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Re: [tlug] Is Linux Helping MS to make Windows better?

Quoth Stephen J. Turnbull (Fri 2004-05-07 12:17:52PM +0900):

> >>>>> "Botond" == Botond Botyanszki <> writes:
>     Botond> They are trying to hack those features into an already
>     Botond> screwed platform and the end result is an exponential rise
>     Botond> in bugs and security flaws.
> Oh, stop the FUD.  NT was a multiuser, multitasking system from the
> get-go.  The original design was actually pretty good, so I have heard
> from fairly reliable sources, and NT _did_ get an Orange Book C2
> rating for security from the DoD.  That's not easy; it's as high as it
> goes on commercial-spec hardware.

Yes, but NT's Orange Book rating was based on not being connected to
any network and not having anything but the base OS installed. It was
fraught with conditions. Most people that I know in the security field
consider that Orange Book rating a complete joke.

> The problem with the platform is that the _applications_ and the
> infrastructure libraries don't use the security features, and often
> they are disabled by default, to improve "convenience" and
> "efficiency."  Of course security problems and instability follow
> Microsoft the way syphilis follows a pimp!


> I don't really contest your conclusion (that the platform is and will
> continue to be screwed), but if users (by which I mean the CIOs who
> make purchasing decisions) wise up, it's anybody's guess how long it
> will take Microsoft to shape up.  I will predict that it will be
> sufficiently fast that 90% of Slashdaughters will turn their pink
> frillies brown.

Microsoft employs some of the smartest people in the world, and not
just computer scientists and software engineers. I do not doubt for a
second that if the suits thought it was in their best interest, the
techies could produce something of quality.

>     Botond> Remember the claim on how stable XP and (other NT
>     Botond> derivatives) are? That's a lie, windows support staff in
>     Botond> companies with many production machines running windows
>     Botond> have a hell of a time these days. I feel sorry for you.
> Actually, from what I hear from the XEmacs developers who work on
> Windows, Windows NT and Windows 2000 are now quite stable.  But those
> same people haven't yet got to work on the many bugs we experience on
> Windows XP for the simple reason that their employers refuse to give
> them Windows XP to work on.  (That's the state as of 6 months ago; I
> suspect the reason I don't hear from those guys recently is because
> they've finally upgraded and spend all their time putting out fires.
> :-)

Windows 2K and XP do seem pretty stable. The stability problems that
so plague IT staffs worldwide have more to do with security (or the
lack thereof) and lusers sodding things up. But some of that blame
must lie with the IT staff--how many corporate Windows users do you
know that do everything on their machine as Administrator? Too many,
in my case.

Microsoft's biggest thorn in the side of IT staffs is their godawful
patches, security or otherwise. Those bloody things almost *never*
work, and leave the machine in a non-bootable or non-networked state
more often that not.

But hell, that is the price you invariably *must* pay when you support
every shitty piece of PC hardware made in some Taipei garage.

Josh Glover

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