Bill Gates: Microsoft would backdoor its products in a heartbeat

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Kudos to Bill Gates for making his stance known on this matter. In doing so, he has justified my decision to use Apple products.



When you phrase it like that, my first thought is, “of course they would.” They’ve been compromising security for years for much sillier reasons.

When the Windows 2000 source code leaked, one of the most interesting things about it was the sheer number of kludges with comments like, “all windows should do X before this happens… but popular accounting program Y does not. To keep their bad program from making our OS look bad, we detect the condition and make a best guess at X for them here.”


Well, every single black hat hacker just knelt and said a prayer of thanks to Mr. Gates for making their employment that much easier.

I give it two months, at most, until the backdoors are found, and then they’ll be passed around the criminal underworld like a bong at a pothead convention.


Bill Gates’ opinion on this isn’t Microsoft’s.

This is their chief legal dude:


Roger That!


Yep, security and Windows are two words that have never been together.


Why is this even news? We have known for a long long time Microsoft considers our privacy something they have the right to sell.


Just like Facebook?


nah, that was more a case of Microsoft coders bending over backwards to retain backwards compatibility with older (often badly written) software. Contrast this to Apple’s strategy of ‘fuck the users’.


Yes, I do pine away for Windows 95.

[note sarcasm]


yeeaaaah. His ribbon cutting analogy is awful too. Scissors already exist. The problem here is that apple would need to WRITE SOFTWARE to make this a thing. They wouldn’t be using software they already have on hand. Once that software exists, the possibility for it to get in to the wrong hands exists. I’m not normally an apple fan but i do agree with their stance on this one.


A little more nuance, but still not exactly cool:

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Yes, but one of these strategies tends to produce a lot better security than the other. Instead of starting with a secure system and asking what they could accomplish in the framework, they asked, “what kind of holes do we have to put in this so that old shit just works?”

To their credit, that was a while ago and they seem to be getting better. (Or maybe all my old things breaking just gives me a warped illusion of progress?)

They started off with an insecure kernel and set of core OS services, it wasn’t designed from a secure networking standpoint to begin with, security problems had little to do with the backwards compatibility. By the time XP SP3 came out though things were already pretty secure, and Vista fixed the remaining structural problems. The changes they made to the user account model in recent versions didn’t even break much - I had to change one application that installed all my other applications (and even then it worked fine as long as you ran it elevated manually), but that was about it.


Apple’s commitment to security for their users is fucking them?



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No, ‘fuck the users’ was when they were breaking compatibility with the software than their users had bought with every new version of the OS. Nothing to do with security changes, any kind of change they made would lead to shit like that. This may have stopped happening after they switched to UNIX though (not sure, haven’t used anything Apple related since then), but of course the switch itself was not exactly very backwards compatible.

So you’re making blanket statements about an OS that’s been dead as a doornail for 15 years, and comparing it negatively to Microsoft continuing backwards compatibility from a product they poorly conceived of 30 years ago and continue to drag along today?

That’s one heck of an argument you got there.