Reasons to Avoid Microsoft
MS Windows XP
These pages are a compilation of links and quotes to news articles and
others sources that might help convince you to switch to Linux.
Next 25 Articles
- Most Companies Won't Deploy Windows 7 -- Survey
Nearly six in 10 companies have no current plans to deploy Windows
7 by the end of next year, according to a new survey.
- One Year Later, "Dead" XP Still Going Strong
Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows XP a year ago today, no longer
selling new copies in most venues. Yet according to a report from
InfoWorld, various downgrade paths to XP are keeping the operating
system very much alive, particularly among businesses. In fact, despite
Microsoft trumpeting Vista as the most successful version of Windows
ever sold, more than half of business PCs have subsequently downgraded
Vista-based machines to XP...
- Windows XP SP3 Sows Havoc, Users Complain
Within hours of its release, Microsoft's Service Pack 3 for Windows XP
began drawing hundreds of complaints from users who claim the update
is wreaking havoc on their PCs. The problems with XP SP3, according to
posters on Microsoft's Windows XP message board, range from spontaneous
reboots to outright system crashes.
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- Tracking down hi-tech crime
If every hour a burglar turned up at your house and rattled the locks
on the doors and windows to see if he could get in, you might consider
moving to a safer neighbourhood. And while that may not be happening
to your home, it probably is happening to any PC you connect to the
net. ... When we put this machine online it was, on average, hit by
a potential security assault every 15 minutes. None of these attacks
were solicited, merely putting the machine online was enough to attract
them. The fastest an attack struck was mere seconds... Often once a
machine has fallen under someone else's control, a keylogger will be
installed to capture information about everything that the real owner
does -- such as login to their online bank account.
- With Exploits Out, MS Braces for Worm Attack
A network worm attack exploiting a critical Microsoft Windows
vulnerability appears inevitable... An exploit module [exists] that
could launch attacks against all unpatched Windows 2000 systems and
some versions of Windows XP. ... "The nature of the vulnerability
itself is something that should be taken very seriously. The fact that
exploits were out even before Patch Day and now that public code is
available for anyone to download and use, that's enough to treat this
as a high-priority issue..."
- Windows Longhorn to make graphics card important
The majority of users don't care about a graphics card because this
majority uses only 2D operations, or should I say they need it just
to draw and show picture on displays. ... The big mass of users don't
care about 3D games or any kind of shaders. This is about to change
with Longhorn. ... Believe it or not, your Windows performance will
depend on the quality of graphics card you have. A faster card might
draw something faster than a slower mainstream or entry level card,
meaning that even some Office software might perform better if you
have a faster 3D card.
- Microsoft Internet Explorer Multiple Vulnerabilities
Some vulnerabilities have been discovered in Internet Explorer, which
can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a user's system,
conduct cross-site/zone scripting and bypass a security feature in
Microsoft Windows XP SP2. ... Vulnerability 1 and 2, or 3 alone,
in combination with an inappropriate behaviour where the ActiveX
Data Object (ADO) model can write arbitrary files can be exploited
to compromise a user's system. This has been confirmed on a fully
patched system with Internet Explorer 6.0 and Microsoft Windows XP
SP2. Solution: Use another product.
- Symantec: Phel Trojan horse attacks on Windows XP
The Trojan is capable of remotely controlling a user's system even
if the latest Windows XP Service Pack, SP2, has been installed.
- Three new Windows security holes come at a bad time
Three new vulnerabilities have been discovered in Microsoft's Windows
operating system, leaving computers running that OS open to possible
hacker attacks -- including PCs running the recently released XP SP2
(Service Pack 2).
- Who Profits from Security Holes?
(Benjamin Edelman's website,
How bad is this problem? How much junk can get installed on a user's
PC by merely visiting a single site? I set out to see for myself --
by visiting a single web page taking advantage of a security hole
(in an ordinary fresh copy of Windows XP), and by recording what
programs that site caused to be installed on my PC. In the course of
my testing, my test PC was brought to a virtual stand-still -- with
at least 16 distinct programs installed. I was not shown licenses or
other installation prompts for any of these programs, and I certainly
didn't consent to their installation on my PC.
- Security company warning of vulnerabilities in Windows XP SP2
A US security company is warning that it has found ten 'serious'
vulnerabilities in Windows XP systems with SP2 installed. ... [a]
successful attacker could 'silently' gain remote control of an SP2
machine when the target system is used to browse the Internet. ... 'A
security patch of Windows operating system without changing the rules
of the game will not be enough to fight the recent complex malicious
code attacks such as Scob, Mydoom, and others.'
- File and Printer Sharing Insecure in XP SP2
German magazine PC-Welt has discovered a major security flaw in Windows
XP SP2 when installing over SP1. The article says that 'with a certain
configuration, your file and printer sharing data are visible worldwide,
despite an activated Firewall.' The magazine claims they were 'able
to discover private documents on easily accessible computers on the
Internet' and that the configuration is fairly common.
- XP SP2 Can Slow Down Business Apps
Mobile PC magazine installed XP SP2 on a bunch of notebooks and
benchmarked them, finding that SP2 caused a 9-percent performance
reduction in business productivity apps.
- Hackers Jump On Reported Windows Flaws
Tuesday, Microsoft noted that a bug in Windows XP, Windows XP SP1,
and Windows Server 2003, as well as many of the company's flagship
applications, could allow attackers to grab control of PCs. ... Because
the [flaw] is widespread--not only in the operating systems but also
in such popular applications as those in the Office XP and Office 2003
suites--administrators may be hard-pressed to patch before an exploit
is circulating. ... Worse, even patched systems can later be turned
into vulnerable computers, Weafer adds, if applications with the flawed
image processing .dll are later installed on made-safe PCs.
- Check for spyware before patch, Microsoft warns
Though Microsoft Corp.'s new security-update package is all about protecting
systems from worms, viruses and spyware, it can't do much about what's
already on computers -- and that could pose a problem.
- WinXP SP2 = security placebo?
We evaluated the security features of Windows XP SP2 on a test
machine, following a clean install of XP Pro with no configuration
changes and no third-party software or drivers installed. We installed
XP with the NTFS file system, choosing all of the factory defaults,
then patched it with each recommended security update including SP-1
(required), before installing SP2. While we found that there are
indeed a few minor improvements worthy of acknowledgment ... SP2 did
little to improve our system's practical security, leaving too many
services and networking components enabled, bungling permissions,
[and] leaving IE and OE vulnerable to malicious scripts...
Most absurdly, Remote Assistance ('allow script kiddies to control
this computer remotely?') is enabled by default, as is Remote Registry
('allow script kiddies to modify your Registry remotely?').
- Windows XP SP2 Has a Dangerous Hole
Windows XP Service Pack 2 promises to raise the security
bar for the sometimes beleaguered operating system. Unfortunately,
one of the new features could be spoofed so that it reports misleading
information about system security, or worse, lets a malicious program
watch for an opportunity to do damage without being detected. ... it's
almost like Microsoft has given attackers the path, door and keys,
Windows itself contains a test utility, WBEMTEST.EXE, that allows
you to view, add and edit the values in the [Windows Management
Instrumentation, where firewall and security information is managed.]
- Windows XP Service Pack 2: Install With Care
The real surprise with Microsoft Windows XP Service
Pack 2 isn't potential compatibility issues, but the mayhem that
can occur when SP2 is downloaded onto a system. CRN Test Center
engineers evaluated a release candidate two (RC2) version of SP2,
and upon completion of the install on three out of five systems, the
machines blue-screened. A message stated that 'winserv' was missing. The
blue screen occurred on both Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel
platforms, and all systems were running Windows XP Pro with Service Pack
1 installed. Every possible avenue to get back into Windows failed.
- Windows XP Bedevils Wi-Fi Users
[There is] a problem that many Windows XP users know all too well: the
sudden and inexplicable loss of their wireless Internet connections.
[Based on] the flow of support calls, there's little point in trying to
find a permanent solution to the problem. ... To some, the most infuriating
part is that the wireless network connection icon in the XP taskbar doesn't
display any indication at all that something's wrong.
- Microsoft WinXP Update spies on other PC software
Microsoft extracts more information from a person's PC when the update
Windows facility is used running the WinXP operating system. ... [The data]
transferred to Microsoft Central whenever you connect to its update web
site ... [includes] a list of all of the software installed on an
individual's computer, including [3rd party software].
- Microsoft Media Player logs users' DVD picks
[Microsoft's] media player software keeps track of what DVDs are played
on a PC and shares that information with the software maker via the
Internet... The server is given a unique fingerprint for the DVD and the
media player client, allowing Microsoft to track what movies are watched
on a particular PC... A user could uncover what movies another user is
connects to a Microsoft server for an exchange of data...
- Win XP Update Crashes Some PCs
Users who forgo recently released SP1 risk a major vulnerability ...
Some Windows XP users are having trouble installing the operating system's
first service pack, bulging with bug fixes and updated drivers--and are
judging the cure worse than the disease. Although SP1 plugs a major hole
in the OS, the fix has been painful for [some] users who have downloaded the
update... 'I'm in the process of communicating by e-mail support with
Microsoft, an enormously inefficient and time-consuming process that has
yet to yield a solution, despite promises to the contrary' [said one user]
- Microsoft EULA asks for root rights [control over your PC] - again
Windows [XP and 2000 Service Packs] contain a new condition which asks
you to allow Windows to go and install future updates. ... 'I don't
agree to let Microsoft 'automatically' (for which, read 'at Microsoft's
discretion, and without my knowledge or consent'), install 'updates or
fixes' (for which, read 'digital rights management facilties') so I hit
'I don't agree' and cancelled out'...
- Gates admins .NET a 'misstep'
Analysts knew it. Customers knew it. Turns out Microsoft Corp. knows it,
too. The software maker acknowledged Wednesday that its .NET strategy --
announced with unprecedented fanfare in June 2000 -- hasn't caught on as
quickly as anticipated. ... Gates said Microsoft has made several errors
in introducing its bet-the-company .NET initiative. ...
Gates also acknowledged that confusion still reigns about .NET's very
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