What's wrong? Having trouble breaking Vista?
Written by Gordon Fecyk, 3/28/2007
WHERE TO BEGIN? During my absence from this site, I've watched the adoption of Windows Vista from a distance, and even from out there, things aren't pretty.
Let's start with: Security watchers lambaste Vista. According to Virus Bulletin Magazine:
Vista cannot fend off today's malware without help from security products.
Since Virus Bulletin Magazine makes its money from anti-virus vendor sponsorships, I'll guess that they can't pay their staff without making such a statement.
While I can't make such a statement either, since I haven't deployed Vista (Now there's irony for you! And it's not because of security reasons either!) I can say that Windows XP is more than capable of fending off today's malware. As is Windows 2000. By extension, I'll predict that Vista is just as capable of doing so.
But that's not the point of the VB100 tests. Their real point?
Microsoft's own anti-virus product, Live OneCare, is among four anti-virus testing products that failed to reach the [VB100 certification] standard required for approval. McAfee's VirusScan anti-virus software also failed. Eleven of fifteen [anti-virus] products submitted passed the tests.
Security vendors have had plenty of time to develop Vista products, so there's little excuse for the failure rates unearthed by the test.
Wow! I never thought I'd see the day when someone inside the PC security industry would blame anti-virus software for failing to do its job! Oh, sure, The Register enticed you with the catchy "lambaste Vista" title, because it seems everyone wants to see Vista crash hard just so they could blame Microsoft again. But there's no getting around what they really want to tell you.
In spite of its apparently clueless userbase, I'm still a big fan of Puzzle Pirates. Because of this, I don't like to see fellow players trash their PCs by mistake, or get caught by a virus, or whatever, so I decided to play "troll" this month to see what kind of anti-Vista attitude was out there. And oh, was there quite a bit...
However, the discussion was one of the most civil and controlled discussions I've dealt with in a public forum in a long time. For all of the anti-Vista attitude I found, other participants were quick to quell the obvious flaming.
I started off by acknowledging that I do not like digital rights management. I've not liked early forms copy protection that destroyed Commodore disk drives, right up to processes that could disable a computer's functionality outright. In spite of this, DRM complaints were among the loudest I've read... didn't I say from the start that I agreed with that?
After filtering that out, I still found a lot of misinformation out there.
People now have to buy new hardware, new computers, so they can run Vista.
This was a problem since the release of Windows 95. Oh sure, you could run Win95 on an Intel 386SX with 4 MB memory, but manufacturers warned new users to buy Pentium 100s with 16 MB instead.
I went into a whole tirade about obsolescence in the forum itself, so I won't repeat myself here. Suffice to say, to use the newer technology the way it's designed, you'll have to jettison the old, unsupported technology. Microsoft tried the compatibility route with Win95, and the industry eventually outgrew it.
Limited accounts are fine. Limited accounts on Windows are asinine and a disgrace to the world in general. Tons of programs in Windows will not run without admin access, because people don't generally code them for limited accounts.
My favorite. This is why the Anti-Windows Catalog exists, after all.
It's not Microsoft's fault that tons of non-Microsoft applications don't work with limited accounts on XP. Nor is it their fault that tons of non-Microsoft applications won't work with Standard accounts, or User Account Control, on Vista.
To paraphrase Virus Bulletin Magazine:
[Application] vendors have had plenty of time to develop Vista products, so there's little excuse for the failure rates unearthed by [Vista].
Activation codes for Vista can be obtained by brute force using key generator software that randomly tries a variety of 25-digit codes until it finds one that works.
Unique activation codes, or Product Keys, come with each boxed set of Vista and Windows XP, along with many other Microsoft and non-Microsoft products these days. Product keys and product activation is an anti-piracy measure, and in the United States at least, attempting to defeat an anti-piracy measure is punishable by law. They call it the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
I haven't added anything, and I have deleted all patches and updates; after working fine for a week, my verification is gone again, which means, I can't use some of the stuff on there, because it tells me I don't have a genuine Windows copy.
This was also a problem with Windows XP during Service Pack 2's release:
According to Microsoft, Internet Activation will no longer be available for systems bought from the top 20 computer makers starting this month. In the next quarter the ban on Internet Activation will be extended to include all pre-activated Windows PCs.
This meant, if you bought a PC with a installation of Windows XP pre-activated in the factory, Microsoft would not allow anyone to activate it through the Internet... presumably since it was activated at the factory. And most larger PC makers include customized recovery disks with pre-activated installations, so there should not be a need to re-activate a factory-activated product key. Presumably, Vista has even stronger protection against reusing factory-activated product keys.
Apparently, this is also Microsoft's fault:
So....You buy a computer online to save money. Someone else screws you out of being able to use your operating system. Yes, M$ strikes again!
Yes, if you buy a computer online from a less-than-reputable company that uses leaked product keys or brute-forced product keys, you too can blame Microsoft for someone else stealing the license you paid for. Only in the software industry, folks, can you blame Microsoft for some one else's crime!
Windows Vista suffers from a bug that causes many machines to stall while deleting, copying and moving files, a flaw that has provoked consternation in online forums.
Oh, how the venom just flows:
The O/S is so horribly written and bloated with un-needed features that no matter how fast your computer is it can never possibly process the system calls and manage file handles fast enough for Windows Vista to provide the user with a timely interaction experience.
Man, you can smell the Testosterone coming from that forum! These are people who waited days and days for serious, destructive vulnerabilities in Vista, and this is the best they can find? But it's good enough! Now they can release all of that bottled anger!
I can't envy Microsoft. They have the worst public relations in the software industry. They could have held Vista back for another year, caught this one little bug, and they still wouldn't have gotten it right! Poor Steve...
...but if this is the worst problem found in two months, it's tough to ignore that Microsoft may have actually gotten it right. And that's just not fair, is it?
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