Vulnerabilities and Patches

Late in the summer, Microsoft released the second service pack for Windows XP. This service pack primarily included security fixes. The funny thing is, recently a security group found 10 problems in the service pack. There will always be new flaws to find but this is an exceptionally high number of flaws to find.

Also of note is the finding of NSA backdoors included in all NT based windows operating systems including Windows 2000, XP, and 2003. Microsoft people have denied it but some people working for Microsoft did not even know of one of the security keys in the code. Since the code has been present in the operating system for this long, I think that at one point in time Microsoft collaborated with the NSA but now no one knows of it because they mindlessly included this code with other code as new versions were released.

I was awaiting the release of a Longhorn beta this summer but I found out that I will probably not see a beta release until January 2006. Microsoft is certainly taking a lot of time in developing their next operating system. I am a little dissapointed in how long it is taking them.

Microsoft claims that Firefox is not a threat to Internet Explorer because IE does not lack any important features. If by “important features” they mean the ability to display web pages then they are correct. However, there are many features that Firefox has which are not present in IE. I have run into a few cases where Firefox is not compatible with special Microsoft software like Sharepoint but I think I all expected some of that. I am still using Firefox and I love it. The great thing is that both browsers are free and I all have the choice between them.

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