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04.27.09

Why Vista 7 Could be the Least Secure Operating System Ever

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Vista 7, Windows at 3:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hybridising a recipe for trouble

Windows XP7
Inheriting Windows XP’s problems

Summary: If Vista 7 runs XP, how does that improve security?

FOR those who were led to believe that Conficker is begone, here is a wake-up call from Reuters:

A malicious software program known as Conficker that many feared would wreak havoc on April 1 is slowly being activated, weeks after being dismissed as a false alarm, security experts said.

Conficker, also known as Downadup or Kido, is quietly turning thousands of personal computers into servers of e-mail spam and installing spyware, they said.

Conficker affected pretty much every version of Windows and none of this is going to change (see links at the bottom).

Vista 7 is not being released any time soon, but it has already been rendered hijackable several times in recent months [1, 2, 3, 4]. Nothing ever changes other than the message (marketing)

Can Microsoft finally offer value to customers? Well, if offering a product from 2001 counts as value, then maybe. As DaemonFC put it, “Do you ever wish you could run your XP software at half the speed after paying another few hundred bucks?” That’s exactly what Microsoft seems to be doing right now.

Microsoft Buttmonkey and Windows Enthusiast (Is there a difference?) Paul Thurott has posted on the latest “feature” of Windows 7, a full copy of XP in every garage!

Yes that’s right. Windows is now so incompatible with….Windows, that you need to run two full copies at once to get XP compatibility.

There is other coverage of this, but it mostly comes from people who promote Microsoft for a living, so it’s filled with spin.

So, here is Microsoft’s offer: “Run Windows XP or virtualise XP under another more expensive operating system that only consumes resources unnecessarily.” This surely confirms that program/driver compatibility will continue to be poor in Vista 7. It’s just bound to disappoint.

But here is the main point: by keeping Windows XP around Microsoft is begging for trouble. In the words of oiaohm, “Microsoft in windows 7 is now forced to virtualise XP. So all the viruses of XP will remain around.”

Yes, people will have two systems to keep up to date and hope that they can patch. How does that make Vista 7 any more secure than predecessors? It’s only an aggregation of vulnerabilities.

More on Conficker

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2 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    April 27, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Gravatar

    Ah, M$, late and loud at the party again. They have always promoted various “compatibility” layers for Vista but we know that these did not work. Vista changed out their driver layer for digital restrictions management and XP devices, games and other programs all broke. The really funny thing about their new approach is that GNU/Linux and Mac have had exactly the same thing for years. Anyone interested in “compatibility” through a VM can get it now with Parrallels, VirtualBox and a host of other ways. Waiting to move to Vista 7 for the same thing is as absurd as non free software gets. Astute users will also note that a M$ VM leaves M$ in charge of what software lives and dies on their platform. Go that way and you get “compatibility” that’s only as good as M$’s dwindling competence and good will can provide.

    The need for VMs to run non free software shows how broken the non free software model really is. It is almost understandable that Apple would do such a thing, but their success with “coherence” should be judged against the success of free software in porting across platforms and architectures. Debian, for example, now offers users the choice of a dozen types of CPU architecture and a choice of three kernels, Linux, BSD and HURD. Nothing is as good as a natively compiled application and Apple’s success is really an inelegant kludge that non free software requires. As Roy points out, M$’s need for a VM to run their own software demonstrates M$ particular failure. They have failed to support their coders and those in turn have failed to support their users. The free software perspective has always been that the software “upgrade train” is an unacceptable loss. The whole point of non free software is to periodically extract money from users. Users are fed up with this and this is one of the reasons Vista is a failure. Free software offers everyone a better way of getting things done.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I can’t wait for Vista 8, which might come with Vista 7 in a VM, which will run Windows XP in a VM (snake eating tail endlessly). They would need lots of RAM for that. But…

    Can they finally drop the binary-only mindset and ascent to 64-bit? That would also resolve compatibility nightmares.

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