09.20.09

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Microsoft Admitted UNIX is Better Than Windows Even 9 Years Ago, Finally Kills Windows Server 2000

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Servers, UNIX, Windows at 5:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sun server

Summary: A blast from the past shows Microsoft dismissing Windows 2000, which it has just officially discontinued

“Here’s an oldie but goodie,” says a reader to us. It is an article discussing Microsoft’s dilemma that it faced when Hotmail ran on UNIX very well, which was damaging for Microsoft’s corporate pride as it contradicted the hype about NT. Microsoft touted it as “better UNIX than UNIX”. We wrote about this before [1, 2].

MS paper touts Unix in Hotmail’s Win2k switch

An older MS internal whitepaper from August 2000 on switching Hotmail, which MS acquired in 1997, from front-end servers running FreeBSD and back-end database servers running Solaris to a whole farm running Win2K, reads like a veritable sales brochure for UNIX, but concludes that the company ought to set the right example by ensuring that each division “should eat its own dogfood.”

The whitepaper, by MS Windows 2000 Server Product Group member David Brooks, has been posted on the Web by Security Office, which says it discovered the item and numerous other confidential MS documents on a poorly protected server. There are a number of other fascinating documents posted, in which the careful reader will find a veritable treasure map for hacking the citadel, but the one I enjoyed best was the comparison between Win2K and UNIX.

Hotmail is currently a mess, which even some fans of Microsoft dislike (Microsoft censors critics of it). Hotmail is also a spam issue and it has security problems. But regarding Windows Server, whose problems we covered some days ago, it finally sees the end of the 2000 version. Microsoft has newer problems to tackle, such as this one from the news (still unpatched):

Microsoft still does not acknowledge a weakness in its Internet Explorer browser that was pointed out seven weeks ago and enables attackers to hijack what are supposed to be secure Web sessions.

Microsoft typically hides its flaws and attempts to patch them secretly. This way, numbers can be kept lower and dishonesty is further enabled when politics come into play.

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