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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RE: You have to ask
By InsGadget on 12/4/2012 1:02:40 PM , Rating: 4
I don't want to have big busy noisy icons shat all over my desktop and filling the entire thing, I want a simple start menu and task bar where I pin only the apps I use and that's it.

But you can! I upgraded to Win8 on my laptop a few days ago, and after some adjustment I've come to love it. I stay in the desktop interface 95% of the time, and just use the Start screen every now and then, just like the old Start menu. It's really not that big a deal once you give yourself a day or two to make the mental shift.

Also, every existing program I've thrown at it works fine, including games. Compatibility is not an issue at all.

RE: You have to ask
By ReloadAO on 12/4/12, Rating: -1
RE: You have to ask
By nikon133 on 12/4/2012 2:58:06 PM , Rating: 2
That really doesn't make much sense.

If you moved from XP or 7 to 8, all your apps are desktop apps. If you don't like Start screen, you can easily change that to classic Start menu.

All the standard features of Windows are there; Control Panel, Programs & Features, Device Manager... last time I tried Linux (briefly), I could not figure out how to install a program. Experience was completely alien to my previous Windows experience. Compared to that episode, moving from windows 7 to windows 8, for me, was just a walk in a park.

So what is actually your problem with 8?

RE: You have to ask
By Norseman4 on 12/4/2012 7:30:24 PM , Rating: 2
I had to purchase a laptop recently (old one finally gave up the smoke one Friday, and I had to remote into work the next Monday) and it had to be a quick purchase. Went to the bane of tech-stores (BB) looked at what they had and even tried some of them out. (They were all unlocked.)

There were a few there with touch screens, but most without. I had played with W8 in a VM for a few weeks before and the non-touch screen versions equally underwhelmed me.

The touch-enabled LTs though ... completely different story. Love the one I got, though I still have to get rid of a lot of bloatware. (Thinking about getting a W8 license/download and going from scratch ... won't have lost anything at this point.)

My main rig will not go to W8 anytime soon, but my file/media server may, since W8 also introduced Storage Spaces that looks to me to be very similar to WHS's Drive Extender before it was removed. (Don't know if the individual drives can be read directly if they are ever unmounted from the space.)

Windows 8 isn't for everybody, nor, IMO, is it for every rig unfortunately. (Removing Media Center from all distro's [irkes] me though.)

{note: reading through this I have to wonder if I stayed on point enough.}

RE: You have to ask
By Mike Acker on 12/9/2012 7:31:46 AM , Rating: 1
good job!! you got modded to -1

which generally results from posting the truth instead of reflecting the virtual reality that advertisers project -- and too many people seem to prefer

yep the jump to Linux is pretty easy. I'm 100% now for my stuff although I still help windows victims when they ask

check in with FSF and ask the question: who does my system belong to and what are *they* using it for ?

RE: You have to ask
By Breakfast Susej on 12/4/2012 1:59:21 PM , Rating: 3
I can accept the fact that people are able to adjust to Windows 8, for myself, I just cannot find a desire to.

I realize there are under the hood improvements over Windows 7 that would be a benefit to me, and I also realize that as they did with 7 Microsoft will eventually force a choice by not releasing a new DirectX for 7, and with games being the only reason I use Windows at home, I'll be stuck adapting to it.

Still, I just don't like the feel of it. I find the experience of shifting between the start screen and the desktop leaves me feeling like it is a disjointed experience. It's jarring and unnecessary to me. I think if I could put it down to a sentence I would call it "The worst of both worlds", much like Win95 and it's transition from DOS gave you two compromised experiences to work within.

I understand the position Microsoft is in, and the reasoning behind their decision. Still for me, Windows 8 is a painful training wheels step that is symptomatic of Windows greatest weakness, the need to support an absolutely awful legacy ecosystem of software.

RE: You have to ask
By Fritzr on 12/4/2012 5:05:17 PM , Rating: 3
Add Classic Shell (Free opensource) to emulate the Win7 Start menu. There are also some paid software Start menu emulators available for the Win8 desktop. If you don't like the Start screen, just replace it. That is one of the advantages of a real Windows OS over the various ARM OSes today (multi-tasking with independent displays [windowed] being another major advantage)

Classic Shell homepage

Also the Win7 keyboard shortcuts are still available in Win8 desktop
(Some will also work in Metro mode, experiment to see which are useful)

RE: You have to ask
By Breakfast Susej on 12/4/2012 6:00:13 PM , Rating: 3
Really that just makes it worse. If I have to download third party software to mask the poor experience I am simply not going to bother and continue to use seven.

The thing is, I like seven, a lot, it's really pretty great and leaves me wanting for nothing. I have always been for trying a new OS to see what it offers that is new and move forward. If what it offers is uninteresting, and I have to install third party apps to retrograde the interface, it makes me even more displeased with the thought of using it.

Windows 8 may be fine for others, but for me every step of it's involves some kind of compromise, resulting in a hacked together and ultimately unsatisfying experience. For the first time since 1995 my answer to the latest version of Windows will remain, pass thank you.

RE: You have to ask
By MrRuckus on 12/6/2012 2:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
Have you tried it? My profession requires me to be familiar with most of the new tech, so I fired up my technet subscription and downloaded Win8. Win8 out of the box is different, but as others have stated, you can get passed that with a simple 3rd party app. While it may inconvenience you for 5mins to install it, after that its all done. At that point its 90% the same as Windows 7. You get the start menu back and all the things you are use to. You can also switch to metro and mess with it as you wish to learn it at your convenience. I picked up Star8 from Stardock which was a whopping $5. The interface runs as smooth as Windows 7, I see no difference. The only difference is the Start button is shaped as a little windows symbol instead of the windows circle in Win7.

It took me all of 5 mins to get Windows 8 the way I wanted it.

"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot

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