FAIL: Columnist Doesn't Realize Traditional Viruses Won't Run on Windows RT
December 4, 2012 11:26 AM
comment(s) - last by
There's also nary a mention about Microsoft's pro-security switch to a walled garden model
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 (
) 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)
only being sold
with Microsoft Corp.'s (
) Windows RT (Surface Pro -- the x86 version --
isn't expected until next month
). And not a single piece of
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
Windows 8 and Windows RT Microsoft offer perhaps the biggest pro-security (but
) 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.
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
pointing out perfectly valid opinions that many share about places the ambitious user interface redesign
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.
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RE: I love how....
12/4/2012 4:46:05 PM
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.......
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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