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Microsoft GripesMicrosoft makes computer software and mice
spyware by me on my CNET Defensive Computing blog. September 13, 2007.
Microsoft can and will update your copy of Windows whenever they feel like it, regardless of your wishes.
And, they feel no obligation to tell you what they've done. Your computer is just a zombie to them.
I followed this up with Defending yourself against Microsoft on September 14, 2007 which is about turning off automatic updates.
The big guys try to take advantage of unaware consumers. Microsoft, McAfee, Symantec charge cards repeatedly By Scott Dunn in the May 17, 2007 edition of the Windows Secrets newsletter.
Random People Creating Value by Jeff Matthews March 19, 2007. Quoting: "...the more I read of the iPod-avoiding, Google-bashing Mr. Ballmer’s pronouncements on Where the World is Heading and How Microsoft Plans to Get its Mo Back, the more I think Mr. Ballmer is the obstacle rather than the solution to Microsoft’s problem ... how much longer the shareholders of Microsoft will put up with a CEO who won’t allow his children to use an iPod or do a Google search. Such a blinders-on, head-in-the-sand, not-invented-here mindset has heretofore been more closely associated with Detroit, where auto executives drive only their own company’s best cars. Small wonder the bigs at GM, Ford and Chrysler failed to grasp, before it was too late, the quality and innovation that allowed Toyota and other imports to eat their collective lunch. Apparently, Redmond is now the New Detroit."
It's good to be a monopoly. February 21, 2007. By me from my blog. For quite a while now Microsoft has been releasing bug fixes once a month, on the second Tuesday of the month. Techies refer to this as Patch Tuesday. They used to release bug fixes as needed but that generated too much bad publicity - there were frequent high profile bug fixes. Don't think it's the publicity? Then why were bug fixes renamed "patches" and then renamed again to "updates".
Now the bad guys have learned to use Microsoft's avoidance of bad publicity to their benefit. They start exploiting newly found bugs the day after Patch Tuesday. This way, they get a full month to wreak havoc before Microsoft issues a fix. At least a month, sometimes more. While the cat's away the mice will play. Let's review:
Guess who loses in this arrangement?
"As of July 12, all Microsoft public and technical support for Windows 98, Windows 98 SE and Windows ME comes to an end. No more security patches for you. Goodbye and good luck. ... I accept that all products have a use-by date. However what gets me angry though is Microsoft pulling support for fixes before the product expiry date. Pragmatic perhaps, but also arrogant and dismissive of its customers." From Gizmo Richard's Support Alert Newsletter. June 15, 2006.
June 16, 2006 Bill Gates' Legacy: Microsoft's Top 10 Flops by Mary Jo Foley at microsoft-watch.com.
You can't buy the $6 Vista beta DVD using Firefox. On the page where you enter your mailing address a grey box overlays the form input fields. June 9, 2006.
Microsoft admits XP phones home every day
by Nick Farrell The Inquirer June 8, 2006.
Microsoft discloses that the WGA tool phones home daily Matt Mondok. June 7, 2006. Windows Genuine Advantage is spying on you.
Wipe & Rebuild PC's On A Regular Basis?
WServerNews newsletter from Sunbelt Software. April 14, 2006. Echoing the
sentiment below: "Either Redmond should hire the outside security experts it needs to come up with a secure OS, or cooperate with their development partners that have created perfectly acceptable and
workable products to protect the OS against malware and keep it running just fine."
A Whole New Ball Game: Blame Dell for Window Vista's Latest Delay, by Robert X. Cringely April 6, 2006. Quoting:
"Last week, a Microsoft data security guru suggested at a conference that corporate and government users would be wise to come up with automated processes to wipe clean hard drives and reinstall operating systems and applications periodically as a way to deal with malware infestations. What Microsoft is talking about is a utility from SysInternals, a company that makes simply awesome tools. The crying shame of this whole story is that Microsoft has given up on Windows security. They have no internal expertise to solve this problem among their 60,000-plus employees, and they apparently have no interest in looking outside for help ... their answer is to rebuild your system every few days and start over. Will Vista be any better? I don't think so."
March 27, 2006. Opinion: Windows Reorg Proves Microsoft Still Doesn't Get It by Paul Thurrott in WinInfo. Regarding the change in leadership for the Windows division (Steven Sinofsky is now in charge): "... he's the wrong person to put in charge of Windows. In fact, this reshuffling simply proves that Microsoft hasn't learned a thing from the problems its Windows division has faced over the past several years . . . The real problems with Windows still exist: The team making the product is too big, too slow, and completely unable to understand that the world has changed. The team seems not to realize that its past successes are no longer enough to ensure the future of its product."
Microsoft Won't Handle MSN Offense By Ed Foster, at The Gripelog January 10, 2006. A Microsoft spider won't leave a poor web site alone.
January 9, 2006. The WMF bug. Microsoft released a fix for the very serious WMF bug for Windows XP and Windows 2000, but not for Windows 98 or Me. What would it have cost them to do so? From everything I've read, creating the fix was very simple. They don't make money off people still using Windows 98/Me so this is one way to force an upgrade to a newer version of Windows. Then Microsoft makes money.
Also, the fix for this very serious problem was created December 28, 2005 very soon after the problem came to light. Yet, Microsoft chose not to release it until January 10, 2006 which was their normal Patch Tuesday. Why? The real reason is public relations, they didn't want headlines announcing a critical bug in Windows, let alone all versions of Windows. Eventually they got the bad publicity, but for not releasing the fix even though the problem was extremely critical. To ease that bad publicity, they opted to release the fix before Patch Tuesday.
When it was released, the problem was rated "critical" and Microsoft said to apply the fix immediately. Yet they were willing to let the world remain vulnerable for 12 days or so.
Part of Microsoft's PR spin was they had a work-around to avoid the problem. However, it only avoided the problem sometimes. The vulnerable program remained on your computer and other programs could still invoke it. The work-around was to un-register a DLL. Never mind that a malicious program could reverse this. Peter Degan also commented on the phony sense of security Microsoft PR was trying to generate. Quoting: "Microsoft says you should be careful of emails from unknown sources which sounds great and it often repeated by media who should know better. Microsoft must know that advice is of limited value."
The Evil of Silent Patches: Microsoft’s Three-Year-Old Hole by Matthew Murphy December 15, 2005. Microsoft ignores a bug in their software, then fixes it years later, but doesn't tell anyone.
Just Say No to Microsoft: How to Ditch Microsoft and Why It's Not as Hard as You Think (Paperback) by Tony Bove. Added December 21, 2005.
Paper War By Robert X. Cringely. November 10, 2005. Microsoft Is Leaking Internal Documents to Make Us Think They Have a Plan. Quoting:
"The nature of Internet services is that to be successful, they have to come at little or no cost and JUST PLAIN WORK. What Microsoft products or services would that historically describe? Certainly not Windows or Office or any of the other shrink-wrapped products. And the services? Hotmail has had more than its share of service problems compared to Yahoo Mail or GMail. MSN has had huge service and reliability problems. The fact is that Microsoft doesn't have a culture of quality or reliability and -- short of outsourcing EVERYTHING -- that isn't likely to change soon. ... Microsoft historically has never cared about the public perception of their company. Their huge legal bills show the company's willingness to push the boundaries of ethical behavior, and maybe legal behavior too. Microsoft's corporate culture is different than most companies. They are not practiced at making the "right and fair" decision, then making it happen. Most companies find a way to balance profit and be a good citizen. Not Microsoft. This just wasn't important to them.
Media Player Flaw Speaks Volumes on Microsoft Security By David Coursey in eWeek March 1, 2005. Opinion: By focusing not on the largest number of potential victims but on patching its most current software, Microsoft reveals its tendency to "encourage" customers to buy new software by letting them sway in the breeze for a while.
Microsoft vs. Wine: Deja Vu on the FUD Front By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols in eWeek. February 18, 2005. Quoting: "For years, Wine's programmers have been working on making Windows applications run on Linux and other Unix platforms. Now, Microsoft set to use its Genuine Advantage program to make it look like Wine is busted ... You can have a legal copy of Microsoft Office, and because you choose to run it on a Linux box using Wine, you won't be able to update it."
Microsoft Shows Its IBMness by Scot Finnie, TechWeb.com January 4, 2005. Quoting: "Microsoft, it seems, has lost the very thing that got it where it is: Its ability to compete and win. Now that it has largely won many of the marketplaces it targeted initially, it's increasingly neglecting those markets in favor of new areas that it really doesn't have much expertise in: online, set-top boxes, gaming boxes, digital media, and lots and lots of enterprise applications."
The Fox Is in Microsoft's Henhouse (and Salivating) by Randall Stross in the New York Times December 19, 2004. An article about Firefox that includes a few Microsoft gripes such as the fact that the improved and more secure version of IE is only available to Windows XP users. In response to this, Microsoft says to get a new computer.
Oops. Quoting Microsoft: After you set up Microsoft Windows Firewall in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), you may discover that your computer can be accessed by anyone on the Internet when you use a dial-up connection to connect to the Internet. December 14, 2004. See too 'Critical' XP SP2 Update Fixes Windows Firewall Bug in eWeek. December 16, 2004
Once again, Microsoft buys its way out of trouble By Dan Gillmor Mercury News November 14, 2004. "When governments fail to enforce the rules of capitalism, monopoly profits can buy one's way out of almost any kind of trouble. When the Bush administration made its odious deal to let Microsoft off the legal hook in 2001, it was giving the company an essentially free pass to do whatever it wishes in the future."
The Chris Phillips Deal Did Microsoft Lie to the Department of Justice? Maybe So By Robert X. Cringely October 7, 2004. Quoting: "...the news from recently unsealed court documents is that Microsoft may have deliberately lied not only to Burst, but also to the other anti-trust litigants right up to and including the U.S. Department of Justice."
When Microsoft Can't Do Windows Business Week Magazine September 2004. The article is about the delay in the next version of Windows, currently known as Longhorn. Quoting: "The Longhorn mess points to a recurring problem at Microsoft: Hype often gets way ahead of the company's computer science ... With Longhorn, as with other past products, Microsoft talked up a technology it couldn't quite deliver" .
What a Tangled Web I Wove
By Kathleen Day in the Washington Post August 15, 2004. The author's computer
was infected with Spyware and she needed advice from Microsoft.
"I wondered if maybe some of the programs I was trying to kill weren't really Spyware but something essential to Windows that I shouldn't try to delete. I called Microsoft and was passed from operator to operator as I asked where I could find a list of legitimate Microsoft applications so I would know what to kill and what to leave alone. But the only response I got from one person after another -- most of them in foreign tech-support centers like those in India I had been reading so much about lately -- was that I needed to go to Microsoft's online sales. After 45 minutes of this, I hung up. Then I gave up. I actually stood up and walked away from my computer."
Microsoft, Spend Your Money! by John C. Dvorak in PC Magazine. June 22, 2004. Quoting: "With billions and billions of dollars, why can't Microsoft fix its software? This is not some suffering little Podunk company about to go broke selling faulty software. Microsoft has all the monetary resources in the world and over 20,000 programmers. And it's not as if the company is giving the software away ... Microsoft has one of the highest profit margins in the world, yet with all these profits it chooses to add features to its software in an effort to sell more, rather than fixing the problems that already exist in each and every package it sells."
Shameless by Frank Hayes in ComputerWorld May 3, 2004. Microsoft recently issued a patch for a security hole in every version of Windows NT and XP Pro that has shipped since Windows NT 4.0 in 1996. It took Microsoft almost eight years to find and fix this bug. The author blames this on Microsoft product development policies that border on malpractice. Quoting: "A buffer overrun isn't a subtle bug, and it's not hard to spot -- if you're looking. But Microsoft doesn't want to spend the money to carefully examine every line of code before it ships. That would just be too expensive."
Microsoft internal emails attribute customers' loyalty to the high cost of switching away from Windows Microsoft: 'We'd have been dead a long time ago without Windows APIs' by Michael Parsons of ZDNet UK. April 22, 2004.
Microsoft change? Don't hold your breath March 21, 2004 By Dan Gillmor Mercury News. Quoting: "...wide swaths of the technology community loathed the company for its repeated use of illegal tactics to stomp out nearly all competition in its markets ... The Lindows case is especially revealing, because it demonstrates yet again the anti-competitive, relentless conduct for which Microsoft became so notorious in the first place..."
Tech support heck. There once was a person running Outlook on Windows 2000 who could not send large email messages or messages with attachments. He researched the problem on Microsoft's web site only to find two problem records each one pointing to the other as the fix. He worked for a large computer company and had their internal tech support called a special Microsoft phone number for big rich companies. They got the real solution. For the average Joe, this level of support costs $1,200. That's Microsoft charging to fix to their own bug, and adding insult to injury, the bug fix 'may not work properly in all situations.' Brian's Buzz newsletter by Brian Livingston. March 11, 2004.
Microsoft users decry no bang for big bucks By John Fontana Network World, March 8, 2004. Microsoft customers who purchased Software Assurance contracts that will likely expire before the company ever ships a single software upgrade, are thinking twice about renewing those contracts when they expire in July. The article tells of a company that paid $30,000 for an expected new version of SQL Server. It was late. They got nothing for their money. If many customers drop their contracts for good Microsoft which stands to lose billions of dollars.
Microsoft takes too long to fix bugs says eEye Digital Security. 200 days to fix a broken Windows. February 13, 2004, CNET News.com. To prove it, they publish a list of bugs they found and reported to Microsoft which have not yet been fixed.
January 19, 2004. Bullying
a kid over his personal web site. Mike Rowe is a 17 year 12th grade student in
Canada. He made a web site, not called mikerowe.com but instead called mikerowesoft.com.
Sounds like Microsoft. He received a letter from Microsoft's Canadian lawyers, Smart & Biggar, informing him he was committing copyright
infringement and asking him to give up ownership of the domain. When he asked
Microsoft to purchase the domain, they offered him ten dollars. Ten dollars.
Here is the Google
cache of the site.
Microsoft Takes on Teen Over Web Site The Associated Press.
A Tale Of Two Michaels by Rupert Goodwins of ZDNet UK January 20, 2004
Microsoft Must Move On eWEEK January 5, 2004 Recently, the company has been engaging in behaviors that evoke the Microsoft of old.
Israel Stops Buying Microsoft Software The Associated Press. December 30, 2003. In an apparent showdown over price, Israel's government has suspended purchases of Microsoft Office. Government agencies will use existing copies of Office products rather than upgrade to newer versions. Sun Microsystems and IBM are designing a Hebrew language version of Open Office, a free open-source alternative to Microsoft Office. The government was unhappy with Microsoft's refusal to sell individual Office programs. Not all departments require the entire suite of programs.
Why MS software is driving me nuts by David Coursey of ZDnet. December 1, 2003. Gripes about about error messages and more.
Natural Deselection: Not Even Microsoft Will Last Forever, but They Plan to Try November 20, 2003 by Robert X. Cringely. Excerpts: Microsoft will ... grab as much market share and profit margin as possible, squeezing everyone else out of business ... Symptomatic of this pathological need to take business from other companies, Microsoft is now in competition with the very people who recommend its products -- independent computer and software consultants ... Microsoft has always treated its partners poorly ... No amount of money is enough for Microsoft ... Microsoft is moving to monthly security updates. The next step is denying us those updates unless we pay for them, and the step after that is making our software unusable if we don't install updates that must be paid for.
Microsoft forgets to renew hotmail.co.uk domain Microsoft forgot to renew its registration for hotmail.co.uk, sending the domain name back into the pool of available names. It was snapped up immediately by a do-gooder, who then contacted Microsoft to alert it to its oversight and arrange a transfer of ownership back to the software giant. They brushed him off. Restating the matter: Microsoft screws up, someone tries to help them and they ignore the guy. The Register November 6, 2003.
How Microsoft's Misunderstanding of Open Source Hurts Us All by Robert X. Cringely October 23, 2003. The article ridicules comments by Steve Ballmer regarding the Windows development methodology vs. that of Linux. Regarding the cost of owning Linux vs. Windows he says: "it is Microsoft's tech support that has been compared to the Psychic Friends Network, not Red Hat's or SuSE's. Just because Microsoft has a big support operation doesn't mean you'll actually get a solution to your problem."
proposed class-action lawsuit in California based on the claim that its
market dominant software is vulnerable to viruses. The lawsuit also claims that
Microsoft's security warnings are too complex to be understood by the general
public and serve instead to tip off "fast-moving" hackers on how to
exploit flaws in its operating system. The lawsuit claims unfair competition and
the violation of two California consumer rights laws. Reuters. October 2, 2003.
Microsoft Measured for a Brand New Suit by Cynthia L. Webb washingtonpost.com October 3, 2003. A Los Angeles woman claims that Microsoft, under a new California law, has an obligation to bolster the security of its products. One law requires businesses to warn customers when the firms believe personal information has been exposed to hackers or other unauthorized individuals. The lawsuit claims that "Microsoft's security warnings are too complex to be understood by the general public..."
Suit Holds Microsoft Responsible for Worm Holes By Jonathan Krim Washington Post October 3, 2003
Hacker victim files lawsuit blaming Microsoft security USA TODAY October 7, 2003
Can't tell the lawsuits without a scorecard. At one point, more than 130 private, class-action antitrust suits were filed against Microsoft.
You have to pay to add a web site to the MSN search engine (uses LookSmart).
Enough Already: Microsoft Must Change
By Fred Langa, InformationWeek September 28, 2003. Quoting: "...there are very real problems with the way Microsoft builds and tests software, and no amount of white papers or PR spin or windy speeches will change it."
Author of report critical of Microsoft loses job September 25, 2003. AP. Daniel E. Geer Jr., the chief technology officer for AtStake lost his job after participating on a study that disparages security gaps in Microsoft software. Microsoft-watchers see the firing as an example of Microsoft's ability to silence its critics. The Justice Department struggled years ago to find technology executives willing to testify against Microsoft in its antitrust trial. The sponsor of the report in question said: "It's a tragedy this happened to someone who was speaking in the interest of national security." AtStake has worked closely with Microsoft in the past.
Microsoft monoculture allows virus spread NewScientist.com news service September 25, 2003. The security problems created by Microsoft are a direct result of the company's business practices. The company’s systems are designed to keep out competitors rather than intruders says the report.
Microsoft: National Security Threat? By Roy Mark September 25, 2003 Internet.com
Should Microsoft be liable for bugs? Consumer advocates argue software makers should pay for damage from viruses. September 12, 2003. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Lawmaker blasts Microsoft over spam CNET News.com September 3, 2003. Debra Bowen, a state senator in California accused Microsoft of talking out of both sides of its mouth when it comes to spam legislation. She also said: "trusting Microsoft to protect computer users from spam is like putting telemarketers in charge of the do-not-call list."
Where Do We Go from Here? by Dan Gillmor August 31, 2003. Gripes about viruses, spam, ISPs and Microsoft. Quoting: "Microsoft has moved past its traditional lip service to take a few steps in the right direction, but it could, and should, do much more to protect us from its lousy software. (Apparently its $50 billion cash hoard is needed for more useful things, such as invading new markets and buying other companies.) Chances of Microsoft doing the right thing voluntarily: just about zero."
Stupid Microsoft Tricks Why the Richest Company on Earth Feels it Needs to Cheat By Robert X. Cringely. August 28, 2003. Still another story about Microsoft bullying a small company (see the Mouse that Roared story in Forbes cited below).
Virus Aside, Gates Says Reliability Is Greater
By John Markoff in the New York Times August 31, 2003. The author asked Bill
Gates: "The buffer overrun flaw that made the Blaster worm possible was
specifically targeted in your code reviews last year. Do you understand why the
flaw that led to Blaster escaped your detection?" Mr. Gates dodged the
question. Would not answer it. The entire world knows Microsoft screwed up and
let through a bug of the type they spent much effort finding and fixing. Yet he
can't admit it. His response was:
"Understand there have actually been fixes for all of these things before the attack took place. The challenge is that we've got to get the fixes to be automatically applied without our customers having to make a special effort."
Stream on By Robert X. Cringely August 21, 2003. Discusses the many lawsuits against Microsoft. My favorite quote: "Microsoft HATES fair competition and hates a level playing field even more. In his heart of hearts, Bill Gates feels he needs an uneven playing field and will do whatever he can to create one." Another take on the Burst lawsuit.
A story about the Blaster worm mentions that with "Trustworthy Computing" Microsoft is not supposed to have this sort of bug. Regarding their attempt at writing software with fewer bugs the article says "...experts give Microsoft mixed grades for its follow-through, saying the company hasn't changed its methods enough to avoid the kinds of flaws that make attacks by viruses and worms possible in the first place". The article says that constantly having to deal with bugs and patches is costing businesses so much money that "they are beginning to push back on companies like Microsoft". Story: "Online Worm Puts New Stress on Microsoft" in the Wall Street Journal August 15, 2003 by Robert Guth and David Bank.
Microsoft Vows To Crush The Mouse That Roared Forbes Magazine by Dan Ackman. August 12, 2003. A federal jury ruled that Microsoft should pay tiny Eolas Technologies and the University of California $521 million for infringing on their patent for sending software applications over the Internet.
Windows update gripes have been moved to their own page.
Microsoft moves U.S. jobs to India Reuters July 2, 2003. Microsoft is starting to shift U.S.-based jobs to India as it seeks to lower technical support and development costs. In November, Bill Gates visited India and said that the company would invest $400 million there over three years.
How rich is
Microsoft? Very rich. But not rich enough to provide tech support for its products in the
U.S. According to the May
27th edition of Woody's Office Watch newsletter Microsoft is sending its
technical support to India. The May
20th edition linked to this article: Microsoft Pushing Support Jobs Offshore?
By Mary Jo Foley. Quoting from the May 27th edition:
Apparently it's true that all 353 remaining US-based Office tech support jobs, which were handled by a company called Software Spectrum, are headed to India. Rumor has it that Software Spectrum offered to match the Indian offer and Microsoft turned 'em down. MS Money, Works and the games are going to India in July. Outlook and Outlook Express are going around September. The others are headed out around then, too. By the time everyone's back in school, there won't be any front-line Office tech support left in the US. Convergys (www.convergys.com) has the tech support contract for parts of Office as well as Windows XP, ME, and 9x. They moved Office support earlier this year to Canada, and Windows support has been in Canada for quite some time. Now all of that appears to be headed to India, as well.
Why Don't You and He Fight? SCO Seems to Have Lost Its Senses, and I Think Microsoft Is Behind It. By Robert X. Cringely. May 22, 2003. Quoting "Microsoft is playing the spoiler here, trying to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the community of Linux vendors and users. Microsoft can't beat Linux on price, they can't beat Linux on quality, they generally don't even beat Linux on support, so the cheapest way to compete is to be sneaky. It would not surprise me at all to learn that Microsoft is bankrolling SCO's legal case. I am not saying they are doing so, just that it would not surprise me."
Microsoft's Dumbest Moves. Patches that don't, updates that slow down, and other missteps. by Steve Bass of PC World. May 21, 2003
Lawsuit alleges consumer scam by Microsoft, Best Buy. Associated Press. May 20, 2003. The lawsuit says that after making a purchase at Best Buy in February, the customer was given a free trial CD for Internet access through Microsoft's MSN service, as part of a promotion with Microsoft. Information from the CD and the customer's credit card caused MSN to create an Internet access subscription. When the free trial period ended, MSN charged the customers account, even though he never activated a subscription.
conclusion from these two stories is: If Microsoft can't
sell their software, they will give it away to prevent the spread of Linux. For Microsoft, market dominance doesn't seem enough
International Herald Tribune. May 15, 2003. EU mulls report of Microsoft antitrust pricing
InfoWorld magazine. May 15, 2003. Related story
in Information Week magazine. PC World magazine also wrote
Update: Microsoft exhibited the exact same behavior in Thailand. When faced with competition from Linux, they decided to sell Windows and Office for a combined price of $40! In most countries, the tax is more than that. This article (Cracks seen in Microsoft pricing CNET News.com August 22, 2003) points out that Windows XP Home costs $199 and Office XP costs $399, pretty much everywhere. Everywhere, except where there is competition from Linux. They even had to translate Windows in the native language of Thailand. For more see Microsoft cuts prices in Thailand CNET News.com June 19, 2003.
How rich is Microsoft? In the fiscal quarter ending March 31, 2003 Microsoft made $30.6 million dollars a day in profit on daily revenue of $86.2 million dollars. Their cash horde increased to $46 billion. Microsoft posts modest gains April 16, 2003 Mercury News. This is not rich enough to provide tech support for its products in the U.S. According to the May 27th edition of Woody's Office Watch newsletter, Microsoft is moving technical support jobs to India.
Microsoft ad pulled by ASA. March 20, 2003. The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa has forced Microsoft to withdraw a magazine ad suggesting that Microsoft's software is secure. After reviewing the claim, they called the ad "unsubstantiated and misleading". A freelance journalist had called attention to the ad and claimed it was untrue because Microsoft software has been shown to have many vulnerabilities. The ad said: "Microsoft software is carefully designed to keep your company's valuable information in, and unauthorised people and viruses out. Which means that your data couldn't really be safer, even if you kept it in a safe..." Vnunet covered this too.
February 23, 2003. Andrew Grygus of Automation Access wrote a very long article with a ten year look at information technology and Microsoft. Called 2003 and Beyond -- Technology trends that will affect your business and how you do business it includes the following observation on Microsoft Office:
Office 2003 and Windows Sever 2003 will include a Rights Management Services feature for document security. If Microsoft can convince businesses to use this feature, Office 2003 documents will be completely unreadable by OpenOffice / StarOffice, WordPerfect Office, Lotus, and by all older versions of Microsoft Office, forcing a total upgrade of Windows, Office and the computers it runs on.
Microsoft is positioning Rights Management as technology aimed at protecting privacy and increasing security. Mary Jo Foley says that Rights Management is an attempt by Microsoft to further lock customers in by requiring them to use Windows clients, Windows servers, Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer in order to create and consume documents. From Microsoft Watch. February 25, 2003.
In a Gripe Line column in InfoWorld that reflected on 10 years of gripes, Ed Foster writes: "Microsoft is the now biggest gripe-generating machine of all, but the funny thing is, it didn't used to be. For about the first five years or so, I heard a lot of noise from the Microsoft-bashers, but little of it represented the kind of specific issues we try to deal with here ... Nowadays, any time I download my Gripe e-mail I can expect to find one or two meaty items about what they're up to in Redmond . Why the change? I don't know." Anniversary bash February 7, 2003
What does this say about their corporate mind set? Microsoft goes out of its way to insure that MSN does not look right with the Opera web browser. This is not news, they have done this before too. See a summary and links to multiple articles in Good Morning Silicon Valley for February 7, 2003.
security effort 'failing' Reuters January 31, 2003. The Trustworthy
Computing initiative has not succeeded in making Microsoft systems more secure,
says Russ Cooper of TruSecure. The recent "SQL Slammer" worm is evidence that Microsoft's year-old security push is not working.
There too many patches to keep up with and people are reluctant to install them for fear they will interfere with their systems.
In October 2002, Microsoft released a fix for a different SQL Server problem that, if installed in the expected manner, would have made patched systems vulnerable
Related story: Zeroing in on software security. February 2, 2003. Mercury News.
System administrators often fail to keep up with the steady stream of bug fixes from Microsoft. Even the system administrators at Microsoft! They failed to install their own bug fixes (in this case to SQL Server 2000) and suffered a massive infection by the SQL Slammer worm on their own internal network. Bruce Schneier of Counterpane Internet Security said: "Publicly, they are saying it's not our fault, because you should have patched. But Microsoft's own actions show that you can't reasonably expect people to be able to keep up with patches." ZDNet News. January 28, 2003.
FYI: Microsoft loses showdown in Houston By Byron Acohido, USA TODAY. January 21, 2003. The city of Houston recently heard a familiar pitch from Microsoft: Sign up for a multiyear, $12 million software licensing plan or face an audit exposing the city's use of software it hadn't paid for. Microsoft warned that the city could be slapped with stiff fines for using any Microsoft software for which it could not produce receipts. Scores of other businesses and public agencies, facing a similar dilemma, have agreed to the new licensing deals — a linchpin of Microsoft's growth strategy. Not Houston. It embraced an obscure competitor called SimDesk which delivers software over the Internet at a fraction of the cost of Microsoft's Office.
Continued . . . See older Microsoft gripes
According to Hard to Find 800 Numbers call 800-936-5700 for technical support (option 2)
Watching Microsoft Like A Hawk - Microsoft News Watch Site
These people really hate Microsoft
Windows Desktop Product Lifecycle Guidelines. Support and Availability Guidelines for Consumers. Quoting: "Provides advanced notification of planned changes in Windows desktop operating system availability and support." In English, you can see when your copy of Windows will no longer be supported by Microsoft.
I also have gripes on Microsoft product names.
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