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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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RE: You have to ask
By NellyFromMA on 12/4/2012 1:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously, this guy isn't going on information at all, whether misinformed, uninformedx, or any version of that.

He's smearing his least favorite software brand for his most favorite.

Honestly, I don't know ANYONE that's confused, except for the people constantly mentioning people will be confused.

Idk, even my neices and nephews (you know, the young consumers the new OS is really all about) can tell the difference...

The older folks who never had much of a chance warming up to PCs or tech in general are in the same boat they always were.

It's not hard, you just make it an issue by hypothesising a problem that seemingly doesn't exist as far as I or anyone I know can tell.

RE: You have to ask
By corduroygt on 12/4/2012 1:03:25 PM , Rating: 4
You are giving FAR too much credit to the average consumer, I guarantee you. Not everyone's a tech nerd like you or some people around you. The general public knows jack squat about computers.

RE: You have to ask
By SPOOFE on 12/4/2012 2:28:28 PM , Rating: 2
The general public knows jack squat about computers.

Which also means that they don't give a damn about minor quirks in their OS, as long as it works.

RE: You have to ask
By dark matter on 12/4/2012 3:11:40 PM , Rating: 3
Yet we are talking about TWO different operating systems that apparently look the same.

They will give a shit then when they make a mistake and buy RT thinking it will run desktop programs.

RE: You have to ask
By 91TTZ on 12/4/2012 4:14:37 PM , Rating: 4
I disagree with you. Most young people I talk to are familiar with the usage of computers but are not familiar with their operation. In fact, I'd say that your average computer user is less technical now than they were 20 years ago. The reason is that computers have become easier to use so you have far more end users now than you ever did. But 20 years ago you probably had to at least have a working knowledge of DOS.

The average person has no idea what kind of processor or memory is in the system or what the difference between Windows 8 and Windows RT is.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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