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The information age has seen some dramatic changes to the world. Even our vernacular is changing. We Google people, we blog stuff. Even colloquialisms such as "as inevitable as death and taxes" needs an upgrade for the information age to "as inevitable as death, taxes, and security flaws."

Word association time: When I say "Security Flaw", you think "Microsoft," right? Well, according to researchers, you should think "Oracle" instead. And the competition isn't even close, by about a margin of 4 to 1!

In a time when Microsoft's monthly patch set typically numbers about a dozen, Apple has been consistently releasing well more than that. For November, Apple released patches for 31 vulnerabilities! Of those 31 vulnerabilities, included is a zero-day Wi-Fi hijack flaw, some of which allow a Mac to be taken over by the attacker.

One of the side-effects of the rapidly fading days of gross insecurity in operating systems is an entire ecosystem of companies that are paid to be fear mongers and to protect us from ourselves. So when Microsoft got serious about security in the 64-bit versions of Windows by adding code to prevent the Kernal from ever being hijacked, this industry starting screaming "unfair" at the top of their lungs to try to make sure Windows stays insecure. Why? Because a secure Windows means the end of their current business model. Microsoft says that Vista is the last 32-bit OS they will sell and that by the end of Vista's product lifecycle that all instances Vista sold should be 64-bit.

Personally, I'd be happy if Microsoft scrapped 32-bit Vista today. If you don't have a CPU with 64-bit extensions then you probably aren't on the fast track for upgrading your PC to Vista anyways. The one notable exception (and I'm sure the reason 32-bit Vista exists) is that until this year, 64-bit laptops were not common place as the Athlon Mobile processors were 32-bit (Turion is 64-bit, but has not sold well) and Core2-Duo is the first laptop processors sold by Intel with 64-bit extensions. However, finding a laptop today that doesn't have a 64-bit CPU is now the exception rather than the rule.

admin on December 03 2006 11:04:02 · Print
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