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Re: [vox] the windows XP talk at UCD
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Re: [vox] the windows XP talk at UCD

On Thu, 15 Nov 2001, Jeff Newmiller wrote:
> Rhetorical question: What kind of message do they intend to send by giving
> away copies of their old operating system?

I don't know, but I did notice (along with most other people, I think)
that raffle winners went for Win2K over XP every damn time.  >:>  As Alex
said, "Our work is done."

You will all no doubt be pleased to know that Microsoft has been taking
full advantage of its freedom to innovate.  Among the many many fine
innovations in XP are--and I solemnly swear that I am not making any of
this up, these were actually selling points in the presentation--
- The ability to send and receive files
- "Remote Desktop" (X forwarding)
- No need to reboot to change network settings
- The ability to configure things by editing text-based files [1]

Microsoft's excellent tech support will continue unabated.  (I asked them
if they intended to continue per-incident pricing (MS once wanted $30 before
they'd talk to my sister when her copy of MS Plus! hosed her Win95
intallation); they didn't know.)  By all accounts, this is a good thing,
because I'm told that installing XP is a hike through hell.

Furthermore, you will be delighted to hear that XP raises the bar for
security and privacy.  (I had difficulty containing my... er... joy on
hearing this.)  One slide claimed that XP was C2 certified, a statement
that had so many things wrong with it that it was tough not to call them
on it.  For starters, OSes weren't certified, specific installations were;
secondly, the Orange Book letter-number standard is obsolete, raising
questions about the "certified" part; thirdly, C2 wasn't a particularly
stringent security classification.  (Trusted Solaris, by way of contrast,
got up to B1.)

The presenter, as Pete said, was clueless.  There were two MS guys sitting
behind me who answered my question on MS Remote Desktop [2].  They
confirmed that this wasn't supposed to be a technical talk, and the
presenter wasn't technical.  When I asked why they had advertised the talk
as a technical overview, they said--and I quote--"They must have sent out
the wrong e-mail."  Yeah, my butt.  I don't know who to be most cross
at--the presenter's supervisors, for throwing her to the wolves; the
presenter herself, for not making even a rudimentary effort; whoever set
up this shindig, for sending a non-techie to what was advertised as a
techie talk.  It was really quite frustrating.  We all realized early on
that we couldn't ask any substantiative questions.  I suspect that was
MS's intention all along.

But let's not get too smug, kids.  Last night's presentation make it
crystal clear that Linux is light-years ahead of XP.  But if there's one
thing the history of technology shows is, it's that marketing wins over
tech superiority.

--nicole twn

[1] I particularly like this innovation.  Let's *let* Microsoft get Joe
Sixpack used to configuring things by editing text files.
[2] I asked if it was secured, like, say, X forwarding over ssh.
They said something about 64-bit encryption and didn't really answer my
authentication questions.
"Some people think I'm neurotic and all, but I'm not; I just like to think
about things over and over and over again..."--Eddie From Ohio
Visit Nicolopolis! http://wwwcsif.cs.ucdavis.edu/~carlsonn
nmcarlson@ucdavis.edu ana.ng@tmbg.org carlsonn@seclab.cs.ucdavis.edu

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