Uhh.. Bill? Stop moving your mouth.
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  1. #1
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Uhh.. Bill? Stop moving your mouth.

    Ok. This will probably start some of that old war of OS versus OS but there are some things that are rather questionable with Gates' comments:

    Source: InfoWorld

    Bill Gates: We were first, we were best, we are more secure
    Filed under: Microsoft Bill Gates comes out beating his chest in this at times fascinating Newsweek article. Worth a read by everyone who thought they knew which operating system is more secure, among other things. Here are a few of my favorite excepts:
    NEWSWEEK: If one of our readers confronted you in a CompUSA and said, �Bill, why upgrade to Vista?� what would be your elevator pitch? Bill Gates: The most effective thing would be if I could sit down with them and just take them through the new look for a couple of minutes, show them the Sidebar, show them the way the search lets you go through lots of things, including lots of photos. Set up a parental control. And then I might edit a high-definition movie and make a little DVD that's got photos. As I went through, they'd think, �Wow, is that something I could use, would that make a difference for me?�
    I guess it's been a long time since Bill Gates has had to do an elevator pitch, because that's a really lame answer to an important question. Everything he mentions involves things that were reasonably easy on Windows XP (and arguably are done better on the Mac, but that's a separate question). I would have talked through the self-discovery of wireless networks (which is nightmarish on any operating system for the average consumer), and things like that. Based on his response, Vista is not worth buying. If you do buy (and I plan to, btw - there are soccer sites that only work with Windows for some mind-boggling reason), here's what Gates thinks of the upgrade feasibility:
    How about the implication that you need surgery [in Apple's commercials] to upgrade? Well, certainly we've done a better job letting you upgrade on the hardware than our competitors have done. You can choose to buy a new machine, or you can choose to do an upgrade. And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it�s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say? Does honesty matter in these things, or if you're really cool, that means you get to be a lying person whenever you feel like it? There's not even the slightest shred of truth to it.
    I'm not sure what planet Gates lives on (he can afford to buy several), but his comment is patently untrue, or at least, shows a very poor memory. Look: I don't think the Windows upgrade process is as bad as Walt Mossberg thinks, but what you get after upgrading is...performance poverty unless you have a new machine. Is this Microsoft's fault? Not really.
    It's Microsoft's job to make the best software it can, and the world can upgrade (or not) its hardware to keep up. This probably means that a lot of XP users are going to be very unhappy with their Vista upgrade, as Zack humorously notes (and in this picture taken from his blog). But they'll get over it. When they get another $1000 to buy a new machine. :-)

    But it's certainly not true that it's harder to upgrade a Mac - it's mind-numbingly easy. (Upgrade a Linux machine? Not so easy for the average person. But then, the average person generally isn't using Linux, so a comparison to it by Gates is immaterial.)
    But perhaps the best comment (which obviously came from a riled Gates) was this one:
    In many of the Vista reviews, even the positive ones, people note that some Vista features are already in the Mac operating system. You can go through and look at who showed any of these things first, if you care about the facts. If you just want to say, "Steve Jobs invented the world, and then the rest of us came along," that's fine. If you�re interested, [Vista development chief] Jim Allchin will be glad to educate you feature by feature what the truth is. I mean, it�s fascinating, maybe we shouldn't have showed so publicly the stuff we were doing, because we knew how long the new security base was going to take us to get done. Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine. So, yes, it took us longer, and they had what we were doing, user interface-wise. Let�s be realistic, who came up with [the] file, edit, view, help [menu bar]? Do you want to go back to the original Mac and think about where those interface concepts came from?
    I wish I knew these "security guys" who find the Mac easy to hack and Windows impenetrable, but I admit I don't know them. And I didn't know that Microsoft had innovated everything which Apple eventually copied.... Perhaps I don't know these things because they're simply not true.
    What is true is that Windows has a 90%+ market share. Why can't Gates be happy with that? I'm sure he is most of the time, but he sure comes across as grouchy about Apple in this interview. I think Apple makes better systems; Microsoft has the market share to allow it believe very differently.
    I think that market share is starting to erode. A larger and larger percentage of people I know have Macs now. So maybe it will matter to be "cool." But for now, Gates' "cool" is in the form of tens of billions of dollars in sales. That's pretty cool.

    Seriously. A **FULL** Mac OS exploit a day?? I must have missed it somewhere. I know I haven't seen much on Full Disclosure but perhaps I've been looking more for virtualization exploits. :P Keep in mind, I'm not saying that OS X is 100% secure. Like any system, it does get back to the person that runs the OS but .. seriously. Some of these comments are laughable. Is he in the same IT world as the rest of us??




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  2. #2
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    Into my shop today at noon walks a fine young man. He has a problem.

    "I just installed Windows Vista Basic on my machine, and now it won't see my sound card or my network card. Can you fix it?"

    Serious answer:

    "I'm sorry you're having issues with Windows Vista. As you know it's a new operating system. Unfortunately there are programs required by your computer to run certain pieces of hardware within it. These programs are called drivers. Without having these drivers present Windows Vista will have no way of making them work. I'm very sorry to say that we have no Windows Vista drivers in stock, but I can check on the internet to see if there are any available for your machine. (I did, there weren't. An hour later we were down to: ) "Sir, I'm terribly sorry, but there are no updated drivers for your hardware that will work with Windows Vista. My suggestion is that you restore your machine to Windows XP until Vista comes out with service pack one, which will most likely contain your drivers." "But Vista said my machine was compatible!"

    Expect to see this in your shop, A LOT, as people begin upgrading to Windows Vista. You'd think they'd bundle more nic drivers in with it at least so folks could get updates on everything else from online eh?

    Sorry Bill, you crapped out again.
    Even a broken watch is correct twice a day.

    Which coder said that nobody could outcode Microsoft in their own OS? Write a bit and make a fortune!

  3. #3
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    MSM: Last month (Jan 07) was the Month of Apple Bugs:
    http://projects.info-pull.com/moab/

    So, if that interview was done in January, then he would be right. Everyday there was a exploit/bug released for Apple. He should have clarified that a bit. He made it seem like everyday, every month it is being exploited.

    |3lack|ce: My father called me this morning asking me about upgrading his machines to Vista. I told him that he was braver than me and that I was not going to install it on my machines until at least SP1. I told him I would consider getting a machine OEM that had everything working already. He really didn't have a good reason to upgrade either.
    Last edited by phishphreek; February 4th, 2007 at 02:57 AM.
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  4. #4
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    from what I have read, most of the exploits were for 3rd party software that also affected Windows and Linux... this was on /. so I cannot say for certain that this is true... but worth checking into...
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  5. #5
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    Hey Hey,

    I think that MS has finally done something write with Vista... I enjoy OS X (I'm typing this post on OS X) but it has it's flaws that even the "IT type Folks" who run Macs seem to "ignore".... I've got a Mac Mini... the 1.42Ghz PPC Version... Now if I had a 1.42Ghz PC with 512MB of RAM it would run WinXP (which came out at roughly the same time as OS X) without a problem... this thing chugs away at OS X... It's slow and sluggish.... Games that have specs of 600Mhz in PC land, will barely run under OS X... (Native cross-platform games)... I had an Athlon XP 2500+ Previously (~1.8Ghz)... I could run a couple VMs and still do my day to day work... With OS X I'm lucky if I can start Virtual PC..

    Vista as hefty requirements but so does OS X... Also we have to remember how many revisions of OS X we've gone through and I don't consider 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4 to be service pack levels... to me they're each a new OS.. After all software requires certain levels of OS X in order to run... Mac has successfully convinced the user that it's running on the same OS that it ran on in 2001... which isn't true...

    Vista is rather secure.... so secure that people have to come up with fake vulnerabilities (http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=416)... I've seen Vista with and without it's Visual affects... they definitely make it much prettier than OS X...

    Something Gates mentioned was the Search feature... It blows away spotlight... spotlight is a piece of **** that on occasion returns 0 results or takes 10-15 minutes... Search on Vista is quite fast.

    We could talk configurability.... The Vista (and XP) GUIs provide much more access to configuration options than OS X.... You can now modify all start-up items in Vista from the Control Panel.. OS X still doesn't have GUI support for this. Vista's automatic network discovery and naming of various networks is a great feature... The preconfiguration of network settings based on whether you identify the new network as private or public is also a great addition...

    I do have my beefs.. I've taken performance hits.. my 2Ghz, 1GB RAM, 128MB ATI FireGL laptop has a hard time playing a game based off the quake 3 engine at 1024 x 768... but so does my 2.8Ghz, 1GB RAM, nVidia card desktop running XP...

    Vista is a huge step forward.... the beneficial features are numerous and I'm glad to see that it's happened... Sure a lot of it's features may be based off what OS X offered (But come on.. OS X --> Applications (Doesn't it remind you a little of Windows 3.1)) but that's what you do.. you look at the competition, you take what they have and you improve it... It happens in every market, so why not this one....

    Being a regular user of all the major operating sytems (and having OS X on my primary computer at home)... and now running Vista on my laptop... I have to say that the so called OS X vs Vista battle doesn't exist... OS X can't compare... and Vista wins hands down.

    [Edit] While I'm quite against MoAB (I think it was just an attention grabber and I wasn't impressed with the vulns that were released).. There were a few that were cross platform (VLC for one and a PDF one).. there were others that were cross platform.. but the flaw was in an Apple product (Quicktime)... The remainder were file system, kernel and software related vulns affecting OS X or Third Party Apps for OS X.
    [/Edit]
    Last edited by HTRegz; February 4th, 2007 at 03:36 AM.
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  6. #6
    Dissident 4dm1n brokencrow's Avatar
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    I'm with you phishphreek; it'll be a while 'til I run Vista. In large part
    because I run hand-me-down hardware I inherit from customers and
    clients. I can get XP to sing on a 500mhz, 512mb PIII Thinkpad. From
    everything I've read, I can't imagine getting Vista to run on my latest
    piece of hardware, a two-year-old Toshiba Satellite (2.4ghz P4, 700+
    ram, shared video).

    It's funny; I've gone corporate (never thought I'd do that). Been working
    on and off for some big outfits on contract (no piece of cake, a rather
    hardscrabble way to live), and to a "T", these big outfits are only now
    rolling out of Windows 2000 and into XP Pro on the desktop. Chit, this
    one I'm working at now still has a couple of legacy 3.11 boxes (!).

    The only thing driving Vista RIGHT NOW is MS's monopoly on the retail desktop market...that, and all the ID10T's that think they know something about PC's...
    “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokencrow
    I'm with you phishphreek; it'll be a while 'til I run Vista. In large part
    because I run hand-me-down hardware I inherit from customers and
    clients. I can get XP to sing on a 500mhz, 512mb PIII Thinkpad. From
    everything I've read, I can't imagine getting Vista to run on my latest
    piece of hardware, a two-year-old Toshiba Satellite (2.4ghz P4, 700+
    ram, shared video).
    Run the Vista Experience software and see what it says.. However Donna of Donna's Security Flash was running Vista on a 3 year old computer (http://dozleng.com/internetsecurity/?p=132) you aren't going to get any of the purdy visualizations but the OS should still run...

    It's funny; I've gone corporate (never thought I'd do that). Been working
    on and off for some big outfits on contract (no piece of cake, a rather
    hardscrabble way to live), and to a "T", these big outfits are only now
    rolling out of Windows 2000 and into XP Pro on the desktop. Chit, this
    one I'm working at now still has a couple of legacy 3.11 boxes (!).
    A lot of organizations are still "making the move" to XP but there are tons that have been running it for quite a while... None of them (Unless they have volume licensing that's paid for in it's entirety) are going to be pushing to make the move to Vista in the near future though... it's not cost effective..

    The only thing driving Vista RIGHT NOW is MS's monopoly on the retail desktop market...that, and all the ID10T's that think they know something about PC's...
    Based on my above post that sound sort of like a shot.... Btw considering you're in tech support.. you should really have a better understanding of Vista so that when it does start to come up you'll be on the cutting edge.. It'll be great for business.
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  8. #8
    Dissident 4dm1n brokencrow's Avatar
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    He-heh, this outfit I'm workin' at now will still be runnin' XP come 2012
    (long after I'm gone!). Gawd, they're still running Dell GX150's and will
    be for another year or two (yes, they're slowly being replaced).

    To sum up my primary gripe with Vista, it's made about 90% of the
    desktop hardware out there "obsolete" in the blink of an eye. Truly
    obsolete, as in unuseable. I feel sorry for the MS customers who bought
    new PC's recently with the promise of a free upgrade. At least that
    will make computer experts out of a handful of them...

    Yes, I'm sure I'll be perusing Vista before I know it, but it won't be
    where I'm working now. I don't think MS is going to pull the plug on
    XP in the corporate market as quickly as they are the retail market.
    I'm guessing it will still be available to corporate customers for some
    time after it's long gone from "store" shelves.
    “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers

  9. #9
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    90% still better than 100%

    To sum up my primary gripe with Vista, it's made about 90% of the
    desktop hardware out there "obsolete" in the blink of an eye.
    Just remember when Apple came out with x86-based OS X. That was a 100% of desktop hardware made obsolete. As I understand it, you could turn down the effects in Vista to make it run on older hardware without the pretty Aero look.

    Anyhow, I'm excited about Vista. As many of you have pointed out, it's a step in the right direction. But, I'm a coward too, and will be slow in adopting it at least until the company I work for does so.

    This will also probably be the first MS product I will buy since my dad bought me Visual Basic 3.0 about 13 years ago, heh I was (very) young and stupid...

    What I find especially interesting is the fact that Bill Gates is responding to Apple's criticism. If I held 90% of market share, I wouldn't even grace Newsweek with a response to those questions, let alone respond in a way that he did. Now, he has acknowledged that Jobs got under his skin, and gives Apple more ammunition. I would really hate for MS to start a public flamewar and stoop to Apple's level, because it won't be pretty for anyone involved.

    --ik

    P.S. It's good to be back -- my corporate firewall is preventing access to AO (which is really a shame, since I get a lot of work-related useful information from here) which is why I haven't been here for a very, very long time.
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