Sceptical and then some ....

Story: Microsoft, IT Industry Push Software Security StandardTotal Replies: 15
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May 18, 2013
5:28 AM EST
Any time Microsoft "bangs the drum for standardisation", I now sit back with complete disbelief. Microsoft does NOT use standards that are supposedly industry or ISO standard, so why should a security standard be any different ?

A classic example of Microsoft ignoring a supposed standard is .docx format. This is supposedly an ISO standard format....yeah, right. Now try opening a medium complex .docx file with LibreOffice which is supposed to be able to deal with that format....Let me now enjoy cynical laughter. I am being constantly sent .docx files as part of the interaction with an organisation I belong to........If .docx is an ISO standard, its format should be instantly "openable" by LibreOffice........but so far I have not found one .docx file sent to me that LibreOffice can open perfectly. Microsoft, I believe, has deliberately "jemmied" the .docx format so ONLY Microsoft Office can deal with it perfectly. And that is more or less standard for Redmond. And I am supposed to believe that Redmond is sincere about an industry security is but to laugh hysterically.

I am sick of condemning Microsoft. I am sick of saying that Redmond is only interested in perpetuating its monopoly. I am so tired of Microsoft constantly trying to tilt the business playing field in its favour. Microsoft is a company that could do so much good in this world......but all it wants is everybody to use its defective products and produce profits for its shareholders. I suppose those are admirable business aims, but they aren't in the best interests of American innovation and progress...And as for Microsoft products being secure...gimme a break.


May 18, 2013
9:01 AM EST
Knowing MS's usual MO, there probably is something in that standard that hinders one of MS's competitors. Why else would they so publicly state support?

May 18, 2013
10:06 AM EST
MS loves other standards only for the triple E (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish).

MS complies with other standards only when both hands are tied in the back by its customers.


May 18, 2013
10:25 AM EST
Quoting: From the article: Microsoft was the only company that managed to report fewer vulnerabilities in 2012 than its 10-year average, according to a study of vulnerability data by NSS Labs.

But of course, with such an abundance of security holes, the numbers could only go down.


May 18, 2013
10:33 AM EST
I agree with all the comments so far. Microsoft will use the new "standards" to try and lock out competition. Other proprietary software companies may well go along if it's FOSS that gets locked out. They see FOSS as a major threat and rightfully so. So, yeah, I'm beyond skeptical.

May 18, 2013
10:52 AM EST
Who will ever be bound by these standards ? MS does not feel bound to any standards as far as we usually read. Would there be a standards police to enforce them ? ( where is the GPL police force against Chinese handheld Android device makers who rarely give away the Linux kernel sources they ship to customers ?) Could it be just a buzz ? But they are quite clever at MS, see how they grasped the desktop market with secure boot ! May be best to just ignore what they say.

May 18, 2013
10:54 AM EST
Of course FOSS is the real threat. It threatens their gravy train, and forces proprietary software firms to raise the quality of their product thereby reducing profits and executive compensation. Malware is not a threat to them, all it does is force sucke. . . er, customers, to buy more snake oil.

May 18, 2013
11:48 AM EST
Quoting:Who will ever be bound by these standards ? ... Would there be a standards police to enforce them ? ... Could it be just a buzz ?

Quality expandable standard, product dominance, and customer demands (voting by purchasing power) are the only ways to insure enforcement and the survivability of a standard.


May 18, 2013
3:45 PM EST
Quoting:Microsoft, I believe, has deliberately "jemmied" the .docx format so ONLY Microsoft Office can deal with it perfectly.

Office 15—not 2010—to be fully OOXML compliant

From the ArsTechnica article:

Quoting:Microsoft technical evangelist Doug Mahugh responded on Wednesday in an effort to clarify Microsoft's intentions for OOXML support. He said that Microsoft is strongly committed to the standard and plans to achieve full compliance with the ISO-approved specification. He explained that Microsoft was unable to support strict OOXML compliance in Office 2010 due to various logistical issues and time constraints.

In other words, they bribed ... er, crammed the OOXML specification through the ISO, and they will support it ... someday ... maybe.


May 19, 2013
4:20 PM EST
Microsoft only wants credit for the standards. They don't give a rodent's butt about actually, you know, following them.

And, unlike my esteemed colleague Ridcully, I am not at all sick of condemning them. After 15 years, they're still giving me lots of reasons to do so.

May 19, 2013
5:05 PM EST
Gus3......thankyou for the compliment, I am ashamed of myself though, that I am having to elucidate - although I don't blame you for taking my words a little different to my intention.

My sentences: "I am sick of condemning Microsoft. I am sick of saying that Redmond is only interested in perpetuating its monopoly. " should have had the words "I am sick of constantly having to condemn Microsoft. I am sick of constantly having to say Redmond is only interested....etc." My intention was both cynical and very bitter. Due to Redmond's amoral and unethical actions, one is compelled to do so, even if one gets tired of banging the same drum. But whether I am sick of it or not, will I ever stop condemning them while they act as they do ? NEVER !

Just as a follow up to that .......I had to install Win7 as a virtual machine and while it went swimmingly, it suddenly hit me: Be careful with this test setup, do not let it register with Seattle or you get into trouble if you want to try something else out.....And once more it hit me between the eyes. With Linux, you just go ahead happily and blithely and do what you want, test what you want, re-install what you want......with Redmond-blight-ware, you play it so carefully, under stress and know that if you do summat wrong, you does your cash. It is very unpleasant to have to deal with Windows after having enjoyed freedom.

May 19, 2013
5:55 PM EST
gus3 wrote: Microsoft only wants credit for the standards. They don't give a rodent's butt about actually, you know, following them.

Not even, you know, their own "standards".

May 20, 2013
2:51 AM EST
Microsoft sets standards in IT in the sense that Britney Spears sets standards in jazz music.

May 20, 2013
3:32 AM EST
Britney Spears and music..........hmmmmm.........the word oxymoron comes to mind. But then, to an old jester such as myself, music included things that had meaningful lyrics, lovely tunes you could sing, and melody and orchestration that caught your imagination.......I think of things like: Abba, The Seekers, Peter Paul & Mary, The Beetles, ......I feel antique.

May 20, 2013
9:09 AM EST
Quoting:I feel antique.

Don't forget Ridcully, antiques are a lot more valuable and for good reasons. :-)


May 20, 2013
10:43 AM EST
"Standards". Microsoft's endless crying of "standards" while ignoring them. Their constant tweaking of their own "standards" to prevent anyone else from using them, while they "embrace, extend, extinguish" those standards which they did not invent.

The one priority of Microsoft is the same as every other corporation: Maximize Shareholder Value. Users exist for only one reasons: To send money to Microsoft.

The same could be said of Apple, only that Apple does not constantly display their hypocrisy by telling others to follow Apple's "standards". Apple is a hardware company.

With a hardware company, they maximize shareholder value through making new things people want to buy. Standards are GOOD for hardware vendors, because the more useful a device is, the more it works with other devices, the more utility the customer perceives, the more they will pay for it.

This attitude of maximum utility and compatibility does not benefit software companies, because it makes the upgrade treadmill less attractive. Word 2, for example, did everything I needed in a writing program. It still does! But nothing READS Word 2 files any more, so I have to use something else.

Yet OpenOffice files are perfectly readable. Why? Because without the incentive of maximizing shareholder value, the incentive was customer utility, which means real standards.

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