Microsoft to offer SIX (6) versions of Vista ?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Puck, Mar 3, 2006.

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  1. Starkiller

    Starkiller 9

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    Look, as long as MS pushes their own software as default programs out of the box, the vast majority of windows users will use them. Only about 10% of Windows users use Firefox instead of IE. And a far greater percentage use WMP and OE.

    And all of those programs allow hackers direct access into the operating system. That is a Windows security hole.

    If not, then why is it that Mac users remain almost completely safe when Windows users are so often beset with viruses and spyware? The final, obvious, word is that OS X is relatively secure while Windows is so very not...

    It's great that some people know to use non-MS programs and to use the right anti-spyware and -virus software but normal computer users don't have a clue about any of that. They expect that when they buy a computer it will have everything they need to run well out of the box (at least so much as a TV or a car). Apple provides that level of quality and service. Microsoft and PC hardware companies do not.
  2. Gunny

    Gunny Lord and Master Tip Jar Donor

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    Is it just me or does that guy have some anger issues?
  3. Vigsted

    Vigsted Starter

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    You answered that yourself a couple of pages back. 95% of all viruses and malware is created for Windows, because it's the dominant OS. If OSX was the dominant OS, the tables would be turned. I could easily write a program that would mess up your Mac if you were to execute it (provided I had an API reference).

    The problem many people have is that IE and Outlook in particular have been bad at executing malicious code contained in webpages and emails without the users knowledge. Now that's not the Windows fault, since Windows can't tell the users intentions. For instance, to Windows a trojan horse looks exactly the same as P2P Progams or even multiplayer games. The only thing preventing Trojans is the higher level application and the user not executing unsafe code. This holds true for all OS's.

    True and I never argued that, but that doesn't change that the standalone "application" that is Windows, is not as bad as many people think, it's actually very good.
  4. avvie

    avvie Ke ali'i o na okole Tip Jar Donor

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    Well, let's see...I used Firefox, Earthlink web mail, and Musicmatch jukebox. I never used messenger or Office.
    Still didn't work.
  5. avvie

    avvie Ke ali'i o na okole Tip Jar Donor

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    Must be a German thing.
  6. Vigsted

    Vigsted Starter

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    What problem did you have?
  7. Starkiller

    Starkiller 9

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    Wrong. I said that about 95% of the market was Windows, which is about 20:1. As far as viruses go, it is 1000:1 which is a completely disproportionate to the Windows:Mac ratio. That fact just proves that Windows is far more insecure, apparently about 50 times as much based on that math.

    Then why it is that Windows allows the installation of arbitrary code? Are you trying to tell me that a supposedly secure operating system would allow any code to run and any software to be installed directly into itself?

    OS X doesn't let any program alter secured system files without the user approving it first. Apple had to patch a few specific security holes through that wall there themselves in the last few months, but Windows allows almost anything.

    Your problem here is that Windows is not a "standalone application". Every other app that runs with it has full access to its inner workings. And the fact that the bundled programs that come with it are full of holes themselves makes Windows that much more vulnerable.
  8. Vigsted

    Vigsted Starter

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    Just because there's a 20:1 ratio as far as marketshare goes, doesn't mean theres a 20:1 to ratio in applications developed for it. What is the ratio for games for instance? I'd bet you for every 1 Mac game, there's a 100 Windows games. So the fact that you see more viruses targeting Windows is primarily because it's in wider use, and people who write viruses want to hit as many as possible.

    You can't alter Windows secured system files either as long as Windows is running. However you're free to delete and modify any nonsecure file. It you weren't you wouldn't be able to install or uninstall progams. The only way to alter system files is during boot and that usually requires infecting the bootsector or BIOS, which is outside of Windows domain.

    If you have concrete examples of actual Windows files being infected I'd like to know.

    Umm... the fundamental requirement of an OS is that applications have access to it. Otherwise it servers no purpose.

    And again, if you have concrete examples of how applications have access to parts of Windows they have no business accessing, I'd like to know.
  9. Starkiller

    Starkiller 9

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    I'm sure it's a bit more than 20:1, but I seriously doubt it's 100:1.

    Either way, the ratio for Mac software versus Windows software should be roughly equal to the hardware all things being even. That's why the "malware market", if you will, doesn't follow that ratio. Because Windows is so easy to infect, hackers tend to ignore OS X. Not just because there are 20x more PCs, but because they are far easier to inflict damage on.

    It's no like there are only 1000 Macs in the world. 5% of the global computer marketplace is still a huge number. If virus writers could tap that market, they would. They have targeted OS X when holes have shown up, but Apple has patched the few that became public in recent months.

    That's not true. Viruses infect critical windows files all the time, so don't try and tell me that it's not easy to do. Registry settings get hacked. DLLs get infected. Spyware gets installed at will. This is script-kiddie stuff.

    That kind of stuff doesn't happen on a Mac without the user specifically allowing it by manually entering a password.

    No, apps don't need access to alter system files in normal situations. That's the biggest reason OS X is secure and Windows isn't. Windows programs have access to modify system files almost at will. OSX apps don't have such access unless the user OKs it.
  10. Vigsted

    Vigsted Starter

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    For one you give virus authors more credit then they're due, they target whatever they can hit the most the fastest, since it takes time to write something new for relatively small Mac market, it happens rarely. Also remember that somewhere between 50-90% of viruses and malware are just copycats, you rarely see something genuinely new.
    Secondly, which system files get infected? A DLL is just a linked library, it can belong to any application, and are often needed to be updated or removed as part of application maintainance.
    Windows has it's own share of DLL's and these are often protected (certainly the system critical ones are). I actually just tried to modify some of them, and they were promptly overwritten by proper versions.

    I agree that one improvement in Windows would be to prompt the use everytime code is executed, especially if it attempts to modify files or the registry. Just like it does if applications are trying to access the internet. However I think MS believes it will be an inconvenience for the average user.

    I didn't say it needs access to change system files. I said it needs access to the OS functionality, process handling, file operations, etc. But I still maintain that you can't alter critical system files as long as Windows is running, because they are locked. Non-critical files you can change though.
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