“David Aucsmith is Microsoft’s security architect, and he came to London this week to ask forgiveness for his company’s former sins,” Bill Thompson writes for BBC News. “Speaking to an audience of senior police officers and security professionals at the E-Crime Congress, he admitted that when Windows 95 was released to the world it came with no security features at all.”
“Microsoft admits that it did not think about protecting users from hackers, viruses, worms and other malware. It did not worry about keeping personal data safe, or personal computers secure,” Thompson writes. “Yet the world was hardly safe in the early 1990s, at the time Windows 95 was being designed and built by Microsoft’s developers, including the great software architect himself, Bill Gates. There were viruses.”
Thompson writes, “Getting security right did not matter to Microsoft when users did not seem care about it, but it matters now because it could give individuals, organisations and governments a reason to move from Microsoft’s operating system to another, whether Mac OS or a Unix variant. And if Microsoft no longer provides the operating system, everyone has far less reason to buy their application software, even if it would run on top of the alternative platform.”
“There are good reasons why Unix – and Mac OS, which is now built on top of a version of Unix – is more secure and less prone to virus attack than Windows. Perhaps the most significant is that Unix was designed from the start as a multi-user system on which files and programs belonging to different people would need to be kept separate from one another, and this gives it a security model which has evolved to meet new challenges. But this also provides a model which Microsoft can emulate in its new releases of Windows, under development today,” Thompson writes.
Full article here.