Linked by Andrew Youll on Fri 22nd Jul 2005 06:10 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Windows Is the official new name for the Longhorn operating system is Microsoft Windows Vista? Flexbeta seems to think so, and has posted a domain registration from MS that seems to support this idea. Update: Looks like it's official.
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RE: longhorn, vista, whatever...
by Morgul on Fri 22nd Jul 2005 17:57 UTC in reply to "longhorn, vista, whatever..."
Member since:

Ok, first off, let me just say that I'm in linux right now, and I have used a mac, and as soon as I finish saving up the money, I'm buying a power book to replace my aging HP laptop. I am a linux fanboy... but one who backs up his opinions. So, let me gently point out where you missed the boat.

Yes, linux users have a bad habit of pointing out security. Yes it's a major point, but that's one out of many. However, since you responded to that, I will too.

You said that "the same thing would happen to linux if it was used as much as windows. see, most software installations under linux are done as root." It seems you've missed the point of the 'root' user. Root is basically the god account. Yes, most software is installed as root, however, that is simply because a user should not be installing anything that requires root access to the system. Most programs (like firefox, oppen office, etc.) can be installed as a normal user... but only *for* that user.

Even if linux was the #1 OS, it wouldn't have many viruses written for it, because you simply because there is no way to get it to run as root, without the user doing so. That would mean the know the root password. If they choose to do it, you're right, they would be the ones to blame. However, here we see the flaw in your logic. What would happen today, if you wrote a small program to format a HD, and passed it off as a wallpaper downloader? It would need no connection to the internet, or not malicious code whatso ever. It wouldn't be a virus, or anything. Put a link to it in a web banner, and I bet you that 500,000 people (windows users) would wipe thier computers in the first few hours. That is the equivalent of the "rm -rf /" comment. Except it's WORSE with windows, since everyone has privledges to run programs like that. In Linux, you wouldn't be able to do that. (unless you were root.)

So, yes, Linux is more secure than windows, as far as user permissions. Yes, both OS's would suffer from newbies, but that wouldn't being the level fo criticism down on either os that is there for windows. Windows has legitimiate problems... ones MS doesn't want to look at. Honestly, if windows switched to an open source unix based kernel (like mac did) and unix style permissions (think OSX, not linux) chances are I'd have no real use for linux. Keep eveyrthing else the same... it wouldn't have half the viruses, and spyware it has now. They aren't simple changes either.. mac scrapped OS classic and wrote OSX from the ground up. (Well, NeXT did.) However, if windows were to start *now* and release it as thier next version (after vista) I bet they would save thier reputation, and be praised. I'd *LOVE* to see that... seeing as how I think windows is pretty damned intuitive, and useful, minus spyware, and other issues that plague it. It's kinda like having a very good chocolate bar, with a backing soda aftertaste. Remove the aftertaste (which will take a lot of work) and people will like it much better than the 'sour apple lollypop' or the 'caramel chew' that's the alternative.

However, that's just my opinion. It really is a shame to see good work go into something that has a rotten core... I hope, and pray I'mm wrong.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Tom K Member since:

Those are very good points, and I'm glad to see a Linux user backing up his claims with some real knowledge. However, I have to disagree about this point:

Even if linux was the #1 OS, it wouldn't have many viruses written for it, because you simply because there is no way to get it to run as root, without the user doing so.

That is simply not true. Linux has suffered from many local and remote root exploits in the past, and many more will come. I watched a friend of mine gain root on a server in a popular webhost's server farm, merely through using some easily-available exploit code, compiling it, and running it. He then saw himself sitting at a root shell prompt.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Morgul Member since:

Very true. I left the discussion of these out, because, honestly, I don't have much knowledge of these, and I know that they differ from distro to distro... and *most* have fixes for them....

Plus, from the little knowledge I have, most of the root exploits involve specific programs... and imho those aren't problems with the OS. They're programs with the programs. (Just like IE issues are 80% IE's fault... not Windows fault.... Then again IE is intigrated into windows in a very large way, so it's difficult to seperate out where the 'problem' is.)

Again, my own two cents.

Reply Parent Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:

That is a problem with a program, not Linux itself. Meanwhile, shall we talk about the fact that you can make a file executable in Windows simply by giving it the .exe, .bat, .vbs, etc. extensions?

Windows has suffered from many local and remote root exploits as well - I've personally had to help many a friend and family member get rid of spyware and viruses. I've even had to reinstall Windows a couple of times because the PCs were so compromised that there was nothing else to do. The truth is that I've spent much more time cleaning friends and family member's Windows PC than I've ever did on Linux security issues - by an order of magnitude!

Sure, Linux vulnerabilities exist as well, but they are nowhere near as severe or costly as those in Windows. FYI: Windows malware issues have cost upwards of 160 BILLION dollars in 2004. That's not something you can sweep under the rug with a little bit of FUD...

Reply Parent Score: 1