And looking at the names of the companies joining the EU, there is absolutely no surprise there. For example, if you’ve tried the latest beta of SQL Server 2005, you’ll understand why Oracle is eager to support the EU. It’s kind of like how it went with Netscape and Microsoft. Netscape 3 was out, and life was good. Microsoft was releasing IE 1, 2 and 3 and everyone laughed, including Netscape, because their browser was much better. But Microsoft was improving their product constantly while everyone was busy laughing. And then came IE 4. IE 4 was actually pretty good. Even I switched from Netscape to IE 4 back then, because IE 4 was faster and simpler compared to the bloatware Netscape was becoming. I can still remember how long it took to load the browser alone because it was probably preloading every DLL it could find on your system for reasons that will remain unknown to mankind for the foreseeable future. And then Netscape started to feel the heat, and instead of improving their product and maintain their market share they decided to attack Microsoft. This is the common mistake companies make these days. And Netscape, as we all know, lost.
Microsoft had been including media player with Windows for a decade. When did Real start to complain? Riiiiiiight about the time when media player actually became shiny and useful.
In the same way, today SQL Server has come a long way, and Oracle is getting worried. With SQL Server becoming better fewer people will want to pay the exorbitant amounts of money Oracle charges for their database licenses. And apparently Oracle, IBM, Real and Red Hat still don’t get it. Do you see Microsoft attacking FireFox? No, Microsoft made the right decision to improve IE 6 instead. While it was not originally their plan, they’ll now release an IE 7 before Longhorn comes out which will be an answer to FireFox. This is the way it should be, nice and clean. Do you see Google attacking Microsoft? If they did, it would be a serious mistake. Fortunately for them, they are probably as smart as Microsoft, and choose to fight back by improving their products and coming with new idea’s, of which I must say they are doing a great job. Today I am still stuck with 2MB of space on Hotmail, while I now have 2GB of space for my GMail account. In addition GMail has an excellent interface and great features, overall much much better than Hotmail and Yahoo combined. The only thing that is currently stopping me from not using my Hotmail account anymore is because I still need it as my passport for certain Microsoft services. On the other hand Google has a lot of work to do on their desktop search solution since Microsoft’s solution for the desktop is in my opinion much better. But that’s another story.
If you follow the news these days you’ll notice a new trend developing when you look at the things people say about software security and in particular about Microsoft’s software. I can still remember the days when people were bashing Microsoft’s products left and right for the lack of security, and how difficult it was to explain to them what the reasons were for this. For example, nobody would believe you if you said all the attacks on Microsoft’s products were a result of the fact that their products had a large userbase and were a more interesting target for hackers and virus writers. Even for me it was difficult to convince people around me that this was one of the reasons. All that was in their minds was that Microsoft’s software sucked by design and that for example Linux was superior in every way. Well, recently it was proven that the userbase for certain software can indeed determine whether it is interesting enough for virus writers and hackers to target.
“Generally speaking, the Macintosh operating system has been relatively immune to malicious activity, particularly compared to other operating systems like Linux and Microsoft. With the introduction and popularity of Mac OS X, however, Apple has become a target for new attacks and vulnerabilities,” the report stated.
And from here:
MOZILLA-BASED BOWSERS have more holes than Internet Explorer, Symantec said in its seventh half-yearly Internet Security Threat Report, published yesterday.
The report said Symantec had found 21 vulnerabilities in browsers such as Firefox, compaed with 13 in IE. A spokesman told the Aussie paper The Age that malicious attacks on Firefox were bound to increase as the brower becomes more popular.