User Pain May Mean Windows Cracks

Microsoft's attempts to keep the next version of Windows secure could help promote the free software ethic, says technology commentator Bill Thompson.

The release of Vista, the latest incarnation of Microsoft's Windows operating system, could mark the point at which the ongoing argument between two very different models of how software should be developed and maintained is finally resolved.

With Vista Microsoft is taking much greater control over key aspects of the way users' computers run - especially when it comes to security. This will highlight the differences between the closed development model advocated by Microsoft and the approach taken by free and open source software developers like the people behind GNU/Linux or the Firefox browser.

Microsoft is putting a lot of effort into securing the Vista kernel, the program that sits at the centre of the system and provides all the functions that other programs need, including access to the hardware and any peripheral devices like disks and networks.

News source: bbc.co.uk

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