Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 7th Jul 2006 13:28 UTC
Microsoft Microsoft plans to issue patches for 'critical' Windows and Office security problems as part of a regular update scheduled for Tuesday. The software company said in an advisory Thursday that it will issue four bulletins for Windows flaws and three for Office. At least one Windows and one Office problem are deemed 'critical', Microsoft's highest-risk category for security vulnerabilities, according to the advisory.
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Any OS is going to need critical bug fixes and updates. But with Microsoft, you get more updates and security fixes than other OS's...

I disagree -- because it depends on how you define "OS updates". Windows comprises not only a kernel but also all of the drivers and applications that ship with the product. Linux devotees tend to draw a distinction between these components -- but the fact of the matter is that, if you ship them on a CD with a distro and the packages are installable, users tend to think of them as one and the same, regardless of the technical distinctions. And, if you consider apps and drivers as part of a particular distro, then Linux has just as many (if not more) updates.

Granted, you get many of those updates faster than you would with Microsoft. But it's questionable whether businesses can consume patches with that kind of regularity. Usually, they have to stage the patched production system somewhere, test it, and then deploy after it passes some level of testing. That takes time; in fact, if I recall correctly, many of Microsoft's corporate customers told the company that they want monthly updates in order to help with their planning.

and then there's the need to reboot between patches, making it a longer process, etc.

Depends on the patch. Not all patches require a reboot.

But the real rub with Microsoft is the fact that you are paying for their software. And if you part with your hard-earned money to get something, that "something" should at least be as good as a free counterpart--if not better.

Linux isn't free -- unless your time is free. Mine isn't. There's always a cost associated with my time.

Week after week Linux shows its stability and its security by out-performing Microsoft with a cost of *free*.

See previous comment.

It wouldn't be so bad if Microsoft didn't charge so much for their software. But with Microsoft, you not only get to pay outrageous sums for mediocre software, you spend a good deal of your time messing with malware, spyware, security updates and bug fixes.

I don't spend any time messing around with malware. I don't run software contained in email attachments or unknown software from the Web. I don't mess around with updates because my machine automatically downloads and installs updates in the middle of the night. So, honestly, I fail to see why the TCO with Linux would be much better than that.

Don't get me wrong. I use Linux all the time on some of my boxes. It's a useful OS. I just don't think that its use and maintenance are free; if anything, I spend a lot of time hunting for information on problems that are readily taken care of by Windows, itself. But at least there are solutions, either way.

Reply Parent Score: 1

garymax Member since:

I can see your points but it is a little disingenuous to say that Linux isn't free unless your time is free. That argument won't hold water.

Linux is free as in cost. Microsoft's product is not. Out of the gate, there is a higher tco for windows. Even if you factor in the time element, I spend less time managing my linux box, never have to reboot after an update, and regardless of whether we're discussing the kernel or userland gui's, the amount and frequency of updates are far less and aren't as critical--usually-- than the updates for windows boxes.

Though XP is better than anything that went before it, it still falls short of Linux in terms of maintenance.

But this is just my experience.


Edited 2006-07-09 00:08

Reply Parent Score: 2

atsureki Member since:

Linux isn't free -- unless your time is free. Mine isn't. There's always a cost associated with my time.

It could just be the dentist effect, but knowing my way around both Linux and Windows, the latter seems to take a lot more of my time to set up. Install has to be attended, initial updates sometimes require four or five reboots, I have to track down settings all over the place before the interface is what I would consider even usable, and I have to download extra software by hand with IE for all sorts of basic things, like opening archives and changing more unpleasant UI defaults. On top of that, Windows frequently hits snags where an entire reinstall is necessary. This isn't necessary as often as it used to be or as often as people still think it is, but the complete lack of manual control in Windows makes it inevitable sometimes.

With most modern Linux distros, I can type one line to initiate an automatic update of every package on the system and the addition of whatever other packages I want, and then walk away and watch a movie or have lunch. That is, if it's Gentoo. If it's Debian, maybe go to the bathroom and get a drink of water. And when it's done, only on the conditions that a) there is a new kernel, and b) I want to start using it now, will I ever need to reboot.

Setting up Linux seems like it takes a long time if you're learning how to do it while you do it, but once you learn it, it's very quick. With Windows, no amount of knowledge can speed up the process. The only way to do it is to follow the wizard and then reboot the system every time.

See previous comment.

Please try to avoid goto statements in comments. Everything he said was there before you started typing. Edit and respond appropriately.

Reply Parent Score: 3