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Microsoft Fixing Windows 8 Flaws, But Leaving Them In Windows 7 218

Posted by Soulskill
from the probably-not-fixing-them-in-win-95-either dept.
mask.of.sanity sends this news from El Reg: "Microsoft has left Windows 7 exposed by only applying security upgrades to its newest operating systems. Researchers found the gaps after they scanned 900 Windows libraries using a custom diffing tool and uncovered a variety of security functions that were updated in Windows 8 but not in 7. They said the shortcoming could lead to the discovery of zero day vulnerabilities. The missing safe functions were part of Microsoft's dedicated libraries intsafe.h and strsafe.h that help developers combat various attacks. [Video, slides.]"
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Microsoft Fixing Windows 8 Flaws, But Leaving Them In Windows 7

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  • Shoddy Ethics (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mfh (56) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @01:13PM (#47186935) Homepage Journal

    The bugs exist for a reason. If it's not broken now why buy the new version?

    • Re:Shoddy Ethics (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07, 2014 @02:12PM (#47187083)

      Windows 7 is still supported, so doing this now isn't shoddy ethics, it's a breach of contract. If they think that having shorter support periods will drive more sales, then have to start with Windows 9.

      • by hodet (620484)

        Huh? Read what you just wrote. I would say knowingly breaking your contract is a breach of ethics.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          No, it's a breach of law meaning it can be taken to court. A breach of ethics doesn't necessarily allow that unless what they're doing is not only unethical but also unlawful due to existing laws.

          Cutting off support for software isn't against the law unless you were promised updates for a specific longer term of support. Which was given with Windows 7. If there wasn't a promised amount of time for updates/patches promised beforehand, it'd just be a dick move.

        • by Poingggg (103097) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @03:59PM (#47187495) Homepage

          Breach of ethics is not possible for Microsoft: They never had any to break in the first place.

    • This is not about fixing any (known) bugs, but rather about making code more resilient in the face of potential buffer overrun bugs.

      Simply put, it's taking an existing codebase that uses strcat and strcpy, and replacing their use with strlcat and strlcpy. StrSafe.h is a Windows-specific equivalent of those two BSD functions. IntSafe.h is a library that does something similar for integer arithmetic (to trap overflow issues).

  • This makes sense... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07, 2014 @01:17PM (#47186937)

    Windows Sustained Engineering is a different org across the street with different funding and goals, and they don't automatically fix all of the bugs the Windows feature teams fix. There's a triage process for deciding whether bugs are important enough to fix in downlevel releases.

    • by ElPerezoso (1755172) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @03:27PM (#47187357)

      This. And there's no evidence that these changes correspond to exploitable security vulnerabilities. If you look at the slides, what they're actually complaining about is that certain OS code paths have been updated to use intsafe.h/strsafe.h functions in Windows 8, but not in Windows 7. Because intsafe/strsafe are used to help avoid overflow vulnerabilities, the conclusion the article draws is that these must be actual vulnerabilities, which are being fixed in Windows 8 without being ported to Windows 7.

      It's worth noting that the entire presentation that the article is based on is an advertisement for their DiffRay diffing tool, so they have some incentive to overstate things. It's entirely possible that the changes that they're pointing out as "fixing potential 0-days in 8 but not 7" are actually just moving a couple of bounds checks from ad-hoc implementations in the functions themselves to the standardized common intsafe calls. Or it could be that there is already correct bounds enforcement elsewhere, and these checks are just added for redundancy, or to make function-local static analysis a little bit cleaner. I honestly don't know, but there are enough plausible benign explanations that the alternative of "Microsoft is deliberately exposing its largest set of customers to vulnerabilities" seems kind of absurd. Bring me the extraordinary evidence for this claim.

      Disclosure: I'm a dev on the Windows team. I don't have any specific knowledge of this, and I'm not writing this in any official or compensated capacity.

      • by PRMan (959735) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @03:34PM (#47187391)
        And 8 has code that 7 doesn't have. There is a HIGH degree of likelihood that most bugs would be in the new code, the code not shared by 7, which has been well-tested for years.
      • by lgw (121541)

        If you've ever actually used those libraries, there's nothing magically safer about them. You can more easily port old code to those libraries in such a way that all vulnerabilities are maintained than you can port and do it right. So it comes down to code review during the port. You get the same safety with the same code review without actually porting anything.

        Those libraries (with good code review) are like a "W2K safe" sticker of yesteryear: a sign that someone looked at the problem, which is great,

      • YEAH and I could say IE 6 is just as secure as no security in design does not mean more exploits. One of my clients who switched from XP to 7 noticed a drop in malware.

        Newer kernel features reduce 0 days as evident in 7 compared

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        It all sounds like basic refactoring to me.
        A simple search-&-replace of old function to new functions, not because it's necessary but because their current coding standards says they should.
        I've done similar refactoring in the past, simply to get rid of some automated coding standard checker notices.

    • This makes sense... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Darinbob (1142669) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @04:55PM (#47187669)

      No, they should not consider Windows 7 a "downlevel" release. I just bought a NEW computer with Windows 7 on it for a relative, and had to pay a premium to get W7 instead of W8. I don't need a repeat of the XP debacle! Windows 7 is the MAIN operating system from Microsoft today, Windows 8 is only a trial balloon. Since I did pay for W7 I expect FULL support for its lifetime not some half assed job designed to force people to upgrade prematurely.

      The advice from the computer repair shop my relative used this very week was to get W7 and avoid W8. This is not just some disgruntled people avoiding W8, it is very much mainstream.

      • Support, even FULL support, means fixing bugs; in practice, fixing important bugs. One thing it certainly doesn't mean is making every possible improvement.

        There's no evidence as yet that any of the changes in question were bug fixes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07, 2014 @01:20PM (#47186945)

    "People are aware that Windows has bad security but they are underestimating the problem because they are thinking about third parties. What about security against Microsoft? Every non-free program is a 'just trust me program'. 'Trust me, we're a big corporation. Big corporations would never mistreat anybody, would we?' Of course they would! They do all the time, that's what they are known for. So basically you mustn't trust a non free programme."

    "There are three kinds: those that spy on the user, those that restrict the user, and back doors. Windows has all three. Microsoft can install software changes without asking permission. Flash Player has malicious features, as do most mobile phones."

    "Digital handcuffs are the most common malicious features. They restrict what you can do with the data in your own computer. Apple certainly has the digital handcuffs that are the tightest in history. The i-things, well, people found two spy features and Apple says it removed them and there might be more""

    From:

    Richard Stallman: 'Apple has tightest digital handcuffs in history'
    www.newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2012/12/05/richard-stallman-interview/

    • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @02:33PM (#47187153)

      Richard Stallman is full of crap if he is claiming that Windows is endemically, technically less secure. Anyone remember the Pwn2Own games? Anyone remember what OS fell first every time? Thats right, fully patched OSX (think that changed ~2012).

      This could turn into a debate lasting days, but suffice it to say that from a technical level Windows is pretty secure. 90% of all exploits these days hit third-party applications that also happen to run on Linux and OSX (flash, java, adobe reader). Im sure Stallman would rail against those too, and he would actually be right, but the point is that the vast majority of users need those plugins and he is being deceitful if he is attempting to paint the various Flash player exploits as problems with Windows, or as problems endemic to Closed Source Software.

      And you, too, have a bit of gall posting this, after some of the hugest security holes to hit the net were just released, both affecting OSS. Ideology is great until you hit the real world, and realize that things are never as simple as "I hate Microsoft, therefore Windows is technically bad", or "Closed source software has trust issues, therefore all OSS is inherently more secure". My hope is that all who take this like will grow up and abandon their zealotry before they enter the workforce.

      • by msobkow (48369) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @03:24PM (#47187345) Homepage Journal

        The question is not just whether an OS is secure, but how long it takes for patches to be rolled out. While Microsoft often sits on their laurels when it comes to releasing patches, the king of procrastination is Oracle, which has left known issues in the wild for decades.

        Still, I don't disagree with the general intent of your post, which I read as "closed source is not necessarily worse than open source." But that's only up to a point -- timely patches are critical to maintaining the security of a system, and when Microsoft purposely omits patches for downlevel releases that are still under support, they do a great disservice to their customers, to the 'net community as a whole, and to their own reputation and therefore bottom line.

        • I imagine there are architectural differences between Win7 and Win8. Win7 is still supported heavily in the enterprise, and I dont believe for a second that Microsoft has some perverse desire to screw over their biggest customers.

        • You do realize that with paying customers you can't just crank out a patch overnight and hope it doesn't affect any other piece of software. Of course when a Linux patch breaks something all you have is neckbeards sending you nasty emails. Microsoft is open to lawsuits and contract issues.

      • by RR (64484) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @03:59PM (#47187497)

        Richard Stallman is full of crap if he is claiming that Windows is endemically, technically less secure. Anyone remember the Pwn2Own games? Anyone remember what OS fell first every time? Thats right, fully patched OSX (think that changed ~2012). This could turn into a debate lasting days, but suffice it to say that from a technical level Windows is pretty secure.

        You totally misunderstand Stallman's point. Stallman is not arguing that open source leads to better quality software. That would be Eric Raymond. Stallman is arguing that you can't trust Microsoft. More of an Auguste Kirchhoffs [wikipedia.org] interpretation. And I don't see what OSX has to do with free software.

        Stallman objects to closed source philosophically, and Windows especially. In addition to being proprietary, Stallman is arguing that Windows has features to report your use of Microsoft software and potentially lock you out (Windows Activation [microsoft.com]), to add or delete software without warning (Windows Update [microsoft.com]), to track you across any device around the world (Microsoft Account [microsoft.com]), and to keep you from using the computer in inappropriate ways (Protected Media Path, [microsoft.com] Driver Signing, [microsoft.com] Secure Boot [microsoft.com]). I don't see how he's wrong.

        Somebody in the Chinese government seems to have noticed, and is now trying to get Windows banned [cnet.com] there.

        My hope is that all who take this like will grow up and abandon their zealotry before they enter the workforce.

        "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw

        • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @01:24AM (#47189029)

          Hes not wrong, except he beats a dead horse. Everyone knows what Windows activation is, that you cant patch Windows yourself, that you cant inspect the code.

          Incidentally Driver Signing and Secure Boot can both be turned off, and theyre not to stop you from misusing your computer. You (he) might as well complain that AppLocker or Software Restriction Policies are draconian DRM-- except theyre really not, theyre a mechanism to harden the OS.

          >>(Quote)

          Stallman takes his ideology so far that he becomes completely irrelevant. I know of noone outside of the OSS movement (and surprisingly few in it) that actually take him seriously-- he goes so far off the deep end that hes managed to alienate a full half of the Unix userbase as well.

      • by SeaFox (739806) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @05:53PM (#47187889)

        Richard Stallman is full of crap if he is claiming that Windows is endemically, technically less secure. Anyone remember the Pwn2Own games? Anyone remember what OS fell first every time? Thats right, fully patched OSX (think that changed ~2012).

        Yes, and OSX falling first had nothing to do with the participants specifically targeting it. I mean, they would have nothing to gain from focusing their efforts on a single operating system, like the bragging rights of hacking a supposedly "secure" platform, or taking Macintosh snobs down a notch, or winning a $2000 Mac laptop instead of a $500 Dell. No siree.

      • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @07:37PM (#47188249)

        Anyone remember the Pwn2Own games? Anyone remember what OS fell first every time? Thats right, fully patched OSX (think that changed ~2012).

        Do you remember how Pwn2Own worked? Obviously not. It was turned based not race based meaning a team/person was selected to try their exploit first before any other team. And the team got to select which system they tried because they got to own that system.

        If that team did not succeed, the next team got a try. Of course, teams would try systems they both wanted and had exploits. No one picked a system they didn't want. Most often it was OS X first on the first try. But Windows systems also fell on their first try. Almost never did a Linux system fall. In fact, many times, a Linux system was never attempted.

        And it was never fully patched system. The systems were also fixed at a certain date prior to the contest so that the teams had a chance to attack it. Sometimes the exploits had been patched already.

        • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @01:29AM (#47189037)

          Pwn2Own was useful because the common claim was that it wasnt just the huge userbase of windows that attracted exploit writers. but that it was that Windows was actually less secure than OSX. But when a shiney new laptop is on the line, people had no problem getting root. You can argue that OSX had 9 root-level exploits and Windows had 10 in any given competition-- but its sort of a moot point. By far and away the biggest factor in what systems get exploited is monetary gain and return on investment.

          Id also note that, in the actual real world, somethin like 85-90% of exploits are non-OS-- theyre browser or browser plugin exploits. The only people arguing that Windows is more vulnerable to viruses are people with no friggin clue. Remove Java and virus incidence goes down like 50%.

      • by donaldm (919619)

        Richard Stallman is full of crap if he is claiming that Windows is endemically, technically less secure. Anyone remember the Pwn2Own games? Anyone remember what OS fell first every time? Thats right, fully patched OSX (think that changed ~2012).

        Err you do realize that OSX is not Linux don't you?

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        90% of all exploits these days hit third-party applications that also happen to run on Linux and OSX (flash, java, adobe reader). Im sure Stallman would rail against those too, and he would actually be right, but the point is that the vast majority of users need those plugins and he is being deceitful if he is attempting to paint the various Flash player exploits as problems with Windows, or as problems endemic to Closed Source Software.

        No one needs Adobe Reader. It's a bloated piece of trash which, as you

        • No one needs Adobe Reader...There's tons of alternative PDF viewers you can use.

          A lot of them lack features that Adobe Reader has. You're right that Adobe makes awful software, but again: in reality, people actually use it, and its sort of irrelevant to go on about how they dont actually need to.

          OpenJDK hasnt worked with any applet I've ever tried.

    • Digital handcuffs are the most common malicious features. They restrict what you can do with the data in your own computer.

      There's many sides to this. With all the bugs, missing features, and subpar performance, also free software restricts what I can do with my computer.

      The ideas of free software can be beautiful, but if they produce crusty software which just makes my life unnecessarily more clunky compared to the proprietary alternative, it's a bit of a "meh" to me. To squeeze the most out of my computer is still the most important battle for me.

  • by DigitalSorceress (156609) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @01:22PM (#47186951)

    Dear Microsoft,

    Dear gods, please catch a ride on the clue train. Businesses don't want Windows 8 - the retraining necessary is just too costly, and all the cool features involving touch are useless for the cube farm drones.

    So just stop your stupid shit, realize the Windows 7 is your nex XP, make sure that Windows 9 undoes a lot of the silly bullshit, and maybe you won't completely jump the shark.

    Um also while I (fail to) have your attention - the Ribbon is still stupid. Stop wasting my screen real estate and go back to proper menus. // yeah I know it's a pipe dream, but I needed to rant and rage.

    • by Cley Faye (1123605) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @01:35PM (#47186995) Homepage
      You're very wrong when you say "all the cool features involving touch are useless for the cube farm drones."

      After having played with a surface tablet and an "embedded" windows 8 computer (those things that combine the computer and the screen), I can tell you this about the touch features: they are broken by design, gets in the way of doing things (even moving a file is more complicated than using a mouse, and why doesn't the keyboard pop up when hitting a textbox?), and as such are useless for everyone, not just the cube farm drones.
      • The problem I have for Windows 8 is that the keyboard DOES pop up when hitting a textbox... when I have a hardware keyboard attached.

        That said, I am developing a touch-friendly web app, so as a cube farm drone, touch is very useful for me. :)

        • Ooooh I only used the touch interface without a physical keyboard, that might explain things... ;)
    • by savuporo (658486) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @02:04PM (#47187067)

      Dear Microsoft,

      Please make Windows 9 touch only, do not give anyone any menu, use the well known principle of most surprise for the user interface design, break all possible APIs, come up with another Uncommon Language Runtime, force me log into everything with the same username and password security be damned, put Bing on the way of actually getting to internet and if you could Ribbon me another two three screenfuls, all would be dandy.

      Only by implementing these urgent measures will you guarantee your local fanbase of 2 people will stay very loyal. And the rest can move on to better things and world will be a better place.

      Thanks,
      Your local detractor.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        That's rather optimistic thinking there. Businesses haven't switched away from MS yet, despite all the dumb stuff they've done, so I'm quite sure they could do all those things you listed there, and businesses would continue to buy their crap.

    • by PrimaryConsult (1546585) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @02:19PM (#47187103)

      I've successfully gotten die-hard MS Office users to use OpenOffice precisely because it had menus rather than the stupid ribbon. The Oracle branding helped, and I think the Apache one probably would be just as effective.

      • by JDAustin (468180)

        I still use Excel 2003 for 90% of my excel work as I still have several custom toolbars that cannot be recreated w/ the ribbon. Being able to do many repeated functions w/ one click makes a world of difference.

    • and all the cool features involving touch are useless for the cube farm drones.

      Powershell 4.0 and 5.0, however, are not, nor is HyperV.

      Sort of amazing that a supposedly technical community thinks that the only thing different about Windows 8 is the GUI.

      • by Richy_T (111409)

        And, of course, these are unavailable on 7 for purely technical reasons.

        • Im not sure you understand how commercial software works. Theres no technical reason that the features in any particular software, version n+1, couldnt be backported-- except for the fact that a lot of the time the whole point is that new features require additional work and additional funding.

          And for the record, Powershell 4 actually IS backported to Win7... not sure about Powershell 5, as its still in RC.

    • by PRMan (959735)
      I like the ribbon for one reason only. You can apply 5-6 settings at once and get a visual image of what it's going to look like. That saves a lot of time vs previous Office versions.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Grishnakh (216268)

      Dear Microsoft,
      Dear gods, please catch a ride on the clue train. Businesses don't want Windows 8 - the retraining necessary is just too costly, and all the cool features involving touch are useless for the cube farm drones.
      So just stop your stupid shit, realize the Windows 7 is your nex XP, make sure that Windows 9 undoes a lot of the silly bullshit, and maybe you won't completely jump the shark.

      Dear DigitalSorceress,

      Please see our raised middle finger, aimed in your direction. We don't care what businesse

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @01:23PM (#47186953) Homepage

    This is just an extension of the kind of coerced upgrade Microsoft's attempted before. With Vista and then with Win7, when they didn't take off on their own MS tried to force the issue by making the latest versions of IE and DirectX and such only available for Vista/7, not XP. This is the same thing: "Upgrade to Win8 or take the heat for running a vulnerable OS.". Thing is, it'll backfire the same way the "no latest DirectX on XP" did. Win7's such a large base that developers can't afford to write code that won't run on it, so they won't be able to use the new Win8-only safe functions. Which means applications will remain vulnerable on Win8, just like on Win7 where they also run.

  • Don't Tell Me This (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @01:23PM (#47186957)

    I don't want to hear this. I just finished the migration from XP to Win7.
    Do not want to go through that again for another 6 years.

  • The interesting question is: should an OS vendor be able to sell a later generation of OS as "more secure" than a previous one as a feature to induce users to migrate to it, (clearly Microsoft's position on Win 8.1 vs Win 7 ) or does it have a responsibility to make all released product as reasonably secure as it can based on what it knows to and define features as capabilities, performance, etc outside of security?
    I think it's fair for Microsoft to tout improvements like more secure kernel design or other

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      Yes, they absolutely should be able to sell later generation OSes as "more secure", and totally ignore security exploits on older versions.

      If customers are dumb enough to continue to patronize such a vendor, they deserve whatever happens to them.

      • This is not a patch for any known security exploit. It is preventive hardening of the code that may potentially have exploit due to use of C functions that may result in a buffer overrun, like strcpy.

  • Pay the upgrade or you deal with the "other" costs.

    Apple is pushing the envelope: Free OS updates. Works on their hardware back 4-5 years.

    My suspicion is MS, likewise, must get into the hardware business & become vertical.

    • "14% of Windows personal computers were on Windows 8", noted by Tim Cook vs "51% of Macs on Mavericks"

      Heavily fractured ecosystems are difficult for both OS & App suppliers. What is "working" in the real world.

      Where are we going?

      • by bondsbw (888959)

        That means about 12.3% of computers are Windows 8 vs. 3.7% Mavericks. So take from that what you will.

        • by Belial6 (794905)
          That was my first thought on the numbers. For all of the "Everyone is now buying Macs." that we keep getting astroturfed with, OSX market share is still far closer to that of Desktop Linux than it is Windows adoption. (Of course, we have to limit the linux market share to "Desktop" because it would otherwise completely eclipse OSX market share.)
        • by amxcoder (1466081)
          Yeah, and to add to that, as anecdotal from my own survey of everyone that I see running a mac, about 80% or more of them in the business realm, are also running Windows on their Mac... either in the form of boot camp (dual boot), or parallels/VMWare virtual machines to get a lot of work done on them that they can't do on OSX for various reasons, mostly because they need to run software that is windows based.
    • by ron_ivi (607351)

      My suspicion is MS, likewise, must get into the hardware business & become vertical.

      Suspicion?

      That's been pretty obvious for a while.

      There's even a word in the tech community coined from how Microsoft resorts to competing with its hardware partners: http://gigaom.com/2006/07/22/z... [gigaom.com] "Microsoft Partners, You Been Zunked".

      For handheld devices, they've been doing since at least 2003: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2... [theregister.co.uk] .

      And Surface is obviously a sign that Microsoft sees laptop vendors like HP and Dell as their direct competitors now.

  • Article is dumb. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kaenneth (82978) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @01:38PM (#47187001) Homepage Journal

    These are mostly new functions added for Windows 8, they don't exist in the Windows 7 SDK.

    If you wrote your programs to use them, they wouldn't work on 7, only 8, which everyone seems to hate.

    If MS added them to a patch for 7, there would then be 2 fragmented versions of Windows 7, so if a customer calls you asking if your software works on Windows 7, you would have to ask if they have installed KB######, and they would say 'I don't know.', or they might lie and say yes, or no, and you'll have to walk them through checking installed Windows updates...

    • by msobkow (48369)

      Have you ever noticed the runtime libraries that application installers check for and auto-install while installing the application?

      Is there some reason you couldn't do the same for these magical Win7 patch libraries/DLLs?

    • StrSafe.h has been around since XP, actually. It can also be used header-only, with all the functions declared as inline.

  • by penguinoid (724646) <spambait001@yahoo.com> on Saturday June 07, 2014 @01:42PM (#47187011) Homepage Journal

    Sorry Microsoft, people use your product for two reasons: 1) it's well entrenched 2) it's easy to use and familiar. If you want them to switch from win 7 to win 8, you have to do it by ruining the usability of win 7, not its security.

    • Actually Windows 9 will have HUGE impact on games as the DirectX will have mantle like performance where CPU waits on redraws are near gone. Trim in raid and PCI ssd is nice too and cortana ... Well we will see but I always wanted a system like the enterprise on star trek with voice.

  • I'm just amazed that no matter how horrible Microsoft handles their Windows dominance, there is literally no competitor ready to pick up the slack. Open Source is largely a joke when it comes to most businesses, and Apple seems more interested in the hipster and grandma crowd than actual networks. Where is the competition? It's like Microsoft has managed to reach a natural position of "too big to fail." Is it just because the young startups are more interested in creating the next Cloud Service (tm) or
    • Re:Amazed (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Funk_dat69 (215898) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @02:02PM (#47187057)

      Why would anyone new enter a market that has clearly peaked? Smartphones and tablets are replacing PCs for web surfing, video watching, social media, email and some gaming. You basically have your enthusiast gamers (not really that big of a market) content creators and developers left.
      And I don't see how you call open source a joke. The only thing funny is that some people still look to Microsoft or Apple to tell them what technology to use. Why?
      Windows 8 is a very confused product, reflecting the confusion of it's parent company.

      Who needs this crap? Give Linux a chance. On the server it's a no-brainer. On the desktop, it takes some getting used to, but it is more than adequate for what you need from desktop OS.

      • by asmkm22 (1902712)
        My clients range from property management to law firms to multi-million dollar construction contractors. Every single one of them has one or more bits of software that won't run on Linux. Quickbooks, Sage products, Office (to properly open files their clients send), medical software, etc, all depends on Windows. "More than adequate" simply doesn't cut it.
        • Let's see, you have clients who need software that only runs on Windows...and you ask why no competitor has come out with an OS to compete with Windows? Um maybe the answer is because there are so many business applications that only run on Windows?
        • There are small business accounting software applications for Linux. Now maybe your or your clients prefer ones that are not on Linux, but that doesn't mean others are not satisfied with them when running Linux.

          Check out GnuCash or Lazy8. Also quickbooks online works with Linux.

          • It's not about what the client prefers, it about the system the client already owns. Business only cares about two things when they look at competing software with similar functionality, how much and how long. Many businesses get stuck in a time warp when backwards compatibility is broken (eg:IE6, Python, PHP). IE6 aside, this is actually a strength of Windows and one of the (non-evil) reasons why they were able to dominate the market in the first place, overall they maintain a much higher degree of backwar
        • by Belial6 (794905)
          I am still confounded by the fact that any businesses send or are willing to accept files other than PDF or CSV. Really I get that there are some extreamly unusual cases where something else might be needed, but for 99.999% of all cases anything that could be sent as an MSOffice file would be better served as a PDF or CSV file.
          • I am still confounded

            Aside from the fact that spreadsheet formulas cannot (easily) be ported to different spreadsheets via csv, there's a very simple supply and demand explanation, client says: "We only use MS office, that's the way we have done business for over a decade, it's what we are set up to handle now, if you can't deliver we will have to find someone who can". - Actually in the "real world" they would probably just laugh their asses off and walk away.

            obig car analogy: It's like a mechanic saying I can't work on you

  • Windows 8 would be fine without that new UI.

    Enterprise users are on 7 and moving to 8 now when windows 9 maybe hear next year and some have just moved to windows 7?

    While you get 3rd party tools to make windows 8 like windows 7 in Enterprise useing them can be iffy.

  • by westlake (615356) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @02:12PM (#47187085)

    From a post to the The Register:

    NumptyScrub :

    The fact that these extra functions are aimed at developers, and as far as I can tell are intended to provide bounds checked variables (e.g. protected against buffer overflow shenanigans) could be cause for some concern. It does not count as a fix of existing broken functionality though, so I don't see how it would qualify as MS ''ending support'' for Win7 if they chose not to add these extras to all existing OSs of theirs.

    Redmond is patching Windows 8 but NOT Windows 7, say security bods [theregister.co.uk]

  • by yuhong (1378501) <yuhongbao_386 AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday June 07, 2014 @02:50PM (#47187195) Homepage

    Well, it is relatively cheap to do things like this during development of a new major version but relatively expensive to do a security update or hotfix, so they need proof there is actually an exploitable bug, though they will often review surrounding code and do additional fixes when developing security updates.

  • If not, that is what you get for using out of date software. Get your wallet out and climb on board the upgrade train, or accept the situation and be happy.

    Sarcasm aside, who honestly expects a company to support non-products ? I dont.

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      Really? I expect every reputable company to do that. They don't tend to support them forever, but if they drop support as soon as a new version comes out, I don't trust buying the new product from them.
    • Yes, they still do sell win 7.

    • Microsoft publishes timelines for various degrees of support for all its products, and just because a product is no longer sold (which I doubt is actually true of Win7) doesn't mean it's out of support.

      The reason why this is really a non-story is that the change is not to fix any particular security issue, it's just generic hardening of code. It's literally the Windows equivalent of replacing strcpy with strlcpy in a bunch of code, just in case there's a heretofore unknown way to trigger a buffer overrun.

  • Windows 7 is the only operating system I have ever used that has trouble deleting information from the Operating System. I just had to deal with being told that a file / folder didn't exist and couldn't be removed. This kind of issue, even though small, shows the lack of refinement and the false young nature of the Operating System. In contrast Linux is the adult in the Operating System war, I'm not saying that just to blow smoke or be a Linux fan boy, I'm saying that because when I run into issues in Wi
  • by koan (80826)

    Microsoft doesn't want another Windows XP, I'll wager they are after a 5 year turn around or perhaps even faster.

    $'s.

  • There's GOT to be a way we can get people to buy Windows 8!

There are never any bugs you haven't found yet.

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