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Guy Says Windows Vista Can Boost Your Career

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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September 25, 2006 10:48:00 AM

Anyone who learns Vista suddenly becomes the new expert. Two areas where computer specialists will always be in demand are migration and security. Follow Guy's advice and make youself king at your workplace or your own consulting company.
September 25, 2006 3:52:58 PM

I actually laughed out loud at the end of the article: Vista is touted as now being on par security-wise with Unix, and the only bit of practical advice that is given is to disable the separation between user and administrator.

Under Linux (and most other Unixes) there is a saying: "don't take the name of root in vain". Allowing unchecked privileges escalation amounts to the same, and is a Bad Thing (tm).
September 25, 2006 4:02:09 PM

I found this article incoherent--far from the usual standard of content on TH. What were you smoking?

The picture of Allchin with caption is just funny in an article about boosting your career through Vista. Yeah, it did wonders for Jim! Uh, Vista is the train wreck that "retired" Allchin's career at Microsoft. Guy really does have a great sense of humor!

Also, did I miss something? Isn't one of the key Vista features, one of the few that weren't gutted, improved security through UAC? The article seems to buy into this but ends with how to turn UAC off because it is annoying. Well, that I can understand because it is clear that account privileges are poorly implemented compared to Linux or OS X--but if you turn UAC off what's the point of Vista?

(BTW For anyone who wants to implement better security on WXP and W2K there's useful advice and tools at http://nonadmin.editme.com/, a lot of it from Microsoft employees and it won't cost you $200 or whatever.)
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September 25, 2006 7:16:30 PM

Quote:
Anyone who learns Vista suddenly becomes the new expert. Two areas where computer specialists will always be in demand are migration and security. Follow Guy's advice and make youself king at your workplace or your own consulting company.


King at your workplace or your own consulting company? just because you know where in the Vista GUI Microsoft have hidden all the usual crap? lol....I think not...

This author is a tool. He's the same person who wrote the recent "how many $$$ do you value vistas new features at" article. He's clearly being paid by Microsoft to write this thinly-veiled marketing crap.

I'm disgusted at Tom's for hosting this as 'news'. What happened the old Tom's with decent technical articles?
September 25, 2006 8:38:45 PM

I am not convinced that large corporations will embraced Vista with open arms. Most places will just stick with XP because it works and no one will pay for the upgrade because of the expense. I am not convinced that you'll suddenly get paid more because you know Vista.
September 26, 2006 1:49:49 AM

Quote:
I am not convinced that large corporations will embraced Vista with open arms. Most places will just stick with XP because it works and no one will pay for the upgrade because of the expense. I am not convinced that you'll suddenly get paid more because you know Vista.


Quite true. I work for an infrastructure supply company in Australia and none of our enterprise level clients will even be considering Vista for at least 12 months after the release date. The only consideration they will have is for the next SOE to be on equipment which is Vista capable.

SME is a bit of a mixed bag in that the larger ones will also avoid Vista but smaller orgs doing a new rollout will take it on once OEM XP is no longer available on branded machines.

Of course home users buying a new computer will be the most likely victims of early Vista use.
September 26, 2006 9:50:43 AM

Personally, I wonder what is the value of Vista in a professional environment - where w2k is still a legit choice and XP accounts as 'icing on the cake'.

Unless Longhorn servers actually bring something interesting, Vista is no use.

From my account, compared with, say, SuSE 10 Enterprise, you'd still have to pay me $345 to install Vista on my machine and have a 'similar' first-contact experience - and throw in MS Office for free.
September 26, 2006 2:34:46 PM

I believe only the richest, top of the line companies, may make all their machines vista. If that much. I am working in a pretty wealthy company right now (not as IT unfortunately :-( ) and tons of these computers are older than hell...all of which would have a heart attack trying to run Vista. Business is about profit, and saving money...not about spending it. I believe that very, very few businesses are going to re-buy all new machines for their company just so they can run Vista.
You've got another thing coming Microsoft if you think everyone's going to switch because of a few extra security measures...which this author comes out and says "that will be breached in 6 months after its release". Just like the home user, companies are obviously doing in the fine right now with XP...So they have no reason to switch just like home users don't have a reason...until a really good reason comes along.
September 26, 2006 4:54:23 PM

Quote:
I believe only the richest, top of the line companies, may make all their machines vista. If that much.

And then they will no longer be the richest, top of the line companies ;-)

Quote:
this author comes out and says "that will be breached in 6 months after its release".

Vista's improved security is all theoretical at the moment. The rubber hits the asphalt when it is deployed in production environments. My guess is that the security measures won't be breached in 6 months because hackers figure out how to get round the new technology. They'll be breached almost immediately because "computer consultants" and Is-types like Guy find the measures annoying and have posted detailed instructions on how to disable them even before the product is released and that's just exactly what a lot of users will do. It isn't hard to see that a lot of Vista users will be running with the same security profile as an Admin on XP and have the same security exposure. This is the problem with Vista's so-called security features. User privilege control has been available on every NT-based Microsoft OS since the first NT release in the early 1990s. The problem is that users (and application programmers) just can't be bothered with it, even as Microsoft has attempted to make it easier to use. I seriously doubt Vista will change the entrenched culture and practices surrounding Windows.

(Note that not UAC does not conform to the principle of LUA. LUA is just too difficult to implement on Windows. They changed the name for a reason!)
September 27, 2006 6:17:04 AM

Quote:
I am not convinced that large corporations will embraced Vista with open arms. Most places will just stick with XP because it works and no one will pay for the upgrade because of the expense. I am not convinced that you'll suddenly get paid more because you know Vista.


Well, the other thing that you have to remember is that some places are still on Windows 98 or ME at most!

Migrating from that to Vista..... going to take a LOT of time and money. That said, if Vista's new security features are really all they are hyped up to be..... it will be worth it for most businesses, considering that one of the things that is getting on customers nerves is all the data theft and loss recently.
September 27, 2006 7:40:56 AM

You can get Vista's security level with:
- forcing implementation of tightly controlled user accounts: NTFS with quotas and authorizations (only administrator has R/W on Windows' system files etc., users have limited user accounts...)
- installing a 'real' software firewall (my recommendation is Kerio Personal Firewall 2.1.5, which can be patched to be more efficient than its latest 'official' revision, and allows precise rule sets to be put in place)
- revoking all privileges from IE/Outlook/MSN and installing another browser/mailer/messenger (I dig Firefox/Thunderbird/AMSN, but you can use Opera or Seamonkey and/or Gaim)
-disabling unused services (if you're not sharing files on a home network, disable the 'server' service and Netbios components, and client to MS networks on all network connections)
-not installing a Java VM if you can help it (although there are less and less efficient Java exploits in the wild)

While this doesn't reach Linux' security level (peripherals are still 'in the wild' and some dangerous services still run), it still kicks away most known styles of attack.
October 5, 2006 11:58:20 AM

Hahaha, we need more articles like this.


Tell ya what Vista will do.
It will take 300 patches after the first release to get it 'working'.
IT will create Microsoft Vista Certified Enginners jobs for those dumb axx idiot suxxrs who doesn't know the meaning 'command prompt'.

The first release will be such junk that more than 100 million XP users who have the original license upgrading to call Microsoft asking what this blue screen is.

Microsoft then will make this big anncouncement of apologies or 'not my fault' 'pointing fingers' crap at Intel or whatever MB manufacturers or driver etc.

My bet is stick to XP until Vista releases SP8~10
October 16, 2006 7:39:54 AM

Did anyone read the article? First of all, those saying you can get the security level of Vista with XP or lesser OS's, haven't even breezed thru the 25page whitepaper regarding Vista's enhancements. Service hardening for one is one that XP has needed forever. Look at most of the worst XP viruses out there over the past few years, RPC exploits galore. These are where Microsoft gets hurt worst and this is one of the main things they've tried to fix and done a very good job at fixing in Vista.

Those saying, "oh well, companies will never upgrade to Vista". Sure most large companies won't for awhile. Hell the company I work for is just now upgrading to XP. The fact is they are only because applications they use require them to do so. IBM & Microsoft and other software vendors will only support 2000 for so long. This leads to my 2nd point, hardware vendors will eventually force this upon businesses as well as they can't be asked to support several different operating systems.

So sure, you won't see big companies moving over to Vista anytime soon and probably desktop users will be the first. The fact of the matter is, it WILL happen, and getting to know the OS as well as you can is a very smart move at the moment. Thats the only point he was trying to make and he did it well.

Just my 2 cents
October 16, 2006 8:08:36 AM

Frankly, what better way to secure a service than to disable it if you don't need it? Moreover, as long as it runs, it is vulnerable - and critical services will still run under full privileges under Vista, because they need those privileges. So yes, if you disable unrequired services, XP can reach a 'high' security level. Maybe not as high as Vista's, but considering the way security is implemented in the Vista kernel, these 'sandboxing' features are more than likely to be dispatched with no warnings and dire effects.

Unix' approach to services security is efficient in its simplicity: you make it own the files it requires or member of groups having read access to some other required files/devices, and you're set - even when compromised (which can already be quite tough), the service will be unable to infect anything that it doesn't own, and it can't modify (only read) the rest.

Yes, I've read the article. Following the advice in it, then the user would have full administrator access - making all security measures in Vista completely inefficient (merely wasting CPU cycles) - thus the fact that if you need to run Vista as administrator anyway, you're better off tightening XP's security: less insecure, less bloated (thus less possible exploits), cheaper and more extensively debugged.

I made my choice: I keep a lean, closed down XP on a spare partition (for a pair of games - goes well with the Fisher-Price look, that I've disabled anyway), and a nice Linux OS is now my main desktop (with security, 3D desktop, and responsiveness).
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