Vista bashing, or just the facts?

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I’m not one to bash Vista (or Microsoft) just for sport, but it sure seems like there’s a lot of news about Vista that isn’t good. For example:

Researchers have broken into Vista’s secure boot mechanism:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/04/vbootkit/

Vista takes longer to boot than XP did:

http://computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9015905&intsrc=hm_list

Vista security questioned after ANI exploit:

http://computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9015899&intsrc=hm_list

Vista firewall fails on outbound security:

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9010678

Microsoft accused of deceptive marketing about Vista:

http://computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&taxonomyName=standards_and_legal_issues&articleId=9015500&taxonomyId=146

I’m not looking for bad news, but it seems to be everywhere. The only good news I can find are instances where Microsoft is patting itself on the back for doing such a good job with Vista:

Microsoft issues Vista security scorecard, gives itself an A-plus (Computerworld)

NSA Helped Microsoft Set Security for Vista

…and so on.

Pragmatically: I want Vista to succeed. I have written an e-book about Vista, and the success of my book is tied to the success of Vista.

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One thought on “Vista bashing, or just the facts?

  1. cquinnd

    The first item you list requires physical access to the machine, and was developed using an monitoring effort on a previous beta that has not been proven to affect the RTM version of Vista. It was also not clear from the article if this research was done on both 64 and 32 bit versions, and if the Address Space Layout Randomization feature would have any effect on such research in the future.

    The number two item is hit and miss, you can find just as many reports from people who experience faster booting with Vista than with XP.

    Vista was better protected against the .ani exploit than previous versions of windows, in part due to improvements to the security model of the OS. That such an exploit came to light, indicates that there are some legacy issues that may still affect vista as well as previous versions of windows; but should also be noted that the additional protections in place did help prevent vista from being more vulnerable to this issue than otherwise might have been reported. Raising awareness of those other protections can help to minimize the impact that such issues can have on windows in the future, just as your ebook attempts to do.

    There appear to be a couple of inaccuracies in the article about the firewall’s outbound security. The author apparently did not look at the default profiles above the outbound rules and the ability to make a wider changes to those settings by adjusting the profile. Nor did he seem to look into the options available through group policy editor for managing the firewall. Granted, Microsoft should have made the ability to adjust the firewall a little more intuitive, or provided a link from the standard firewall settings to the more advanced settings. A further example of this can be found at http://searchwindowssecurity.techtarget.com/tip/0,289483,sid45_gci1217062,00.html

    It seems that it is the charges of the lawsuit that are deceptive. Microsoft provided clear guidelines of the difference between vista capable and vista premium ready PCs to PC manufacturers prior to launch. If a vista capable PC was sold the specifications that did not match the minimum hardware requirements, then the case could be made to charge that PC manufacturer with deceptive practice, but not Microsoft. Microsoft could be criticized for not providing a clear distinction between ” vista capable” and “vista ready” PC specifications; but the whole idea behind “vista capable” was to provide a minimum standard of performance, where the system hardware and software could both be upgraded at a later time if necessary. I think the idea being, that any new system that could run vista home basic, would simply be a stripped down version of the same PC that could run home premium or higher, and thus could be easily converted either from the manufacturer or through third party upgrades.

    There’s plenty of good news about Windows Vista available, what you’re seeing is not necessarily bashing, but it is an example of the interest in reporting news that is different from the expected promotional marketing done as part of the vista launch. This is similar to the period just after windows XP launched, when there was a lot of in grained resistance to moving into a new platform before clear examples of improved driver support and applications were available outside the standard press and marketing avenues. Assuming that the manufacturers of new hardware and software, are able to deliver on the advantages given by the new code based in vista, then we should see more more positive examples of the successful adoption of vista in the coming months.

    Part of the situation is Microsoft’s fault; by taking so long to delay the product in development, and losing features from the longhorn project that had been previously hyped, they raised expectations higher than they necessarily should have before the official marketing effort for the operating system. Microsoft is now in position to have to play catch up with those prior expectations, while allowing sufficient time for end users to discover the other positive aspects of the operating system.

    Reply

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