What a wonderful day Microsoft have just had.
To start with, Microsoft have reminded everyone that Windows 2000 support will end on 30 June 2005. Windows 2000 is probably the most widely used OS in corporate environments and cutting support for it isn’t going to win them any friends. Sure, MS want companies to move to their newer, nicer & stranger Windows XP, which will cost money. Australian government agencies would not be happy with spending money on upgrading, so which option do they take:
1) Stay with unsupported an eventually highly unsafe Windows 2000 (see http://www.greymagic.com/security/advisories/gm015-ie/  for proof of unpatched and probably never to be patched security issues in Windows 2000). Cost: Short-term $0, Long-term potentially costly investment in fixing all the issues that will arise. Future versions of Windows Apps (and some current ones) not supporting 2000 will also add to the cost through lost productivity and profits.
2) Upgrade to Windows XP and deal with the new quirks it brings, as well as the interesting upgrades of various programs that simply won’t run under XP. Cost: High, could cost a very large sum of money with the gazillion upgrades and re-training of staff…even if only Windows needs to be upgraded it will still be costly.
3) Move to Linux. Depending on the applications required in the company, probably a good idea, even if only part of the company changes. The cost is anywhere from $0 to low/medium depending on which distro is chosen and whether training is required. Regardless of the overall cost, it is still worthwile considering…good to be informed, you may need the information when it comes time to avoid Windows Longhorn.
Second axe grinding issue, Microsoft have censored MSN blogs in China. If you are chinese and want to talk about anything remotely political, Microsoft will give you a nice little warning saying “This topic contains forbidden words. Please delete them.”
Among the censorings are:
- Human Rights
- Taiwanese Independence
- Dalai Lama
- Falun Gong
- The name of the chinese president, Hu Jintao
If you’re chinese and want a blog, use blogger.com or something useful, because Microsoft & Yahoo want to censor you, Microsoft being more censor filled than Yahoo.
And while I’m at it, lets have a look at AOL and Microsoft.
AOL users reportedly make up the majority of zombie computers on the internet, which is hardly suprising with the way AOL operate.
For those of you who don’t know, AOL internet connections work with proprieatary AOL software (Including their own bizzare version of the clattering rubbish machine that is commonly known as Microsoft Internet Explorer). AOL also do everything in their power to prevent users from understanding the way their computer or the internet works, at the same time, not providing any anti-virus, anti-spyware or other anti-malware software. Congratualtions AOL, it is thanks to you that the rest of us have to ensure that we keep all our anti-malware software up to date consistently and ensure we have good firewalls. Thankyou AOL, you have successfully slowed down the Internet with your constant stream of zombie generated junk, and thankyou so much for never letting any of your users know about any problems that could occur. It is thanks to you AOL that non-computer savvy people have absolutely no idea that they are spreading useless junk and will never know or suspect that such stuff even travels to and from their computers. Thankyou AOL, thankyou sooooo much.
If you are an AOL user, please do a few things, firstly, change ISP. Secondly, install, run, and keep up-to-date anti-malware software (use the search box on the right of the page if it helps). Third, Install Mozilla Firefox (web browser) and Mozilla Thunderbird (email client).