Observable Progress for Trustworthy Computing?

by William Grosso

Related link: http://news.com.com/2100-1002_3-5066511.html?tag=fd_top

The other day a friend said "I don't practice safe computing" to me. I was a little surprised by the admission because, quite honestly, it doesn't need to be admitted. Most of us don't. I try to keep make my systems secure, but there have been lapses.

Why? Here's an example. To install the latest patch for IE, I had to reinstall service pack 1 (the patch insisted). Before I could do that, I had to edit the registry. Only then could I install the service pack, which was required to install the patch. There were three or four reboots involved, and a fair amount of head-scratching. Oh, and my plug and play system kept autodetecting the printer the computer already knows about, and asking me if I had more recent drivers. Added up, it was over an hour of my time.

But you know about the worms and alla that. The truly priceless thing today is that Microsoft is claiming the latest worms, viruses, and devastating security holes are actually evidence of progress

I think it is an observable bit of progress for Trustworthy Computing," Toulouse said. "The default settings of the operating system are more secure."

You gotta admire the gall of that. In the midst of a truly nasty worm, and two recently exposed "critical" flaws for Windows, the sort of bugs that completely and utterly compromise your system's integrity, someone at Microsoft is spinning things in a positive way and making the case for buying more Microsoft products.

Not only that, the evidence of progress is really (from the same story) "Windows 2003 doesn't have the vulnerable software installed by default."

And John Dvorak wants to license users?