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It's funny.  Laugh. Microsoft Security Operating Systems Software Windows

Buy Vista or Else 539

theodp writes "Upgrade or keep crashing was the tagline when Windows XP was introduced. So how will Windows Vista be marketed? 'I'd hate to see something bad happen to your PC,' seems to be one pitch. Even if new features won't get you to upgrade to Vista, you should buy Vista for the security, urged Windows Chief Jim Allchin. Are commercials featuring Tony Soprano next? Bada Bing!"
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Buy Vista or Else

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  • Security (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fusen ( 841730 ) * on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:20PM (#14588613)
    Who's to say Vista will be secure? Surely from past experience its safer to use XP which has had numerous security patches then a whole new OS with thousands of vulnerabilities to be found
    • Re:Security (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:34PM (#14588697)
      And beyond that it's probably safer to use something like OpenBSD instead of XP. It not only has a far more stable and secure base, but it also has far stricter security-wise development policies, and apparently more thorough code audits.

      • Re:Security (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Blakey Rat ( 99501 )
        And it only takes 4 days to get your video capture card working, that is, if you can manage it at all!

        No thanks. I'll trade a little bit of security for a computer I can actually *use to do things with.*
        • Re:Security (Score:3, Funny)

          by Jezza ( 39441 )
          Blakey Rat said: "And it only takes 4 days to get your video capture card working, that is, if you can manage it at all!"

          Sure, but at least it won't get a Virus and send a picture of you in your undercrackers to Paris Hilton's cell phone. :-)
      • Re:Security (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "And beyond that it's probably safer to use something like OpenBSD instead of XP."

        I mean, seriously, just who is your post directed too? I can tell my clients: Use Firefox instead of IE, I sometimes tell them use OSX instead of XP. I even see situations where I might suggest Linux over XP or OSX.

        But for the life of me, I don't ever ever see a situation where I go: " Yeah!, use BSD - it's a viable alternative to XP or OSX".
        • Re:Security (Score:5, Interesting)

          by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:31PM (#14588994)
          OpenBSD is a great system for secretaries and people in a finance department, for instance.

          I worked at one firm that was having problems with the computer systems their secretaries and finance department were using. Many of the workers would play games, or worse, they'd manage to infect the existing Windows XP systems with spyware.

          Considering they were doing basic word processing, spreadsheet and web-based data entry tasks, we decided that Windows XP was excessive. OpenBSD, OpenOffice, and Konqueror would be sufficient.

          The main benefit was that the systems just plain didn't get infected with viruses, spyware, and some such software. The price was a big benefit, too. And the ignorance of the general staff towards OpenBSD, and UNIX in general, helped. Instead of playing games and chatting, the employees had little to do but work. Productivity rose significantly within the weeks after switching over to OpenBSD.

        • Re:Security (Score:4, Insightful)

          by kuzelnik ( 948967 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:11PM (#14589279)
          Well ...
          FreeBSD *is* viable alternative to XP.
          Today I have even installed Windows-only Tutenstein game from on it for my little daughter using wine. A few days ago I have installed Linux binary Fentun to open winmail.dat file I have received form an Outlook/Exchange user.

          FreeBSD has more then 14000 ports available.

          It has got everything an ordinary user needs.
          Office, mail, browsers, chat, much greater number of supported media files than most Linux distros ...

          I know, It is comon belief FreeBSD is more difficult to install than XP.
          Well, Joe Sixpack isn't able to install Windows either.
          And tell me, how many users can remove dozens of malware, viruses, rootkits and other unwanted crappy applications from Windows?

          You install FreeBSD for a non-technical user once, and you do not have to come back to clean it up.
    • Re:Security (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:35PM (#14588701) Homepage Journal
      I would say if the codebase is entirely new, the chances of making the same mistakes again would be lower.
      What worries me more about rebuilding any codebase is the possibility of introducing whole new categories of bugs.
      • Re:Security (Score:5, Insightful)

        by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:01PM (#14588826)
        we know the codebase is NOT new... because the first security update for the beta was for the .wmf vulnerability... who knows what other nightmares are still ticking away in it.
        • Re:Security (Score:3, Informative)

          by acidblood ( 247709 )
          The .WMF vulnerability is, as I understand, the result of poor design, not an implementation problem like a buffer overflow. Given the same API, the Wine project wrote an independent implementation which was also vulnerable. So if Vista has the same vulnerability, that says nothing about whether they used the same code from XP.
          • It's so frustrating sometimes that so many posters on Slashdot continue to be misinformed about things that are common knowledge in the tech world.

            Vista had the same flaw because it's got the same Win32 code. Vista is not a rewrite of Windows. It's based off the Windows 2003 code, which was based off XP. It's the same Windows as before but with some new rushed 1.0 APIs for hackers to crack. WinFX is just a layer on top of Win32. It's the same Win32 Windows we've known all along with some internal updat
    • Re:Security (Score:5, Informative)

      by bender647 ( 705126 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:40PM (#14588730)

      TFA describes many ways in which Vista will be more secure by design than the security-patched XP. For example, more attention to user privileges, sandboxing IE, a firewall that looks at outgoing traffic, integrated spyware checking.

      I could pretty much care less about Vista until the games I want to play won't run on anything else, but you can't doubt that M$ will be paying more attention to security in the fundamental design of Vista than they did in XP.

    • Re:Security (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jcr ( 53032 )
      If you want security and you must run windows apps, the only way to achieve it is to run windows under VMWare or Virtual PC on Linux, BSD, or Mac OS X.

      • Re:Security (Score:3, Insightful)

        by masklinn ( 823351 )

        I think you could extend that to "if you want security you must never run any executable file that didn't come with your OS outside of a VM sandbox".

        Anything that can be executed is a security threat. Random executables received from mails with "3bl4rg3 yu0r p3n1s" more than others, but few softwares actually have a bug/issue count of 0.

        • Re:Security (Score:3, Informative)

          by Coryoth ( 254751 )
          I think you could extend that to "if you want security you must never run any executable file that didn't come with your OS outside of a VM sandbox".

          Anything that can be executed is a security threat. Random executables received from mails with "3bl4rg3 yu0r p3n1s" more than others, but few softwares actually have a bug/issue count of 0.

          There are things that can be done that allow for significant improvement over the current situation. The only catch is that it requires significant change to the base system
    • Re:Security (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:44PM (#14588752) Homepage
      Who's to say Vista will be secure?

      Well, I assume it'll be more secure against you. It is pure doublespeak because it has nothing to do with user security and everything to do with content security. But I assume they'll try to market it as "security", because everyone wants security right?
    • That's a great point, parent. Security is a worse pitch than reliability because security can only be proven post-release. XP is pretty damn reliable IMHO. So all MS can tout is new features... and finally, a convincing reason for the common man to purchase really expensive hardware!
    • Re:Security (Score:4, Insightful)

      by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:13PM (#14588869)
      That was exactly my reasoning for staying with Windows 2000 while Windows XP was being introduced. When I saw that I was right, and how bad XP really was, I decided to just move to Linux and have been happy ever since.

      Previously my attempts to move to Linux had been unsuccessful because I had problems getting certain hardware working (video capture, RAID) and was concerned about what software would be available (certain emulators I had grown fond of, video codecs, VirtualDub and other transcoding software), but even Windows 2000 was giving me some problems, such as booting into a blue screen telling me my registry had become corrupt, and also actually getting infected by viruses such as Blaster.

      I had everything up to date, all patched up, antivirus installed, etc, but still contracted the virus. A few reinstalls later and I just figured it wasn't worth it putting up with all the headaches.

      When I started running Linux, I quickly saw the advantages... Installing software didn't require the usual "Next, Next, uncheck every checkbox, delete desktop and quicklaunch icons, uninstall additional software installed along with the software I actually wanted, check for hidden startup items, make sure program doesn't phone home", when I started my PC I wasn't greeted by millions of splash screens, applications that couldn't make a connection popping up and letting me know, I didn't have to readjust settings that kept resetting for some reason (volume levels, icon positions on the quicklaunch)... GNU/Linux is about using your PC and not just working around problems to get what you want... and then I realized that upon discovering all this I didn't even have to worry about viruses at all, and I had no problems with crashes at all! Even if programs didn't behave in a way I expected I found it simple to find solutions, the error messages meant something and I could see exceptions thrown if I launched an application from a terminal, etc...

  • linux? OS X? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by joe 155 ( 937621 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:21PM (#14588624) Journal
    maybe they should say "upgrade to linux for the security" (or macOS X)... Vista seems to be offering very little in terms of features, and will offer little else in terms of security, partly people go for it because it's what most people use, and partly because M$ just doesn't take security seriously enough... they need to have a root and branch change of how the OS is designed to give a greater emphasis on security instead of useless visual tweaks.
    • Re:linux? OS X? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kevbo ( 3514 )
      I think Apple is already doing this. They may not be running specific ads saying that they offer better security than Windows (at least, I have never seen any) but I am always hearing about how Mac never gets any viruses, exploits, etc from friends, reporters, Mac salesman...
      It may be underground marketing, but it is still marketing.
      • mac doesnt get viruses because it's not worth the time to write one

        but a mac is still more secure than windows. it has a proper (DEFAULT) security model for one. here's hoping vista will have it too.

        also, it doesn't run (as far as i remember) all of the useless services windows run, and there isn't as much badly designed backward compatibility cruft by default (SMB anyone?).

        im not saying you can't make macosx insecure, but at least it is by default... more than windows in any case (don't forget to patch)
        • mac doesnt get viruses because it's not worth the time to write one

          Mostly because it's harder to write an effective virus for Mac OS X, along with availability of hardware to test assembly code. I wonder if we'll see more viruses popping up with Apple moving to Intel CPU's and machines that may run Windows.

          but a mac is still more secure than windows. it has a proper (DEFAULT) security model for one. here's hoping vista will have it too.

          Yeah, one of the reasons why there are so few virii targetti

      • Re:linux? OS X? (Score:3, Informative)

        by jcr ( 53032 )
        I think Apple is already doing this

        Nope. When I worked there, it was made very clear to us that Apple doesn't talk about security as a reason to switch. We emphasized ease of use, etc.

    • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:35PM (#14588702)
      Start shipping installs secured from the start. Require an admin/install user account for new system wide applications, sandbox user installed software in their home directory/profile. Users then don't trash everything when they fubar their profile or homedir. Windows has all the necessary features to do it, It's had them since the first versions of NT.

      Microsoft frankly can't be arsed and there's no profit in a secured system when they can instead continually be selling you upgrades as security fixes.

      It isn't rocket science, it's just segregation of responsibility. Unix has been doing it for 30 years. No wait, it must be closer to 35 now.

      • ..... And by requiring all that, you immediately nullify one of the chief "advantages" of Windows. That is, the ability just to turn on a computer and start using it, without identifying yourself or otherwise taking notice of it. You don't get a screenful of diagnostic messages ending with a bunch of green [OK]s while Windows is booting up, "in case that might confuse the poor user". {As a full-time Linux user who has had to attempt to fix a Windows box, I can say that not having those messages is way more inconvenient for the technician than having them is inconvenient for the user. Users can just ignore them, after all. On that logic, maybe we should start building cars where the oil pressure and alternator warning lights don't come on when you first turn on the ignition.} The default privilege level is administrator; but unlike root on a unix system, there are certain actions that are blocked from even an administrator on a Windows system.

        I think Windows with passwords is going to be a bit like a pale imitation of KDE.
    • Re:linux? OS X? (Score:5, Informative)

      by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:43PM (#14588745) Homepage
      Vista seems to be offering very little in terms of features

      Lemme guess... you are basing that solely on what you've read on /.?

      Allow me to list a few features coming in Vista that I am looking forward to:

      • Application level audio control
      • Application specific remoting
      • Vastly improved networking stack (apparently superior to any other OS's)
      • Support for user mode drivers
      • New printer technology (way beyond postscript)
      • Pluggable crypto system

      Take a look at this MSN Spaces post [] which has some links to some videos on some of these improvements and more on Channel 9 [].
      • Re:linux? OS X? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        While per-application audio control (I can't wait to be able to turn down my games and turn up teamspeak) and a new networking stack sound nice, remoting a single application has always been possible through netmeeting or with stuff like citrix. User mode drivers have been around for a while in other operating systems (libusb, libsane, various user mode filesystem drivers, etc). Not sure what a "pluggable crypto system" is but linux has had a good number of kernel crypto modules for a long time now for va
      • Per application audio control? Like Detour [] on OS X? (All audio streams are per app but this lets you have fine control over them).
      • The new video subsystem is also going to allow you to zoom in on different applications at different levels-- no more squinting to read that 8-point text on your 1440x1280 15" laptop monitor!
        • Re:linux? OS X? (Score:3, Informative)

          by pherthyl ( 445706 )
          Why does everyone continue to buy into this BS? Point sizes have absolutely nothing to do with your screen resolution if your display is set up correctly. An 8pt font should be the same size whether your res is 1024 or 1600x1200. If you're having trouble reading text on a high res screen, do this: on windows:
          display properties, settings, advanced, then choose custom setting and adjust the ruler until the distance displayed is correct. Reboot.
          On Linux, set the DisplaySize (or something like that, I
      • Re:linux? OS X? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PCM2 ( 4486 )
        Agreed. I saw Allchin's latest Vista demo and I walked away for it confident that I will, under no uncertain terms, be buying a new laptop in early 2007 to run Vista on.

        There's lots of things in Vista that nobody has even started talking about yet, particularly in the area of mobility.

        - Laptops will start shipping with a secondary LCD screen that's accessible when the machine is closed. So you will be able to do things like checking the status of your e-mail, IM, stocks, weather, whatever -- without taking
        • Just find the projector and route PowerPoint through it.

          But wouldn't someone then stab you to death for using Powerpoint? I don't see the advantage in being dead.

      • Re:linux? OS X? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ratboy666 ( 104074 ) <fred_weigel AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:40PM (#14589433) Journal
        I want to comment on some of the features you list:

        "New printer technology (way beyond postscript)"

        This is interesting. What could be "way beyond Postscript"? Postscript is a general purpose language, with rendering support. It has even been extended into a GUI (although that is irrelevant from the perspective of printing). By utilizing a common language for print rendering, different vendor OSs and systems can actually share printers. The reference implementation of Postscript is now (arguably) Ghostscript, which is Open Source. Postscript is also behind PDF technology.

        If there is a new rendering technology, how will it be incorporated into heterogenous network?

        "Support for user mode drivers"

        Is this a good thing? I know that there have been attempts at providing "user mode drivers" to Linux, and other OSs, but that is a REALLY BAD thing to do wrt security. Transitions from less trusted code to more trusted code are ok, because the more trusted code can check its inputs. The reverse transition is not ok -- simply because the code is less trusted.

        Of course the "user mode driver" may require signing, but then why not test it and put it back into kernel mode? The only other reason I can see for "user mode drivers" is that you want the driver code and data to participate in standard OS semantics (scheduling, swapping, etc.). Which may be a good reason to do it. But the security implications are immense: maybe front layer drivers only, that cannot do anything with the OS core or data, and where data only flows "user->user driver->kernel" -- you get the idea.

        Still, I was under the impression that Windows was a micro-kernel (in some sense), which is supposed to eliminate the need for this hack.

        "Application level audio control"

        Can you elaborate on this? I was under the impression that that was ALREADY a feature (or are you referring to OS control on the application audio, which is more interesting - specifically, the ability to route the audio output from an application to another application which can provide filtering: say, low-pass. Of course, this provides a security hole for the media, and so I doubt that this will be implemented).

        The other features will be welcome.


        • Congratulations, you've discovered several of the little men behind the curtains. In particular, the "new printer technology" is in order to break CUPS and Samba based compatibility Windows printing. I'm sure they'll "embrace and extend" parts of them, but I'm also convinced they'll deliberately make them incompatible with existing tools in the process.

          Second, the "user mode drivers" have a rather obvious use: coupled with the plans for "trusted computing" style authentication of software, they provide a ro
  • quote? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Prong_Thunder ( 572889 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:21PM (#14588628)
    "nice computer you got here... be a shame if it crashed...."
  • by heinousjay ( 683506 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:21PM (#14588630) Journal
    This is all about anti-Microsoft masturbatory geekspasms, right? Let the games begin:

    Yeah, Winblows security? They haven't reimplemented enough of Unix to be secure yet.
      - or -
    Sure, it's secure - it can't be pwned when the new RSOD feature is active.

    Well, I've shot my wad.
  • Secure? (Score:5, Informative)

    by SpasticWeasel ( 897004 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:21PM (#14588632)
    From TFA: "People Near Me" feature, which searches over a Wi-Fi connection for other Vista users nearby and then sets up a peer-to-peer network with them. Yeah, that sounds pretty secure. Same old Microsoft.
    • Re:Secure? (Score:4, Informative)

      by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:35PM (#14589033) Homepage
      If this is the Windows Collaboration feature they're talking about, then it doesn't automatically connect everybody. You can invite the people you choose. And it's not a peer to peer filesharing network or even a standard Windows network. It's a Groove-like system that allows you to share files and screen real estate among the connected peers. So if you're showing a presentation from your laptop, you can let me connect to your projector using your laptop over the network and show my presentation from my hard drive, using your screen in a sense. I can also push the same file to everybody in the ad hoc "network" so that they can view it. Optionally I can also send them a copy of the file, but I don't have to... that kind of thing. It's actually pretty neat.
  • by HeavyMS ( 820705 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:22PM (#14588640)
    The link to rule them all : keting.jpg []
  • Upgrade! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jane_Dozey ( 759010 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:23PM (#14588643)
    Or we'll send Balmer around with this chair...
  • Lost trust (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PornMaster ( 749461 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:24PM (#14588650) Homepage
    I'm all for upgrading things to newer versions to enhance security. Secure by design should be the default, and if someone fessed up and said, "Hey, we fucked up last time, but we got it right this time", and could be trusted, then it wouldn't be extortionist of them to try this.

    But we've all seen how Trustworthy Computing didn't really change things. New products came through that obviously weren't vetted, and plenty of legacy problems remained. I don't know who's really going to buy Vista because they'll believe the security "threat" perpetuated by MS.
    • Re:Lost trust (Score:2, Interesting)

      by GigsVT ( 208848 )
      if someone fessed up and said, "Hey, we fucked up last time, but we got it right this time", and could be trusted

      The problem isn't that no one says this, it's that they've been saying it about every version since Windows 95. They constantly spread FUD about using their old versions so that people will upgrade.

      MS aren't the only people guilty of this though. Every try to ask for help on a slightly older version of an open source application? You'll most likely get 10 people bashing you for running a versi
      • I've not seen Microsoft admit fault with previous versions, they just say that the new ones are better. There's no contrition. And I *did* specify "and be trusted".

        That said, XP *has* been considerably more stable than 9x, as they said it would be...
  • by kamikaze2112 ( 792393 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:25PM (#14588653)
    'I'd hate to see something bad happen to your PC'

    Jeez, if it's alredy got windows on it, how much worse can it possibly get?? *ducks*
  • There are already holes in Vista that were revealed with Microsoft's latest patch. If they keep rehashing a lot of the same coding mistakes, then there is no stopping threats. Vista will flop, and be just as buggy as the current version of Windows, and if you do not buy a new computer - well, we all remember Windows ME.
    So, try out MacOS X, or Mepis Linux.
  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:27PM (#14588665) Journal
    Buy Vista... or someone might throw a chair at you.

    In Soviet Russa, Windows Vista pays you protection money

    Take your pick folks, I'll be here till Sunday.
  • I knew it! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Ardeocalidus ( 947463 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:29PM (#14588676)
    As long as I don't find my computer's monitor in my bed, I'm not upgrading.
  • by Dekortage ( 697532 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:31PM (#14588687) Homepage

    "Even if they are not into home entertainment or in any of the specialty areas, they are just going to feel safer and more secure by using it."

    "...[Alchin] demonstrated a collaboration tool that uses a "People Near Me" feature, which searches over a Wi-Fi connection for other Vista users nearby and then sets up a peer-to-peer network with them."

    Your computer must be more secure -- it can automatically network wirelessly with other computers to share your files.

  • Its your choice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gsfprez ( 27403 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:35PM (#14588706)
    no one on earth is forcing an IT, CIO, homemaker, graphic artist, gamer or anyone else to HAVE TO BUY Micro Soft's shit.

    I have for the last two years officially told people - i cannot and will not help you if you are running Windows. I am too busy accomplishing things (photography, videographic analysis) to be bothered with tools that do not just work. I don't care that there are millions of Windows viruses, i don't care if your webpage doens't work with anything but IE and Active X, i just have stopped caring.

    I am getting older - i have a family, and i want to create and do things which are special, and i no longer have the time nor the incination to either myself, or have to deal with others who's job it is to spend all day and night defending computers from themselves. I am the architect who doesn't want to deal with the knock-off cheap Chinese crap powertools and hear all the workers bitch about them, or hear about the foreman that tells me i have to keep taking apart all the power tools and putting them back together again... build the fscking house - go get the tools that WORK - and pay more for them if you have to.

    The simple fact is - its totally irrelevant to me if a Mac costs $1000 or $3000. If it does what i need - and prevents me from having to fix my tool all day long - the $3000 tool will be far more vaulable in just a week or two. Theoretical, imaginary, or otherwise fantasmic notions that Macs are just as insecure as Windows are irrelevant to me - i work today, and i work now. (well, its saturday, i'm only working a few hours today).

    But the flip side of that is - i no longer give a shit what anyone uses. I don't care. Do not bother me or hassle me or get in my way if you can't keep up with me. My friends and family no longer bother me - i bought my family Mac minis, and my friends are all switching.

    The world uses Windows?? I'm fscking George Bush of the Mac - i don't give a shit if every person on earth said "jump off this cliff, its the industry standard"

    i'm not a lemming - i have things to get done. Whatever you want to do is fine with me, you're out of my "circle of give a shit".

    You run Windows. I'm getting things done.
    • Re:Its your choice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Poodle ( 15365 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:10PM (#14588859)
      You should trademark "circle of give a shit" and "You run Windows--I'm getting things done." and sell them back to Apple. Seriously.

      I'm in the same boat--After spending 20+years eating, sleeping and breathing computers, and acting as the reisident expert in my family/circle of friends/global village/whatever, I no longer support/advise/provide a shoulder to cry on for any one I know who uses a PC. I switched as many family members as possible over to iMacs, and so I now no longer get those late night calls (my screen is blue, what do I do?).

      I now claim total ignorance of all things PC, so when someone asks me "is this $399 laptop from Costco a good computer?", I tell them to buy a Mac, 'cause it's all I know. I also tell them to make sure they buy an extended warranty , because they will Sure Need It.

      I view the legions of unofficial Windows Support Staff--your Brother-in -law, neighbor, whoever--as part of the hidden cost of running crappy software.

  • Shiny shiny! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vga_init ( 589198 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:37PM (#14588715) Journal
    I think screenshots will be the selling point for most people.
  • by Stan Vassilev ( 939229 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:46PM (#14588762)
    Microsoft designed the 9x with the clear conscience that it's not as stable as its NT platform.

    Why was it developed? Compatibility. People wouldn't really drop all their DOS and Windows 3.11 programs, so 9x was the bridge that allowed the smooth transition that ultimately brought the consumer to the NT platform.

    The plain logic basically was "we have the better platform, but you want compatibility, so here's a compromise".

    Now that 16-bit is a thing of the past, the DOS layer could be removed ultimately resulting in a fully 32-bit protected environment that is Win 2000 and XP. Is Microsoft to blame they sell XP as more stable OS?

    Could they have success with any other strategy? I'd say unlikely.

    Vista is the next step in improving security and it took a lot of effort to develop this OS, the entire submission is a flamebait: if you were Microsoft, would you work 6 years on a new product and give it for free? Yes, imagine, you have to pay for the updates, and yes the purpose of updating is improved security, new features and modern hardware support.

    Microsoft isn't forcing anyone to upgrade. It just does its best to demonstrate the benefits of its latest offering, because this is what software companies do with new releases.

    Now get over it, and stop ranting.
    • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:27PM (#14588946)
      Vista is the next step in improving security and it took a lot of effort to develop this OS, the entire submission is a flamebait: if you were Microsoft, would you work 6 years on a new product and give it for free?

      Why not? Linus Torvalds did ;)

      All joking aside, I agree with you insofar as no-one's giving away major upgrades to commercial operating systems. But you've sidestepped the issue which was first raised by Douglas Adams in 1995 and AFAICT still exists:

      "The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining armour to lead all his customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he who by peddling second-hand, second-rate technology, led them all into it in the first place."

  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:46PM (#14588767)
    Would you tell someone to stick with a several-flavors-ago version of your favorite distro, or to keep using Firefox 1.0? Yes, yes, free, all free blah blah blah. Believe it or not, the +/-$100 just ain't that big a deal for a lot of people, but the disruption of an upgrade (to the O/S or a significant app) is frequently the thing that puts the brakes on.

    So... for most people (no, not slashdot readers), this will just happen as a new machine rotates into their life anyway. For a lot of users, "Oooh! Shiny!" is a reason to spend +/-$100. But upgrades are disruptive for people (not slashdotters) who don't actively like doing them, and the Grandma You've Talked Into Using Mandrake Who Probably Should Be Using Mandriva vX.whatever Which Means New Hardware And That Means While We're At It Let's Change Some Apps scenario is just as ugly. Never mind the dollars.
  • Of course... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nwbvt ( 768631 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:53PM (#14588793)
    ...if Microsoft ignored security in Vista, /. would have an article about how unconcerned they seem to be about it.

    I guess this is why MS doesn't listen to /. for advice on how to build their new product.

  • I found this little bit of info fascinating:

    In particular, he demonstrated a collaboration tool that uses a "People Near Me" feature, which searches over a Wi-Fi connection for other Vista users nearby and then sets up a peer-to-peer network with them. The tool is meant mostly to enable laptop users to share applications and files, among other things.

    So Microsoft is, in effect, creating its own file sharing network? I wonder how the *AA will react?
  • by kai.chan ( 795863 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @02:59PM (#14588817)
    With the advent of the iPod, I already know of a few people who are considering a Mac as their next purchase -- the everyday Joe who would have never considered a Mac before. With more game and application developer support on the Macs, I think Apple has the ability to eat a large chunk of the Desktop OS market during the switch from XP to Vista. If Guild Wars, Counter Strike Source, and Spore get a Mac release, I'd certainly be one to get a Mac. It would also make my decision between Linux or Mac a bit easier.
    • I've been saying this for the past month. The Ipod has given Apple an image of value. Apple is cool.

      Just say it. Apple... You think cool, sleek, well designed, pretty, elite, hip, trendy...

      Now say Microsoft... You think Buggy, Bland, Unrealiable, spyware, virii, adware, trojans, security holes, ugly ui, boring, and the biggest thing is... NOTHIng HAS CHANGED.

      When you think of Microsoft, you realize that nothing has really improved. Think of their media player? Media Player Classic is better. Think of IE...
  • by kgutter ( 950070 )
    How will they market vista ? , well first thing they will do is stop supporting XP, and when the new vulnerability comes up , both corporates and home user will have no choice but to upgrade. Security wise , i hope vista introduce newer programming model call "Advance improved Complex OLE and Advance COM and DCOM" , which BTW only virus writer and visual basic programmers understands and not C programmers. They can't implement unix security model , because than why pay for it :) I think they have also impl
  • "That's a real nice desktop picture of a naked Britney Spears -- and a very nice 250gb drive full of carefully labeled and cross referenced pr0n. Hey Vito, wouldn't it be a shame if something -- ya know -- bad was to happen to it? Yeah, a real shame."
  • by pariahdecss ( 534450 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:14PM (#14588880)
    This is nothing new . . . we live in an society (post 9-11) where everything is predicated on fear. "Buy our anti-bacterial hand soap or your kids may die!!" , "Buy this ADT security system or you are a failure as a parent" . . . marketers and the government have embraced the ubiquitous power of fear and uncertainty to sell everything from tampons to troop deployments . . .ad nausea infinitum

    Personally I am more afraid of deploying Windows Vista than not, and Microsoft can stick the DRM in the orifice of their choice.
  • You'll send the dogs, or the bees, or the dogs with bees in their mouths that shoot bees when the bark?
  • by TheReaperD ( 937405 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:23PM (#14588920)

    Of what I have read, there will be, at least, one thing that could improve Vista's security. Also, several people have commented on it without having read anything about Vista. Users will login to a limited access user account, rather then an administrator account as the default.

    Unfortunately, there are several bad points with Vista that will make me hesitate on upgrading:

    1. DRM This is a big one, for me.
    2. Requires a P3 800 or higher, just to run the operating system with no tangible benefit to the user.
    3. Visual enhancements require Direct X 9c compatible hardware.
    4. No compelling features.
  • by seven of five ( 578993 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:53PM (#14589157)
    MS has failed the user community when it has to say, 'don't keep running the old unsecure shit we sold you last year, buy this new shit. And trust us this time.'
    • by bmajik ( 96670 ) <> on Saturday January 28, 2006 @06:30PM (#14590065) Homepage Journal
      Is security a binary thing? Is something secure or insecure ?

      I don't think so.

      I think "security" is a blend of many things.. the _correctness_ of non-security features, the selection and depth of security-focused features, the process around resolving defects (because there will be defects), and the conditions under which a user can use the machine.

      Even if Microsoft had done everything they knew how to do to make XP "secure" when they had made it, would it be secure today? No. Because today new threats are understood and being used that weren't in existance when XP was designed and shipped. Is XP retroactively insecure? Or it just less secure than something newer, all things otherwise equal, that was developed with the context of the threats that have emerged since XP was released?

      In the specific case of Vista vs XP, some of the things that are "better" this time around are
      - more credible run-as-non-admin story
      - better sandboxing and least-priviledge stuff, even within a normal user account (i.e. its not necessarily true that IE running as you can do anything you can)

      The run-as-non-admin thing "worked" in XP, but with enough caveats that it was hard to credibly say "everyone, do it that way". The POR for XP was to ship with non-admin-by-default until very, very late in the ship cycle, where there was just too much stuff that didn't work as non-admin. They made the hard decisino to make users=admin by default, and nobody was happy about it. This is a problem that Microsoft has been chipping away at for a while now, because the goal is "let everyone run with as few permissions as possible" and it often conflicts with the other goal of "20 year old software written by 3rd party people needs to keep running"

      I have no problem buying that Vista has more security-focused features than XP. I have no problem buying that Vista has better code correctness in non-security features than XP. I don't think the security response process will be any worse in vista, infact, i know of at least one technology that makes it better (but im not sure if its public yet?).

      Will Vista be "more secure" than XP? I think so. Will it be "as secure" as OpenBSD? Probably not. Will it do more things that more users want than OpenBSD? Definiately. Will Vista have a better intersection of practical security vs functionality than OpenBSD?

      Microsoft thinks so, and I think I agree with them.

  • by aduzik ( 705453 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:58PM (#14589202) Homepage

    It's pretty clear to me that the main reason that Windows has so many security problems is that there is something inherently broken in its design. Remember: when Microsoft first designed Windows, no one was using the Internet, office LANs were pretty much the most networking you were likely to find. So Microsoft didn't have to think about network security back then. Now that the world of computing is increasingly connected to a high-bandwidth Internet connection all the time, it's clear that the model that Windows is built upon is broken.

    I think it would benefit Microsoft to do a fundamental redesign of Windows. Apple did this about five years ago when they made the transition from Classic Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. They designed an API that permitted developers to write software that ran natively on both operating systems (Carbon) and gradually phased it out in favor of an API that was completely native to Mac OS X (Cocoa). At the same time, there were many applications that would only run on Mac OS 9 -- i.e., those that were not Carbonized -- that ran in a (mostly transparent) virtualized environment. Microsoft could follow the same pattern as Apple and redesign their operating system from the ground up with security as a primary focus.

    The thing that's going to get people to upgrade to Vista isn't the desktop search or any new multimedia features. It's the security and the performance. Right now, Microsoft keeps tacking on bloat after bloat to the existing Windows codebase. This has the effect of making Windows slower. Also, these "ad-hoc" additions, I think, have a tendency of opening up security holes. Microsoft, it's time for you to reevaluate the design of your operating system. Instead of focusing on devising as many different editions as you can for Vista -- which, by the way, baffles the hell out of a lot of your customers -- it's time to wipe the slate clean and start over.

    I know we've all said at one point or another, "if I'd known then what I know now, I would have done things completely differently." Well, Microsoft, you do know stuff now that you didn't know 20 years ago. It's time to do things completely differently. Your model no longer works; find a new one.

  • by toadlife ( 301863 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:39PM (#14589428) Journal
    ...I really don't care what Microsoft's marketing line regarding Vista is. I already know what improvements Vista brings to the table, as do most other IT people who manage large numbers of Windows machines. As for home users, is marketing to them really all that necessary? The vast majority will get Vista by default when they get a new PC - and the vast majority of them won't even realize it, much less care about it.

    As it is right now, Win2k and WinXP are fairly easy to manage on a large scale as long as you don't let everyone have admin rights to their local machines. Upgrading is out of the question in most corporate environments, because it cost too much money for what it's worth. Like the Joe Users of the world, Vista will appear when it starts coming on our new computers. Like 2000>XP, the XP>Vista transition will take at least three years, during which time we will have mixture of OS's out there.

    There one time where we actually did upgrade existing computers was when we moved from Win9x to Win2000. The benefits of running 2000 on the desktop were so great in terms of time saved on support that it was worth it to us.

    As for XP>Vista, I've seen the beta's and the new security features are nice, but as I said before managing 2000/XP is not a big problem and I don't see any reason to upgrade existing machines. IMO, the improvements in Vista are going to be the greatest for home users and IT shops that don't know what the hell they are doing. Those improvements still won't save users from themselves - but no OS can do that.
  • by LazloToth ( 623604 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:50PM (#14589495)
    The saddest aspect of Vista's arrival, as far as I'm concerned, is that XP technology has been no improvement over Win2k Pro or Win2k Server in our company. And now we get another scary OS release from MS as the end-of-life date for 2000 products draws near. After SP4 came out for the 2000 products, the only real annoyance was the constant stream of critical updates, some of which unleashed mayhem on our network until we got a handle on update management. Otherwise, the Windows 2000 servers have been rock solid. Meanwhile, XP and Server 2003 have been insufferable turkeys, making me regret every installation. The memory leaks that have plagued Server 2003 should be getting a lot more attention than they've been getting in the tech press. I suspect Microsoft would say that hardware vendors have delivered faulty drivers, but we never saw the random crashes and reboots in Windows 2000 Server that we see in our 2003 servers. I can't trust the 2003 platform anymore - - we moved everything of importance back to Win2k. Service Pack 1 for 2003 Server was about as helpful as a broken ankle. I understand we might see SP2 in 2007. Wow, that's encouraging. Who here wants to dive for Vista? Thank the gods for Linux, Apache, and MySQL . . . .
  • Or, (Score:3, Funny)

    by The Cisco Kid ( 31490 ) * on Sunday January 29, 2006 @01:21AM (#14591895)
    Gee, I wouldnt want anything bad to happen to your PC. You know, you really shouldnt be running Windows on that, or anything from Microsoft - you're just asked for one of around a million or so various trojan horses or other exploits that turn your PC into a spam or porn relay, steal your private data, or at best just severely cripple its performance.

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault