Reasons to Avoid Microsoft
These pages are a compilation of links and quotes to news articles and
others sources that might help convince you to switch to Linux.
Next 25 Articles
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- Three's a charm for MS06-042?
It's patch Tuesday again, and Microsoft's hoping three's a charm for
its wayward Cumulative [Internet Explorer] patch, MS06-042. The company
quietly re-released (actually re-re-released) [the patch] today to fix yet
another security hole introduced by the [previous] software update. ...
the [Internet Explorer] patch was updated [...] to fix another remote code
execution vulnerability ... That's almost identical to the problem
introduced in the original version of the patch...
- Quickest Patch Ever
If you really want to see Microsoft scramble to patch a hole in its
software, don't look to vulnerabilities that impact countless Internet
Explorer users or give intruders control of thousands of Windows
machines. Just crack Redmond's [Digital Rights Management]. ... No user
is ever going to say: 'Oh no. I can now play the music I bought for
my PC on my Mac. I must install a patch so I can't do that anymore.'
- India State to Dump Windows for Linux
A southern Indian state plans to switch all school computers from
Microsoft Windows to the free Linux operating system... computers used
in some 12,500 high schools in the state of Kerala [will be switched
- With Exploits Out, MS Braces for Worm Attack
A network worm attack exploiting a critical Microsoft Windows
vulnerability appears inevitable... An exploit module [exists] that
could launch attacks against all unpatched Windows 2000 systems and
some versions of Windows XP. ... "The nature of the vulnerability
itself is something that should be taken very seriously. The fact that
exploits were out even before Patch Day and now that public code is
available for anyone to download and use, that's enough to treat this
as a high-priority issue..."
- Flaw finders lay siege to Microsoft Office
So far this year, the software giant has detailed at least 24
Office flaws found by outside researchers in its monthly bulletins,
six times the number of Office flaws found in all of 2005. The count
also surpasses the 20 flaws that Microsoft has fixed so far this
year in Internet Explorer, a perennial favorite among vulnerability
researchers. ... While a vulnerability in a remote network service could
be exploited to create a worm and tends to worry system administrators
more, the rash of attacks leveraging the Office vulnerabilities to
compromise specific companies underscores the seriousness of the
current threat. ... While Office files require some user interaction
to compromise a victim's system, most workers are now accustomed to
receiving such files, especially if attached to an e-mail that appears
to be genuine...
- Hacked Ad Seen on MySpace Served Spyware to a Million
An online banner advertisement that ran on MySpace.com and other sites
over the past week used a Windows security flaw to infect more than a
million users with spyware when people merely browsed the sites with
unpatched versions of Windows... online criminal groups have been using
the flaw to install adware, keystroke loggers and all manner of invasive
software for the past seven months. This stuff bombards the user with
pop-up ads and tracks their Web usage. Only a little more than half
of the anti-virus programs [tested] flagged the various programs that
the Trojan tried to download as malicious or suspicious.
- Symantec sees an Achilles' heel in Vista
Some of Microsoft's efforts to make Windows Vista its most stable and
secure operating system ever could cause instability and new security
flaws, according to a Symantec report. ... Aside from security flaws,
features supported by Vista's new networking technology could expose
a PC running the operating system, according to Symantec's report.
The Yamanner worm does not send itself as an attachment, it resides
inside the e-mail body. The worm activates automatically by just
opening an infected e-mail message with Internet Explorer.
- Microsoft: Malware Found on Roughly 1 in 300 PCs
The combination of rootkits and other types of malicious software is
one trend on the rise. Rootkits were found on 14 percent of infected
computers, and when rootkits were discovered, they were combined with
"backdoor Trojan" software 20 percent of the time. These programs
are used by hackers to remotely control infected computers.
- Microsoft's Calling Home Problem: It's a Matter of Informed Consent
No doubt many of you saw on Slashdot the article "Microsoft Talks
Daily With Your Computer" or in Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols article for
eWeek titled, Big Microsoft Brother, about allegations that Microsoft's
Windows Genuine Advantage validation tool phones home daily to report
information to Microsoft about you on each boot. Lauren Weinstein broke
the story on his blog. Microsoft has now put out a statement, asserting
that the Windows Genuine Advantage tool is not spyware, that they're
going to change it some, and that one thing that distinguishes it from
spyware is that they get consent before installing it. I question the
accuracy of the statement.
- Rotten Effort
It's bad enough when Microsoft strong-arms other software vendors into
submission as a means of thwarting competition. But when it engages
in underhanded tactics to intimidate users in order to land a software
deal, we have a very disturbing situation on our hands.
- The Microsoft malaise - Eight signs that the software giant is dead in the water
Microsoft should have abandoned MSN a decade ago. There is a lot
of talk about Microsoft becoming more of a publisher and selling
advertising. ... This is not a media publishing company; it's a software
publishing company. ... Microsoft has been unable to cope with Open
Source except to complain about it.
- OpenDocument Approved by ISO/IEC Members
With adoption of ODF by ISO/IEC now assured, software that implements
the standard will now become more attractive to those European and
other government purchasers for whom global adoption by ISO/IEC is
either desirable, or required. Given the ongoing unhappiness in Europe
with Microsoft over what the EU regards as unacceptable bundling and
other practices, this may be particularly significant, especially when
taken with the desire of many European and other purchasers to use
open source products whenever possible. Offerings such as OpenOffice
and KOffice therefore should receive a boost in appeal and usage,
as well as for-sale versions, such as Sun's StarOffice and IBM's
- Internet Explorer Window Loading Race Condition Address Bar Spoofing
[A] vulnerability in Internet Explorer [has been discovered] which can
be exploited by malicious people to conduct phishing attack.
- UK city to move 5,500 desktops to StarOffice
The Bristol (UK) City Council Thursday made the decision to convert its
5,500 desktops from Microsoft Office to Sun Microsystems's OpenDocument
Format-compliant StarOffice office suite. The city, after extensive
study, concluded that it would save 60 percent of total costs of
ownership over a five-year period by making the switch.
- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hints at possibility of Microsoft litigating against Linux
In an interview with Forbes, Microsoft?s CEO Steve Ballmer stops
short of announcing patent litigation against Linux.
- Microsoft Confirms IE Under Attack
[An] unpatched flaw in Internet Explorer [discovered last week is]
already being exploited by hackers who are using hijacked Web servers
and compromised Web sites to launch a wave of attacks against Microsoft
- Homeland Security report tracks down rogue open source code
The authors of a US government-sponsored report claim to have delivered
the first reliable guide into judging the safety and reliability of
open source software. The report, backed by the US Department of
Homeland Security (DHS), has evaluated 31 popular open source packages
searching for defects that will cause 'hard crashes' - problems that
leave users open to hackers or cause downtime. [...] the report ... has
effectively given the Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl/PHP/Python (LAMP)
stack a healthy rating. [It] 'showed significantly better software
quality' above the report's baseline[,] with an average of .32 defects
per 1,000 lines of code...
- Invasion of the Computer Snatchers
Hackers are hijacking thousands of PCs to spy on users, shake down
online businesses, steal identities and send millions of pieces of
spam. If you think your computer is safe, think again. ... At the
moment, [the hacker interviewed] controls more than 13,000 computers
in more than 20 countries. This morning he installs spyware on just
a few hundred of the 2,000 PCs that he has commandeered in the last
- January Virus and Spam Statistics: 2006 Starts with a Bang
(Commtouch press release,
The numbers are indeed concerning: 19 new email-born significant virus
attacks, of which [...] 4 (21%) were massive attacks - a rare
phenomenon for a single month. ... Commtouch was able to compare
detection times of 21 leading AV engines against 19 new viruses
in January. The results:  On average, each AV completely missed
6.2 viruses (the attack was [already] completed, and a signature was
[still not] available).  The average response time to new viruses
among all AV engines was 8.12 hours. "The data should be of great
concern to AV vendors and IT managers alike. [...] An eight hour
response spells a simple truth - a traditional AV solution does not
stand a chance against massive attacks that end before a signature is
- Linux Allies Rebut Microsoft 'Get the Facts' Campaign
[A] 17-page research report entitled "Get the Truth on Linux Management"
[has been published] that challenges Redmond's claims that Linux has
a higher TCO (total cost of ownership) and systems management costs
than Windows. The study's overall conclusion is that Linux may,
in many cases, be substantially less expensive to own than Windows
- Microsoft Anti-Spyware Deleting Norton Anti-Virus
Microsoft's Anti-Spyware program is causing troubles for people
who also use Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus software; apparently, a
recent update to Microsoft's anti-spyware application flags Norton as
a password-stealing program and prompts users to remove it. ... When
Microsoft Anti-Spyware users remove the flagged Norton file as prompted,
Symantec's product gets corrupted and no longer protects the user's
machine. The Norton user then has to go through the Windows registry
and delete multiple entries (registry editing is always a dicey
affair that can quickly hose a system if the user doesn't know what
he or she is doing) so that the program can be completely removed
- Spyware Barely Touches Firefox
Internet Explorer users can be as much as 21 times more likely to end
up with a spyware-infected PC than people who go online with Mozilla's
Firefox browser, academic researchers [said]. ... [Researchers] sent
their crawlers to 45,000 Web sites, cataloged the executable files
found, and tested malicious sites' effectiveness by exposing unpatched
versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox to "drive-by downloads."
... no domain managed to infect the Firefox-equipped PC in a drive-by
- California Holds Hearing on Open Source Software in Election Systems
(Government Technology Magazine,
Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach, Calif.), chairwoman of the
Senate Elections, Reapportionment & Constitutional Amendments Committee,
and a candidate for California Secretary of State, conducted a hearing
today to look at how private companies, as well as state and federal
agencies, have begun using "open source software" and where it can
or should be used in California's electoral system.
- Microsoft warns of file-trashing worm
Microsoft has published a security advisory warning Windows users of
a file-trashing worm that has been circulating via e-mail for several
weeks. The worm, which is programmed to destroy a wide variety of
files on the third day of every month, has been circulating since
mid-January, and is estimated to have infected between 250,000 and
300,000 systems worldwide.
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