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09.16.10

Microsoft Software: a Darwin Test for Incompetence

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Servers, Windows at 8:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Relying on Microsoft still a way to destroy one’s career or overspend in a company for the use of inferior technology

FOR REASONS we wrote about in literally thousands of posts, Microsoft software ought to be avoided. It deserves to be avoided not just due to Microsoft’s despicable behaviour but also because it’s technically inferior. One example of this is the muchly-hyped SharePoint, which does almost nothing that a combination of free/libre software cannot achieve and do a lot better. Consider the SharePoint crashes for example. An executive is now comparing SharePoint to an ashtray:

SharePoint software is like a “Rolls Royce ashtray” for government departments: it’s free with the car but it doesn’t add much, according to Bryan King, director of strategy and innovation with the South Australian Chief Information Office.

In other words, it’s a waste of money (long-term lock-in). Who would be foolish enough to take this route? The only thing Microsoft software can relay reliably seems to be worms (see this new incident [1, 2] and also new Stuxnet reports [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]) and spam, which are a brute-force problem where loss of a high proportion of messages may be tolerable. Microsoft software is notorious for data loss tendencies and Exchange, OneCare, and Outlook are just some of the examples. Security and data loss are correlated for obvious reasons and a company’s safety (e.g. in communications) depends heavily on computer security too. Maybe that’s why HP is buying ArcSight.

ArcSight makes software that monitors corporate networks for unusual activity, such as a hacker’s attempt to break into a system.

How about using UNIX/Linux to reduce risk of that? Based on this other new article, even ‘hardened’ Windows is not effective against common attack methods:

The 15-page PDF was able to compromise PCs even when they ran Reader on versions of Microsoft Windows that are fortified with protections designed to lessen the damage from garden-variety bugs – such as the stack overflow being targeted in Reader.

Why deal with all this mess? The Darwin award seems to go to those who choose Microsoft for their infrastructure. It is not a coincidence that almost all major competitors of Microsoft are based on GNU/Linux. That’s just the way to survive and thrive nowadays. Google recently banned Windows for good reasons (on desktops too).

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