Microsoft makes a good argument for open source

by Volker Weber

Joe Brockmeyer thinks Microsoft wants to force the NT user base to upgrade by denying security fixes:

Take the recent decision by the folks in Redmond not to issue a patch for Windows NT 4.0 systems that are vulnerable to a denial-of-service (DoS) attack. According to Microsoft, Windows NT has "architectural limitations" that "do not support the changes that would be required to remove this vulnerability."

Some mistook Microsoft's "admission" that it could not generate a workable patch as candor. It is a rare thing for Microsoft to display humility of any kind, and when it does, it can usually be attributed to a desire to hide something else.

Here, Microsoft's claim that it cannot patch NT 4.0 is a tactic to move the stubborn NT 4.0 user base on to Microsoft's new systems. By some estimates, 35 percent of Microsoft server customers are still using Windows NT. That's a pretty hefty chunk of change for the company's coffers if it can persuade those users to migrate to Windows 2000, XP or 2003. Since new features don't seem to be an incentive, it will just refuse to fix security holes -- thereby creating a brand-new "feature" to drive upgrades.

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Well, NT 4.0 has been release in 1993, ten years from now. Although I am a fan of Open Source I do not think that a support of 10 years for a commercial product is that bad. I do not think that you will get support for a Red Hat product being that old (Oops, just saw that it was founded in 1994, so not possible).
The official maintenance period for most Linux Prof. distributions has recently just been extended to 5 years, now being equal to MS.
Sorry but maintenance is not the strength of most commercial Linux distributions, that is why I keep my servers running Debian. It is a pity that IBM does not support it.
Have a nice week-end


Henning Heinz, 2003-04-05

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