__/ [Martha Adams] on Thursday 09 February 2006 03:33 \__
> It's interesting that Microsoft is going to sell "protective" services
> to users of their products. There's an old concept that a product
> offered for sale is by implication suitable for its application. This
> hasn't seemed to be an awfully strong requirement for software, but now
> Microsoft is showing us how loose it actually is. And that's not
> private knowledge: I recall a speaker at MIT on computer security being
> asked after his talk, "Does Windows have a back door?" His reply, "You
> don't need one." And there are all those companies out there selling
> services to protect Windows users from the "exploits" it seems so very
> vulnerable to.
> This reminds me of a programmer's comment to me about a Microsoft book
> on writing good code. "They write those books," he said, "they don't
> read them."
I imagine that a lot and time and money (resources) are invested in testing
their products, but it doesn't appear to cut it. I believe that their main
problem is that they try to re-use and extend code which has evolved over
the many years and became too complex to test reliably. As the code
continues to be extended in 'cowbody style' (individuals build fragmented
'bits'), the complexity will rise and they will find themselves trapped.
Microsoft have recently returned to ground 0 and began creating Microsoft
Singularity, which is a new and different operating system altogether. I
think *that* says something about what *Microsoft* think about (the quality
of) their current O/S and the prospects it has to becoming secure.
Security is not the only matter at hand, however. Many features that
Microsoft attempted to add to Longhorn were conceded. They could not run
properly; the developers knew that a dead end was reached and Jim Allchin
even reported this to Bill Gates. The outcome of it all is an opration
system called Vista, which will be released 5 years after XP and will have
merely the same functionality (even less stable judging by current builds
and the delayed release date). Windows will have transparency in its UI for
a change, yet that's the only noticeable difference.
...Might as well wait for Service Pack III in two years. Equal in terms of
functionality (or lack thereof).
> Now Microsoft itself is jumping into the market it created. Doesn't
> that prove something about the quality of their product?
> Cheers -- Martha Adams
Doesn't prove anything to us, Martha.
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