Skip to comments.Computer Question: Security, Windows XP vs Windows 7 Ultimate
Posted on 07/05/2011 12:46:30 AM PDT by Yosemitest
7 is compatible with XP if the code was written write. Where a lot of 32-bit apps run into a problem on 7 (and the other 64-bit Windows too) is if they access their directory and the registry through absolute paths rather than the way MS has been recommending for ages by using the system variables. That causes them to go looking for themselves in “program files” rather “program files (x86)” and all hell breaks lose. That’s not MS’s fault, they’d been recommending that particular method of doing things since Win95, but some people insist they know best.
And it’s not MS’s fault the makers of your software lied. Lots of new stuff works fine, some companies suck, that’s life. Stop doing business with them and go find somebody that doesn’t. And shouting doesn’t make it so, it just shows that you’re being emotional and not bothering to think, throwing blame everywhere instead of where it belongs. You bought bad software, that’s unfortunate, but it’s not the OS’s fault.
MACs are not secure, period. First, just as with Windows, there are plenty of security vulnerabilities created by third-party apps. For example, Skype 5 for MAC - that's "for MAC," not just Skype 5 generically - has a vulnerability that "allows remote chatters to gain control of a system" - from Macworld, May 6, 2011.
Conservatives generally recognize that journalism is biased; I like to think that I have studied that phenomenon more deeply than most. One observation I would make is that although journalists do sometimes lie, the deceptive half truth is generally their weapon of choice. This is even explicitly codified in the "'Man Bites Dog' rather than 'Dog Bites Man'" preference of journalism. And here we have an example of that in an FR comment: an example of excessive flexibility in coding for an application (Skype) turns up in an exploit, and it is news. It might have seemed like news, to be fair, if it happened to Win 7 - but in any previous incarnation of Windows it would have been strictly a "Dog Bites Man" story. And the story is extrapolated to other applications by citing it as an "example" when, so far as I am aware, no other app has been implicated. Nor, I warrant, will it be - the permissiveness which allowed Skype's coding malpractice to run under OS X has surely been corrected by now.
Second, the MAC OS itself is no more inherently secure than Windows. For example, there is a piece of MAC-specific malware, called "Mac Defender" - cute name, I guess hackers have a sense of irony, if you will - that Apple has admitted is a problem
Oops. Apparently, a false sense of inherent security lulls one to sleep. As someone once said, that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and PC users appear to have grown stronger from their lack of false security.Meanwhile, Mac users are just as vulnerable to Web-based attacks like phishing as PC users are, and Mac users who fall prey to phishing tend to lose more money on average than PC users do, the survey found.
Which is it? Are Mac users too credulous of the claims that Mac is substantially more difficult to produce self-replicating viruses for - or are Mac users too credulous of claims (such as your own) that we need to install whatever fly-by-night "antivirus" software comes at us over the Internet proclaiming that the sky is falling?
What it really comes down to is the subjective measure - how comfortable are you with this or that OS - and not some supposedly objective measure of security, not because security isn't an issue, but because MAC and Win7 are pretty much neck and neck - each has different vulnerabilities, but both are vulnerable - and because the biggest threat isn't in the software, it's in the wetware between the user's ears.
I know that you are correct, regarding the Mac at least. I hope you are correct in saying that Win7 is as resistant as OS X.I'm for taking good security measures, but I decided that if distinct self-replicating viruses number in the thousands which can turn my computer against my security are effective against my system, I was using the wrong OS. And that's why I dropped Windows. I know that it's impossible to make, and prove, 100% reliable security. I just don't want to be so vulnerable that I am an easy target for phishing attacks exploiting my knowledge of that vulnerability.
"If you look at the number of published vulnerabilities in software and the number of users and compare Windows versus Mac OS you will discover that Mac OS has far more published vulnerabilities per user than Windows does so I think the data pretty much speaks for itself.What, precisely, does "published vulnerabilities per user" mean? That metric seems to suggest that if there are, for example, ten vulnerabilities in Linux that is a bigger problem than a hundred vulnerabilities in Windows if there are more than ten times as many Windows users than Linux users. And I just don't see why that would be the case. Nor do I see how all "vulnerabilities" are equal. Either a "vulnerability" produces an attack on my computer or it doesn't. And if it doesn't, that either means that it is an illusory "vulnerability" or that the OS supplier has nipped it in the bud. The only thing that matters is how hard it is for me to keep my computer exclusively under my control.
I am always amazed at the common statements that are repeated....
“I tried windows [whatever] but is was so terrible I down graded back to windows 1.0 until they perfect [whatever]”
It sounds like you have enough processor, but you need to realize the when your run VM’s like that you’re essentially running multiple computers in the same address space. There’s a setting on the XP VM that tells it how much memory to allocate for the VM. The default is fairly low. If you’re using memory intensive applications in the VM you may need to allocate more memory to it. If it’s constantly paging the swap file, the performance is going to suck. How bad it sucks will depend on how fast and maybe how fragmented your HD is.
That’s the big issue w/respect to WinXP: drivers. You’re beholden to the vendors to supply drivers for contemporary hardware that are backwards compatible with legacy O/S WinXP.
Case in point: SATA drives in WinXP. Not that it can’t be done, but there will be additional hoops to jump through.
The biggest problem will be w/respect to upgrading the motherboard down the road. The device drivers specific to contemporary motherboard may not be WinXP compatible. Peripherals may become obsolete if large volume sales haven’t been realized by the vendor; drivers may not be available for now ‘legacy’ hardware.
That was an issue with a gfx card I ran into that previously ran fine in Win98SE. The BIOS had to be flashed for the gfx card to accomodate the newer method that the O/S hooks the hardware firmware; otherwise a blsckscreen during boot was encountered, i.e., the monitor would go into standby (requiring manual power off the monitor and turning back on).
With respect to the security model, the security flaws of XP are resolved and implemented in the base code for Win7. That being said, the O/S itself should never be considered the frontline defense from a security perspective. That is relegated to access control list, firewall, host intrusion prevention and anti-virus. With the inherent security of NTFS and group policy the Win7 is intrinsically more secure than WinXP.
My advice is to consider Win7 primarily for forward compatibility concerns. Yes, the large corporate IT environments have issue migrating to Win7, but that’s because they have larger issues at stake concerning security policy and implementation of software as dictated by such policy.
Economically speaking, you’re probably better off getting Windows 7 Ultimate.
Windows XP will, like it or not, will soon enough go the way of Windows 95. Since it is now two releases behind and 11 years old, that argues that it will be sooner rather than later.
Although primarily a Linux user, i’ve had both Windows XP and Windows 7. Both have their strong points, and both have their less than commendable areas.
IMO, it is probably better to go with Windows 7 for longevity purposes.
The OS commented upon is WinXP. Nowhere in the comment do I say it is available from MS or a MS website. Perhaps, I did not state this in a clear and easily understood comment.
What is said, is that MS supports any WinXP OS system by way of updates from their web sites. If a person has WinXP on their computer they can DL updates for thei OS from MicroSoft at the MicroSoft support website. Micosoft Windows Update...its best to use Internet Explorer to do this.
I hope this clarifies.
I will “ditto” everything the good pastor said. An “open system” such as linux is not inherently less secure. The “open” reference concerns who develops and maintains the linux kernel and its related applications (which is a wide and changing group of people), NOT to it being an open door for viruses, etc.
I have run Ubuntu and Mint and am now trying Zorin, all linux “flavors”. The last of these is meant to look and “feel” like Win 7.
Getting a “dual boot” machine with XP or Win 7 AND a linux distribution is great.
And LINUX is far superior to Apple or Microsoft in the malware, virus, etc., area for the precise reasons PastorBooks described.
It is a fun system if you even 0.5% geek.
I studied Linux and Fortran in college in the early '80s, but I've forgotten it. I'll give it some thought.
Most of my computer time now days is spent looking for old parts for old farm equipment, shopping on e-bay, or researching items of interest, and of course, Free Republic.
Thanks, I’ll have to find out it Parallels can handle the 64 bit Windows 7 under IMac.
The neat thing about virtual machines is snapshots. Before trying something questionable, you can take a snapshot of the virtual machine. If something goes wrong, such as a virus infection or something, you just restore the snapshot, and everything is back to normal (virus gone, browser history gone, etc.).
If you like to surf especially hazardous places on the web, you may wish to build an Ubuntu Linux virtual machine (and use the snapshot facility). Firefox and Chrome work fine on Ubuntu. Ubuntu is immune to most malware. And, if it's not, you are running in a VM, so you have the virtual machine isolation protecting you, and the snapshot fallback is immediately available.
In any case, the virtual machine is fairly well isolated from your Mac's native file system. It might as well be running in another machine on your LAN. The risks are comparable. E.g., if you had Windows running in another physical machine on your LAN, and it got infected with a virus, and it has access to your Mac's file system via network shares, then bad things can happen. It's the same for a virtual machine.
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