Re: M$ attack on Common Sense

From: User (User_at_hotmail.com)
Date: 09/14/03


Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2003 23:09:36 GMT


"Dave" <macquigg@ece.arizona.edu> wrote in message
news:a3b19517.0309131048.3912fa7d@posting.google.com...
> I must say that the Windows advocates seem to be "winning" this
> debate, although still not convincing me that I shouldn't move to
> Linux.

Dave,

I don't think its a matter of "winning" or "losing". Its more a matter if
recognizing the different markets between such things as home or small
business computers run by Joe/Jill average and a server/corporate wide
products fully managed and controlled by system administrators with separate
IT departments (not corporate desktop machines - which are a third category)

Microsoft has developed the only operating system that Joe average can use
effectively and lock down reasonably easily. Give Mr Average a unix like
box and they probably wouldn't be able to connect to a network to use it.
If Mr Average did connect to the net through the menus it wouldn't be
secure.

Because a lot of home users and unmanaged or poorly managed business
machines were hit by the Blaster worm many linux advocates say its "proof"
that linux has better security. In fact its only proof that linux is unable
to cater for those markets with its current need for technical knowhow. If
linux did cater for that marked (by making ease of use a priority for those
users) would it faire any better?

[I hope no one actually suggests that that market go uncatered for at this
stage]

XP Home has the filesystem features such as file ownership similar to unix
based machines. Microsoft have decided to not access most of these features
because home users generally do not understand them.

Microsoft server corporate products have similar security features as unix
based machines and have had them for about a decade. [about the same period
linux has been available - {I said about}]

Unfortunately linux advocates seem to want to compare products from
Microsoft that are designed for home users against products that are
designed primarily for technically skilled people (or very limited
funcionality products). Just because Microsoft are catering for a multitude
of home users, and making money from it, doesn't mean that they deserve a
lot of abuse from linux advocates about security. I wonder how many on this
newsgroup doesn't make money from computers?

If linux wanted to take on the home market with any success they would
probably have to make a multitude of compramises also.

> The key issue for me is security. My limited experience and

The key for most home users is getting the thing to go and getting on with
their lives. People fix their car when it breaks down and people fix their
computer when it breaks down. (Of course many take some preventative steps
also like maintaining their car / virus scans on computers but only if they
consider this a higher prioity on their budget/time than other issues like
food and rent).

Unfortunately the "discussions" often turn into a diatribe of insults about
people who are users of computers and not "experts".

> reading tells me that Linux is *currently* more secure, and *may* have
> some fundemental security advantages, stemming from its multi-user
> origin and open-source methodology. I fully expect M$ to make further
> progress in security. I don't *think* Linux security will be a
> problem in the future, but the discussion here does give me plenty to
> worry about.

I'd still keep an eye on your machine if I was you. Take the "usual"
precausions and don't think you're safe just because you run linux. You
don't know when the next sshd compramize is coming out [yep - I was probed
for that one].

> M$ OS's are here to stay. My wife still uses DOS to run her
> veterinary practice! Success for Linux is not in crushing M$, but
> getting a large enough community of users that we will have all the
> applications we need, and they will be just as good as M$ products.

You also have to interact and share information and ideas with others
(including data and programs). Does OpenOffice fully support VBA yet?

> - Dave



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