Friday, September 10, 2004

SP2 criticisms

Here's a lengthy article by David Berlind of ZDNet regarding Windows XP SP2. He makes some interesting points, which is why I'm linking to it here. One point that he refuses to make, since he tends to be a Microsoft basher, is that SP2 will make a lot of users systems out there more secure than they were before. Berlind claims at one point that SP2 is worse than doing nothing, but he's wrong. If someone out there were using XP without their Internet Firewall turned on and didn't know why they should have it turned on or why they should have a virus protection software (I know, to some of us that sounds incredulous, but the reality is that a lot of people are online these days who don't have a clue), then SP2 is better for them. I will grant Berlind that for people who don't have a clue, SP2 could lull them into a false sense of security and I'll grant him that Microsoft should be making windows secure for those people. Microsoft is getting there. On the other hand, Berlind makes the classic error that Macs and Linux is more secure because we don't see the full scale attacks. Why would anyone bother writing a virus for a Mac which represents less than 1% of the PC market? Did Berlind ignore the fact that Apple just posted patches for 11 security holes? As far as Linux goes, it can be more secure, but only if one takes the same steps as I would take to lock down a machine running Windows. *shrug* And once again, why write a virus for a relatively paltry number of machines running Linux? In any case, it's still a good read and not all of his points are invalid.

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