Microsoft has fallen foul of the European Commission yet again over plans for its Vista operating system. The European Commission is concerned that the tech giant's plans to include certain security features in its new operating system goes against competition regulations, mainly that the included security features will lock …
Decouple or die!
I have no problem with Microsoft providing basic security services in Vista or any version of Windows -- but they should (be forced (by the EC) to) include them in a documented, modular way so that any consumer/customer can replace these functions in full (not the old "you can turn if off (provided you can find the deep, deep hidden butons) but it's still there working its black magic" trick) by any 3rd party tool.
If Microsoft wants to compete in the open world, they'd damn well better open up their OS to independent developers - or get slapped down with increasingly bigger fines.
The same goes for any of Windows extra-OS features such a media players, browsers, email programs, IM clients, etc. -- to release a willfully crippled product "to comply with regulations" is bunk - that just proves they're just out to subvert their punishment into another moneymaker.
Open Your Eyes to Reality!
I cannot understaand such an Ostrich-like opinion as you have just expressed. In the REAL World there are many of us Computer Professionals as well as countless 'enlightened' amateur computer users, who have become sick and tired of all the work and hassle caused to us by Microsoft's very poor record in the Security Field. They have only ever paid lip-service to secure programming, and to have to pay for, or if it is free, to be forced to accept their idea of a Security Program from Microsoft, which let us face it, is mainly needed because they have to keep fixing their own programming faults, is quite simply, unacceptable!!! I prefer to exercise my Right to chose whichever Security Program from whichever Software Company I decide is the best - and that word 'best' usually means Microsoft is automatically excluded. A Monopoly as big as Microsoft, which seems to think it has the Right to challenge elected Governments, is too powerful, aand MUST be controlled - and fined heavily, if necessary!
Hang-on a minute!
I'm getting a little bit miffed with the EU Commission.
I would actually quite like an OS that has built-in virus checking, built-in security features, built-in media players, built-in PDF exporters/viewers, built-in e-mail clients, etc etc.
You get the idea?
Eventually, the EU may well want MS to strip out everything that's not deemed to be 'core' code required for the operation of a computer system. Where will it stop?
If this does happen, (in the name of increased competition) who will be left out-of-pocket? We the punters of course. Will MS reduce the price for its OS because its not including components that the EU deems are anti-competitive? I think not. Joe Public will have to fork out for every piece of functional software that allows someone to actually do something on a computer.
Who's interests does the EU Commission actually represent?
The Real Hamster, err, Real Computer Professional™
Nice to have a laugh at the notion of an all-singing, all-dancing OS. Everythink (an the kitchen sink -- pun fully intended, thank you) built right in, sitting there, pleading allegiance to the devoted user, who himself is bathing in his cosy belief that all what's in works well, works on end, needs no upgrades, no changes, nuffink.
How nice. How silly.
At first, it is the content we choose. Then it is a tool - browser, or text editor, or else. Then it is the concept of a platform for the tool for the work with the content we choose.
Of course, it works this way only for those who decided to learn by trial-and-error. For the rest of us it starts with the platform, and goes down from there.
But you cannot step down and go up at the same time.
Users who need tools that just work are advised to choose them sanely, and not to prescribe which platform should comprise what. If you buy a car, you do not try to macadamize the neighbourhood. Comprendre?
OTOH, the system architects who build the platform a user is supposed to buy and enjoy are advised to abstain from prescribing the user which way to go or, even worse, in which vehicle to go. A system is never secondary to an application, so starting a row about this fizzucking media player (or any other piece of an app) instead of deleting quietly the crap violates the very foundation of system engineering.
Like the Samba docs being used @MS in situ of their own documentation.
Though I am slightly sceptical about the whole EU, and often enraged about how it 'works' -- this time the dames and lords of the Commission have done a good job. A system is a system is a system, and no consumer application should ever be an argument for it or against it.
What bothers me is the fact that MS plays the old tune again, FUDing the public into angst of an insecure OS due to removal of the funny media app. My ass, Micros~1.
Ever since the successful port of VMS to Intel the Microsoft NT has its merits. Be it NT 4.0, NT5.0 or NT5.2 -- they all are strong and functional; even on a server. This is quite a feat, and MS rightly deserves every credit for it.
Bickering about Player (did so. said 'Game Loader'? -- sure, sir, but we are on another level now) does not fit into this formidable legacy.
So what would be the best practice for Microsoft regarding the player, security and documentation?
1. Just dump it.
2. Step up the security.
2. Document all changes done.
The third deed seems to be the hardest one.