Sunday, April 17, 2005

Uh, right...

PCWorld has an article which discusses MS's intention to make Longhorn easier to use, more secure, and less costly to manage.

I'm sorry, but this is what got them into trouble in the first place. "Easier to use, more secure, and less costly to manage" equates to "more features, more automation, and more code". The problems that we are forced to live with today (i.e., spyware and malicious code) stems from the fact that Windows is "easy to use".

MS Windows is easy to use because the components of the OS are tied together in such a manner that you can click on a link in a Word document and have a browser kick off, or the media player starts, or the spread sheet can be embedded in the presentation. Now the instant messenger can fire off a whiteboard session where more than one person can mark up a document, or it can start a audio or video call, or it can access the address book in Exchange.

Adding features and code NEVER increases security. Rather, it adds to complexity and Windows source code is well beyond the size where any one person can entirely understand the interaction between all of its parts (this argument includes the 3rd party software that users load).

I also have doubts about the "secure startup" feature. Yes, it's a nice to have if you're worried about your laptop being stolen. However, having it everywhere forces users to give up being able to recover files if the OS becomes corrupted. (I may be misunderstanding Mr. Allchin's short description of the service.)

In any case, I wouldn't jump to the new OS until at least 6 months to a year after it hits the street. There are always serious kinks and bugs to hammer out in new OSs.