This question was recently posted on Slashdot: How To Argue That Open Source Software Is Secure?

Smidge207 writes "Lately there has been a huge push by Certified Microsoft Professionals and their companies to call (potential) clients and warn them of the dangers of open source. This week I received calls from four different customers saying that they were warned that they are dangerously insecure because they run open source operating systems or software, because 'anyone can read the code and hack you with ease.'

Remember the days before Automatic Updates? For a long time, if you wanted updates to a Windows system you had to wait for a Service Pack or a new version. Once the Internet came around, you could download patches from Microsoft if you really needed them, but in general you had to wait for the new versions.

Then Microsoft introduced "Windows Update". You could go to the web site and it would scan your system and present you with a list of available updates. This worked for system patches as well as service packs, and was great for System Administrators and home users alike.


Microsoft recently announced a schedule for Windows Vista Service Pack 1. They'll be launching a beta in a few weeks, and the final pack will be out at the beginning of next year. This is surprising because up until this point, Microsoft said they had no plans to release a service pack for Vista. What's really going on is that Vista sales have not been going well, and Microsoft is throwing a bone in hopes it will spur adoption.


The other day I noticed something about Vista which made me think, "Does Vista already know about its problems?" Here's what happened: I have an external firewire (1394) disk drive that I use for backups. I've been using this for years to backup my desktop computer without any problems. Lately I've been migrating to a new laptop, and during that process I wanted to get something off the backup. When I connected the drive to my laptop, Windows found the drive, but then froze up.