Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Jan 2011 22:09 UTC
Windows And this is part two of the story: Microsoft has just confirmed the next version of Windows NT (referring to it as NT for clarity's sake) will be available for ARM - or more specifically, SoCs from NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. Also announced today at CES is Microsoft Office for ARM. Both Windows NT and Microsoft Office were shown running on ARM during a press conference for the fact at CES in Las Vegas.
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RE[2]: BC
by lemur2 on Thu 6th Jan 2011 09:27 UTC in reply to "RE: BC"
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

"If this turns out to be succesful, this will be the biggest binary break in the history of mankind. Microsoft delayed this for a very good reason, and that's not big/little endian ;-).

It means there is no longer value in all the "legacy" crap that runs only on windows (shareware, etc), and it means there will be a bunch of windows computers that are immune to computer viruses running around (for a while).

Viruses (in the strictest sense of the term)- perhaps, that depends on how MS handle x86 emulation (if at all).

Malware- definitely not. So long as shell scripting and other such interpreted code can still execute, malware can still be written. In fact with Office being ported to ARM, you instantly open up the problem that the same malicious VBA macros on x86 Office will work on ARM NT too. The same would be true for WSH, Powershell and even DHTML et al content.
"

Also, if Windows NT and MS Office can both be recompiled for ARM, so too can any viruses or other malware also be recompiled for ARM.

Just about the only thing that needs to be retained (in order for Windows malware to still work on ARM) is that the OS API is still Windows. This means that the same source code can still be re-compiled for a different machine architecture.

That is probably exactly what Microsoft theselves did to make MS Offcie for ARM.

In the short term Windows on ARM won't have any malware, but if Windows on ARM reaches significant usage numbers, Windows malware for ARM will very soon also start to appear.

The essential features for malware are that: (1) the API must be consistent (so that source code can be recompiled), and (2) trade secret source code with binary only executables which are routinely distributed and installed by end users.

Windows for ARM will faithfully retain those two essential elements from Windows for x86.

Edited 2011-01-06 09:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: BC
by lucas_maximus on Thu 6th Jan 2011 10:22 in reply to "RE[2]: BC"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The essential features for malware are that: (1) the API must be consistent (so that source code can be recompiled),


1) This is also a necessary for 3rd parties to write good software for a platform that can run on multiple version of the same operating system on multiple platforms.

(2) trade secret source code with binary only executables which are routinely distributed and installed by end users.


Which isn't really a problem if people download the closed source executables from a reputable source i.e. the distributor.

If you downloaded a shell script for Unix/Linux without understanding from a random site and not understanding how it worked and just ran it, it would cause havok on your system as well.

Ergo the problem is user education not the fact that it is closed source. Funnily enough as a educated user I have no problems with viruses and malware even though I use both open and closed source applications.

But you will continue to push your anti-window/anti closed source agenda at every opportunity.

Edited 2011-01-06 10:24 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: BC
by lemur2 on Thu 6th Jan 2011 11:58 in reply to "RE[3]: BC"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"The essential features for malware are that: (1) the API must be consistent (so that source code can be recompiled),


1) This is also a necessary for 3rd parties to write good software for a platform that can run on multiple version of the same operating system on multiple platforms.

(2) trade secret source code with binary only executables which are routinely distributed and installed by end users.


Which isn't really a problem if people download the closed source executables from a reputable source i.e. the distributor.

If you downloaded a shell script for Unix/Linux without understanding from a random site and not understanding how it worked and just ran it, it would cause havok on your system as well.

Ergo the problem is user education not the fact that it is closed source. Funnily enough as a educated user I have no problems with viruses and malware even though I use both open and closed source applications.

But you will continue to push your anti-window/anti closed source agenda at every opportunity.
"

There is indeed a great deal of closed-source software, which is distributed as binary executables only, which is perfectly good and functional software.

The problem is that almost all malware is also distributed as closed-source binary executables only, and that (being closed source) there is no way that anyone other than the creators of any given piece of such software can tell the difference. No amount of user education will change the fact that no-one (other than the authors of the software) can tell if a given closed-source binary executable does or does not contain new malware.

This fact is only relevant to this topic becasue someone stated that Windows for ARM would initially be free of malware, which is true, but my point is that there is nothing about ARM that would mean that this remains true for long.

It is "made-for-Windows", and "distributed via closed-source binary executables", that characterises 99% of existing malware. x86/x86_64 versus ARM really doesn't come into the picture. Just as Microsoft can fairly readily make a version of MS Office for ARM, so can malware authors also rapidly make an ARM version of their trojan malware in a similar fashion. It merely has to become worth their while.

BTW ... my agenda is merely to point out facts such as these to everybody, so they can make good decisions for themselves regarding which software they choose to run on their hardware. I make absolutely no apology for this agenda.

What exactly is your agenda in trying to disparage mine?

Edited 2011-01-06 12:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: BC
by lemur2 on Thu 6th Jan 2011 12:49 in reply to "RE[3]: BC"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

If you downloaded a shell script for Unix/Linux without understanding from a random site and not understanding how it worked and just ran it, it would cause havok on your system as well.


True (providing one goes through the step of making the script executable after downloading it).

This is an excellent reason to avoid the practice of simply downloading software from some random site, making it executable, and then running it.

Fortuantely, it is entirely possible to install and run a complete Linux desktop (open source) software ensemble without ever once having to do such a thing.

Sticking to such a process as a self-imposed policy is the one known and well-proven way to be utterly certain to completely avoid malware and yet still be able to run a complete desktop software ensemble.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: BC
by Tuishimi on Thu 6th Jan 2011 16:47 in reply to "RE[2]: BC"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

That's an interesting point.

MS has talked (in the past) about continuing efforts to cleanly break the Win32 libs from any system-level entanglement.

Maybe this will also be an opportunity to move a little farther in this direction.

Reply Parent Score: 2