Blessed are the Geeks, for they shall internet the earth

Operating System Theater Presents…
Another Critical Security Flaw
Douglas Chick

Microsoft is struggling to save face, or software, with new claims of even more security holes in its software products. The more Gates and Ballmer proclaim how their product is more secure, another peg is pulled revealing yet one more hole. Microsoft is beginning to look like a sinking ship.  On the same page that CEO Steve Ballmer argues that it is impossible for Linux to be more secure than any Microsoft product, I read where AOL is closing its link to MSN Messenger because of its security flaws. Ballmer’s point was that there’s no way some programmer is China can fix a Linux security hole more proficiently than Microsoft can Windows. Gee Steve, perhaps you and Bill should consider not speaking publicly anymore because it sounds like you guys are out of touch in your own profession. So before you make another public appearance consider this:

     Chinese programmers are writing programs that expose Windows security flaws, not fix Linux ones. I’m no Linux advocate, but…code for Linux is distributed globally and not just isolated to one country. And to correct my earlier statement, exposing Windows security flaws is also a global affair. I felt like he made the connection with Linux to China in an attempt to link it to communism. 

     It is also true that all software is vulnerable to hacks, but not all software companies are hated as much as Microsoft. As one hacker put it: “We are only carrying out the punishment for a company that has already been proven and sentenced to be guilty, but was never punished.”

     You’ve got to wonder where Microsoft’s future lays. By their own admission their product is riddled with flaws, more vulnerable because of its popularity, and has more bad press than the Bush administration. The fundamental differences between the two are that Microsoft employees only suffer in low stock options, the mistakes made by the Bush administrators are being paid for in the lives of our soldiers and citizens.

     So what will become of Microsoft? Will it be the cause of its own undoing? Will Linux ever be mature enough to replace the desktop? Or will corporate America return to the dummy terminal and have no need for a desktop operating system? Find the answers to these question and many more on the next episode of Operating System Theater.



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