September 23, 2004

Microsoft, Security and your Pocketbook

It does not look like Microsoft is taking security as seriously as their cash flow:

Microsoft this week reiterated that it would keep the new version of Microsoft's IE Web browser available only as part of the recently released Windows XP operating system, Service Pack 2. The upgrade to XP from any previous Windows versions is $99 when ordered from Microsoft. Starting from scratch, the operating system costs $199.

That, analysts say, is a steep price to pay to secure a browser that swept the market as a free, standalone product.

"It's a problem that people should have to pay for a whole OS upgrade to get a safe browser," said Michael Cherry, analyst with Directions on Microsoft in Redmond, Wash. "It does look like a certain amount of this is to encourage upgrade to XP."

This is, though, just the tip of the iceberg. Many of these older systems, 49.2% of the Microsoft OS base, run on machines that can not support XP in a usable form. My family has 3 of these as well as a couple newer machines that have the memory and processor speed to support XP.

So, it is not just a matter of a $99 or $199 OS for the many people who would have to by new hardware to support XP.

But, this is also one reason why I run Firefox and Thunderbird on all our PCs.

Posted by Steve on September 23, 2004
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