Print 94 comment(s) - last by Piiman.. on Dec 29 at 1:55 PM

There's also nary a mention about Microsoft's pro-security switch to a walled garden model

Online newspaper Inc. has published a pretty interesting account ripping into Windows RT, which it calls "Doomed".  The author, Geoffrey James, has a big warning to business -- "inherently unstable and insecure."

The author lauds Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iPad as the new paradigm of glorious computing and security, while lashing Microsoft, writing:

I used to work in an operating system development group. One thing I learned back then is that any OS that allows applications to modify the OS will be inherently unstable and insecure.

Since Windows is designed to allow that to happen, both computer viruses and the gradual "rot" of the software installed on a Windows system are both inevitable. There is no way to fix the problem because it's inherent in Windows's design.
I'm a case in point. While I'm still using a Windows machine for most of my writing, I'm serious thinking of "taking the leap" to only using my iPad simply to avoid the support headaches that are inevitable with Windows.

In short, the Surface is doomed because the entire concept behind it is flawed. Even plain Windows is getting so old and creaky that it's getting to be more a bother than its worth.

But the columnist misses (or at least never mentions) that the device he targets in the byline (Surface) is currently only being sold with Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows RT (Surface Pro -- the x86 version -- isn't expected until next month).  And not a single piece of traditional Windows malware can run on Windows RT without recompilation, as it runs on a fundamentally different architecture/instruction set (ARM) versus past versions of Windows (x86).

Surface RT can't run traditional x86 malware.
In other words, the columnist's negative experience of getting his laptop penetrated by a "root kit" is drastically less likely to occur in Windows RT, particularly while it enjoys such a peachy (from a security perspective) low market share, compared to traditional Windows.

Another thing the columnist seems to miss is that both Windows 8 and Windows RT Microsoft offer perhaps the biggest pro-security (but anti-openness) shift that has helped protect the iPad -- the switch to primarily using a "walled garden" model of software distribution.  In Windows 8 you primarily buy apps through Windows Store.  Microsoft verifies each of these apps and can yank any app at any time if it is later discovered to pose some sort of security risk.

Windows Store
Microsoft now uses a similar pro-security "walled garden" model as Apple, pushing certified-safe apps from the Windows Store. [Image Source: ZDNet]

Granted, Microsoft does practice a laissez-faire policy regarding Windows 7 legacy software (which won't run on Windows RT, but will generally run on Windows 8) and plug-in based distribution models, such as the Java-based Valve client.  In this regard it differs from Apple who strictly prohibits such freedoms. But increasingly from here on out users will be getting their apps from a single secure source -- Microsoft.

Additionally, the apps in Windows 8 are nicely sandboxed.  They simply are not allowed to "modify the OS" as the author suggest.  Windows 8 and Windows RT have robust protection against traditional attack vectors like memory injection, protections that rival those in the OS X tree.

Some criticisms of Windows 8 have been more level-handed pointing out perfectly valid opinions that many share about places the ambitious user interface redesign may have gone too far.  But some criticisms -- such as the argument to buy an iPad instead of a Surface RT because Windows is "unstable and insecure" -- are simply bizarre to the point where they almost appear to be a comedic caricature of misconceptions surrounding the Windows platform.

Source: Inc.

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I love how....
By EasyC on 12/4/2012 12:31:08 PM , Rating: 5
People who get these "rootkits" and virii all blame Microsoft for their troubles. When really, all they need to identify the problem is a mirror.

A little self reflection or thought process can go a lonngggg way to keeping a system secure...

"Gee, do I really need to see an albino goat screwing a midget in a viking suit?"


"Hmmm! Do I want to try 27 cent penis enlargement pills from a company called 'Please YoUR Wom4n With MAXXX SIzE'?"

The fact is most of virii or malware attacks are based from the user doing something stupid or visiting a shady site. Microsoft can't fix the user. That said, Windows 7 is a boat load more secure an OS than any of the fruity company's offerings...

This is just an iSheep...being an iSheep.

RE: I love how....
By Argon18 on 12/4/12, Rating: -1
RE: I love how....
By Flunk on 12/4/2012 12:40:27 PM , Rating: 3
Other than just making wild claims, do you have anything to back that up? Like say, the number critical bugs discovered in OS X security last year vs Windows 7? Or the time to patch critical bugs?

Go look that stuff up, and next time you want to make a point bring some research to the table.

RE: I love how....
By chµck on 12/4/2012 12:57:01 PM , Rating: 5
you ever read that quote at the end of article pages that says something like "windows is like a house with bars on its windows in the bad part of town. OSX is like a country house with no locks on the doors in the middle of the country"/?
There's a reason for that.

RE: I love how....
By nikon133 on 12/4/2012 3:04:11 PM , Rating: 2
True, but that countryside is not what it was only a few years before. More and more shady faces in the countryside every day...

RE: I love how....
By Camikazi on 12/4/2012 12:57:48 PM , Rating: 4
Been running Windows for years now and the only time I get a virus is when I am doing something where I know there is a high chance of getting a virus (even then it rarely happens). Windows is secure as long as you are not an idiot who clicks every popup and link that shows up on your screen. BTW I believe it is OSX that gets hacked first pretty much every year at hacking tournaments or did I imagine that year after year?

RE: I love how....
By anti-painkilla on 12/4/2012 2:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
Haha totally agree. I ran Win7 with no anti-virus and the firewall disabled for 7 months.

I thought I had installed anti-virus software but had forgotten. I go to some pretty crazy sites so I just assumed that the anti-virus was doing its job. Soon as I realised, I installed and thoroughly checked my computer and no problems, not even adware installed.

Win7 is pretty amazing.

RE: I love how....
By Akrovah on 12/4/2012 1:50:40 PM , Rating: 3
Windows pre-Vista you might be right, but you know what? Vista had an almost complete re-write of the security aspects, which is one of the reasons Vista took so long to be released.

Now OSX/Safari are consistently broken first in hacking contests.

RE: I love how....
By degobah77 on 12/4/2012 12:44:39 PM , Rating: 4
In the 15 years I've been using a PC, the one time I ever got a virus (and a bad one it was), I knew exactly when and how I got it, and yes, it was all my fault. And then I removed it myself and restored everything in a matter of minutes, thanks to Windows.

RE: I love how....
By AlphaVirus on 12/4/2012 1:14:08 PM , Rating: 3
I did get a good laugh out of your post because obvious malicious programs are obvious.
On the other hand there is a major push for very tactful coding and the social engineered code.

One example is what I call the cluster***k of malicious codes. YouTube, Google, and Facebook, three of the most popular websites yet people constantly get bombed with bad code from these three. I had a client searching for a kitchen fridge on Google and clicked the first link (highlighted feature area), and the website was bugged.

So generally I completely agree that it's the user's fault, there are some cases where the user was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In the past 10 years I've gotten bugged only when it was intentional.

RE: I love how....
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/4/2012 1:59:24 PM , Rating: 1
and clicked the first link (highlighted feature area), and the website was bugged.
Anddddddddddddddd this is Googles problem how exactly? They coded that website? No?

RE: I love how....
By Fritzr on 12/4/2012 5:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
He is not placing the blame on anyone. He is highlighting the fact that the user was not at fault. Ordinary, almost always safe, sites do get ill also. If you happen to visit such a site before it recovers from it's illness, then you may also catch the virus.

Nothing to do with Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo or even a careless user. It can be done by careful placement by the virus creator. The builtin security (which Windows does better than most) along with a good AV defense minimizes the damage, but connecting to any source that you have not personally sanitized runs the risk of exposing your machine to an infection. Yes that includes logging onto computers running incompatible OSes as they may be vectors for another OS' illness.

RE: I love how....
By firstone on 12/4/2012 4:46:05 PM , Rating: 2
Man, I'm 100% with you on all you've said. Most of the people blame Windows for their own stupidity. Well, go buy a FRUIT computer and do your screw ups on them. You can always call their support and they will always tell you there are NO VIRUSES on their computers........ Yeah right......
I see users doing the stuff you mentioned plus using PIRATED copies of Windows (which some jack ass installed for them and warned the happy user "Don't update or it will stop working"), trying to download pirated content (mostly movies, music) or pirated software. Hell, you are asking for it !!!!!!!!
Windows is a very solid product, it's mature and yes, Microsoft screws up sometimes, guess what: THANKS GOD!!!!!!!! It's where we have the great and neat programmers out there offering great utilities to the rescue. Go find that in a FRUIT computer.......
Windows runs in mostly ANY hardware you have out there, EVEN ON FRUIT computers.
Stop bashing; go do some training on how to use a computer. People believe that computers should do all the work for them, this is a HUGE mistake. The MORE you don't understand about them, THE MORE HOSTAGE to the technology you are.
I don't want a computer that does not allow me to understand ABSOLUTELY all that's going on with it at all times. My LIFE's information is stored and processed there.
We as humans used to LEARN new things, to study, to improve ourselves, today??? Not really.
This journalist knows ABSOLUTELY nothing about computers; it's a very biased guy to tell the least.
Windows 8 is probably the best incarnation of Windows (it still has rough edges, sure). If you want the OLD START MENU, you can have it, download CLASSIC SHELL, it's ABSOLUTELY FREE and it will make your Windows 8 look just like Windows 7 (not the AERO looks though, but the start menu in all of its glory and VERY CUSTOMIZABLE).
The new "ModernUI", or MetroUI or tiled UI for some is just fantastic for touch devices and it is even great for some corporations if you wish to LOCK your users out of trouble. Just enable a couple of icons that they are supposed to use and disable the old START SCREEN completely. Your users will log on and run ONLY what you make available on the new desktop.
So, stop complaining and LEARN, STUDY, don't be a HOSTAGE to your gadgets or they will come back to bite you.
Hell, why are there so many hackers out there??? Because there's a TRUCK LOAD of suckers connected to the Internet and BEGGING to be fooled..............
Oh, by the way, why the HELL didn't he talk about the little green ROBOT system??? Yes, that one that's TOP of the list in ALL major vulnerability list and NEW VIRUSES list being published??? That thing beats Windows in vulnerability and number of viruses/rootkits, etc.......

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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