets using UK-infected PCs.

Silon.var2 now affects 1 in every 500 UK-based PCs connected to the Trusteer Flashlight system, 40 times the detection level for the US, with Agent.DBJP affecting 1 in every 5,000 UK-based PCs, again far higher than for the US.

Windows does not offer applications much protection as an underlying platform:

Applications in Windows have many privileges that enable them to mess up the entire system rather than a confined sandbox. It’s an architectural issue. Even the newly-released Office 2010 (c/f [1, 2, 3] for perspective) has security problems already (will Microsoft blame Microsoft for not bothering with “Windows defences”?)

Researchers at Vupen Security say they have uncovered a security vulnerability in Microsoft Office 2010. However, their discovery has been met with criticism from Microsoft, which complains that it has not received technical details of the bug.

As IBM acquires BigFix [1, 2] it also turns out that Microsoft Office could use some of that. According to this news, it’s buggy. Here are the details:

You’ve seen it before: That strange, cutesy “J” that occasionally appears in email and seems contextually like it’s meant to be a smiling emoticon. You may even be sending these little “J”s without even knowing it. Tech blogger Chris Pirillo explains:

[F]or some inexplicable reason [In Microsoft Office applications], some brilliant engineer thought it wise to correct “:)” as a smiley rendered in a specific font face when composing rich text documents (and/or HTML email). This is why people think you’re crazy for inserting random “J” characters in your emails — they don’t have the same fonts installed on their machine!

Wonderful. And this is what people pay a fortune for? For those who pay Microsoft for ActiveSync patents to merely use its protocols there is also trouble in store. Here is another new problem which hypePhone 4 suffers from:

Bug in iOS4 Exchange ActiveSync hammers servers

[...]

Bugs in the Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) implementation in iOS4 were resulting in significant artificial loads on Exchange servers that they are connected to for push email. As outlined by the Microsoft Exchange Team blog, another symptom of the problem involves email, calendar or contact entries not synching properly.

Got to love proprietary software. Apple is just trying to step in line with Exchange/Office, which really ought to be replaced.

There are missing bits in Office 2010, Mary Jo Foley alleges (based on readers’ feedback), which maybe explains the poor reviews of Office 2010 (2/5 in Amazon). It’s just another Office 2007 with a Web extension. It’s still a resource hog that does not comply with international standards [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

Microsoft is still pretending that Free software does not exist (while quietly recruiting and advertising jobs that attack OpenOffice.org [1, 2, 3]). Here is a pathetic new attempt to fight competition from OpenOffice.org/Google and another similar attempt to fight competition from Apache. There is also an element of FUD there, sometimes promoted by Microsoft boosters like Lance Whitney and others:

Microsoft is misdirecting the perception of competition, sometimes with former employees. Microsoft Nick says that “Google Docs Has Microsoft a Bit Worried,” but what about Free software such as OpenOffice.org? Google Docs is proprietary.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 25, 2020



  2. Links 25/2/2020: MakuluLinux LinDoz and Manjaro 19.0 Released

    Links for the day



  3. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on FSF Communication Policies

    Surely I, being acting president and then half-acting president, must suck as a manager. I probably do indeed, but it's not so simple.



  4. The EU's EUIPO Will Later Today Help the EPO (Run by EUIPO's Former Chief) Promote Illegal Software Patents

    Propaganda terms such as "intellectual property rights" and meaningless concepts like "technical effect" are being used to promote so-called 'computer-implemented inventions' (software patents by another name)



  5. Growing Acceptance That There's No Future to the UPC System and the Unitary Patent

    There are growing pains and more signs that even key elements of Team UPC move on, accepting the demise of the UPC



  6. Emulating the Linux Foundation's Business Model (Selling Influence)

    LibrePlanet sponsors are presented with benefits of offering money to the event (or to the FSF)



  7. Guest Article: LibrePlanet Attendees Should Demand a Partial Refund

    What we do know is — that the FSF is no longer “Free as in Speech!”



  8. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 24, 2020



  9. An FSF That Rejects Its Founder Would Not Remain FSF As We Once Knew It

    It's important to keep the FSF focused on its goals; that won't be achieved by expelling those who insist on these goals



  10. Links 24/2/2020: Linux 5.6 RC3, Netrunner 20.01, Google Summer of Code 2020 Mentoring Organisations Announced

    Links for the day



  11. Alexandre Oliva's New Article About a Coup

    Some people try to tell me that the criticism I've got, inside the FSF and outside, since the Free Software Sept 11, are not about my being supportive of RMS, but about my making public statements referencing him at all.



  12. Debian Leadership Should Not be 'Shy' of Politics (and It's OK to Admit Palestinians Are Human Beings Too)

    The contemporary tendency to limit people's freedom of speech (e.g. permission to express political views) means that while people may find software freedom they will lose other essential freedoms



  13. New Series: Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    In the interest and motivation of exposing the true nature of things, Techrights will turn its attention to internal affairs at the higher echelons of the FSF, founded more than three and a half decades ago in MIT (where Stallman launched the GNU Project, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and a lot more foundational Free software)



  14. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 23, 2020



  15. Links 23/2/2020: PipeWire 0.3 and Osu!

    Links for the day



  16. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on Being Cancelled

    It was reading this that I realized I’d been cancelled myself. In my case, I was painted misogynist and transphobic, and for a post in which I supported women but denounced a crowd of men twisting the feminist cause, that I share, to attack rms, as if he wasn’t a feminist himself; and in which I express curiosity as to what pronoun to use to refer to zero women to paint me as someone who disregards gender identities and their pronouns.



  17. Good People Need to Run for Free Software Foundation (FSF) Board Positions After an FSF Coup Threw in the Towel, Pushing Out the Founder

    "I have been hit, but not knocked out, and my campaign for free software is not over." --Richard Stallman, October 2019



  18. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 22, 2020



  19. Alexandre Oliva's Message About Cancel Culture at the FSF

    Being cancelled is no fun. In my case, it was for standing for a friend who got canceled for defending someone else from an accusation that was later proven false.



  20. Links 22/2/2020: Polish Government Increases GNU/Linux Use, Samza 1.3.1

    Links for the day



  21. Being Rich Does Not Imply Being Smart (Especially When One is Born Into Wealth)

    Presenting the 'genius' (college dropout, but that does not matter when the yardstick of wisdom is wealth alone), with his own predictions overlaid on top of his photo from the show of Bloomberg (another 'genius' whose supposed brilliance is measured using money alone)



  22. The Rise and Fall of Free Software

    "We simply need to make the movement less corporate, and more grassroots."



  23. Why You Should Adopt Debian 10, Not Vista 10 (Windows Vista With Microsoft's Latest Surveillance Add-ons)

    A little personal story and recommendation of Debian "Buster" (10) or Devuan (whose developers persist)



  24. Ethics by Exclusion

    It's the same old philosophical question; can excluding those who are perceived to be intolerant be seen as an act of tolerance?



  25. Even Worse Than Microsoft Inside the Board of the OSI

    The OSI has accepted people from companies that actively attack Software Freedom and there may be more on their way



  26. ZDNet Continues to Stuff Its 'Linux' Section With Proprietary Software of Microsoft

    The above is what the "Linux" section of ZDNet is going to look like throughout the weekend (and this is hardly unusual, either)



  27. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, February 21, 2020



  28. Links 21/2/2020: EasyOS 2.2.11 Released, Microsoft's Control of the Linux Foundation Increases and More Binary Blobs Arrive

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 20, 2020



  30. Video: LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman

    LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts