“Windows XP is turning five years old, but will anybody want to celebrate the occasion? Rob Pegoraro writes for The Washington Post. “In that time, this software has been Microsoft’s most successful release ever in terms of sales. The research firm IDC estimates that about 485 million copies of XP, excluding pirated versions, had been installed by the middle of this year.”
Pegoraro writes, “But XP has also become an apt demonstration of the difference between ‘popular’ and ‘widely used.’ People use XP but don’t love it. Why should they?”
“This operating system has needed a steady diet of patches to stay close to healthy… You can think of Windows XP as a house with a second floor built of spackle, wood filler and duct tape,” Pegoraro writes. “And even with all those updates, the operating system has met only a few of its goals while falling short of others in a catastrophic manner. And it’s done so for reasons that can’t all be blamed on XP’s design or Microsoft’s own actions. That, in turn, means that its long-delayed replacement, Windows Vista — now due to ship in January — may run into the same problems.”
“Windows XP has failed its users worst at keeping them safe from viruses, worms and spyware. Service Pack 2 shut some of the worst holes, but XP still demands far more oversight than its competitors,” Pegoraro writes. “You can’t just blame that on the cockroach-like persistence of the crooks responsible for releasing all the garbage. Microsoft didn’t do its job, and that failing goes far beyond individual vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer and Outlook Express.”
“The root problem is XP’s inability to police the conduct of any program. Its default “administrator” setup grants the user and every application the run of the entire system,” Pegoraro writes. “XP represents a missed opportunity. If Microsoft had known it would be living with XP for so long, it should have pushed back its release to fix some of those problems.”
“But could it have known how bad things would get? Could anyone? The review of XP that ran under this byline five years ago never even used the word ‘security,'” Pegoraro writes. “That raises a scary thought: What’s the ugly flaw in Windows Vista that people will be screaming about in 2010, but is escaping people’s attention right now?”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Barry” for the heads up.]
MacDailyNews Take: Why bother? The future is already here; it has been for a long time now. Get a Mac today and you’ll have a safer and better personal computer with Mac OS X Tiger than Vista promises today — and you’ll have access to Microsoft’s far distant future with Mac OS X Leopard due in spring 2007. More about Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard here.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Infoworld: Microsoft’s WIndows Vista not so revolutionary after all – September 11, 2006
Microsoft’s greatest trick: convincing the public that the Wintel PC platform is open – March 06, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006
Defending Windows over Mac a sign of mental illness – December 20, 2003