Since this is an MS forum - how about Azure?
[It would be even nicer they'd also proudly list the actual inventors of these great and innovative smartphone patents they aren't sharing any royalties with, but actually listing the patents in any format would be a start.]
And they are required to list the original inventors on the patent application by law.
Come on Bass. Do keep up.
I would take that point more seriously if Linux kernel version 2.4 was still supported and there had been no breaking changes since then, Or indeed any open source project whose code from 10 years ago is still supported and has binary compatibility with programs written in that era.
Hell - Linux kernel version 3.11 - a kernel barely a month old - has been EOLed. It's simply not the case that FOSS software is supported or stable any longer than proprietary software. Sure you can maintain it yourself - but I seriously doubt you're qualified to maintain the Linux codebase independently, and my grandma and other users sure as hell aren't.
Have you used Wine before? It's not a complete implementation of Windows's API.
I use it everyday
And although it doesn't claim to be a complete implementation, it covers well over 99.99% of all of the most used functionality in Windows for ordinary applications. That's why you can run Office, IIS, .NET, Google Chrome - the works - via WINE.
And if you want to go all out and have driver support as well, you can use Reactos - a full implementation of the entire of Windows. So if Microsoft decided to throw a hissy fit and throw everyone off of their operating system, it's not like programs compiled for Windows wouldn't have an open source home they could go to.
Standard HTML from 1995 still works in browsers in 2013. And that's besides the point. The point is a proprietary vendor can not unilaterally make HTML inoperable.
Just like the W3C can unilaterally make HTML inoperable. HTML5 didn't just add bits to HTML - it took stuff away too.
I remember back in 2000 or so that <body bgcolor="color"> was the way to set the background color of your document. But that's been dropped from HTML5, along with <hgroup>, <isindex>, <applet>, <frame>, <font> and <basefont> - all a staple of HTML from back when webpages were new - and all of that is gone.
At the moment browsers will still parse those older documents, but as HTML5 adoption grows, those documents will slowly but surely cease to parse correctly, just as applications that use Windows 95 interfaces continued to work through to Windows8,1, but will slowly but surely become inoperable with some version of Windows sufficiently far into the future where nobody cares about it anymore.
Silverlight, which is kinda-sorta like Microsoft's successor to ActiveX
It's not. ActiveX was Microsoft trying to bring components that belonged on the desktop onto the web via COM/OLE. Silverlight had nothing to do with the desktop, and was a reinvention of the web itself, and solved a lot of problems with HTML that existed at the time, such as precision drawing (added five years later in HTML5 via <canvas>), resolution independent scaling (Added 3 years later via SVG), 3D objects (added 5 years later via the still-not-fully-standardized webgl), video streaming (added 5 years later via <video> and <audio>), gradients (added 6 years later with CSS-3) and so on.
The fact that HTML copied so many elements of Silverlight was proof that the innovations it brought to the market were needed and wanted. The fact that it failed none-the-less is proof that Microsoft mishandled it.
And it didn't need to be FOSS to survive. Look at the iPhone for proof that the market is more than happy for a big company to invent and make billions off inventing a proprietary platform that redefines how we get data on the move.
Siverlight didn't fail because it wasn't FOSS. It failed because it wasn't managed even vaguely competently.
But even in the case of vendor specific extensions, if the browser is open source, the situation is still far better. Because it can not withdrawn from the market, nor can the license terms change. Assuming there is still interest in the given platform, it will stay alive. Thus people who are depending on the vendor specific extensions aren't left out in the cold.
Look at how hard Microsoft has been trying to "withdraw" Windows XP from the market, as testament to the fact that proprietary software also cannot be trivially withdrawn from the market.
Also re: EvilD: WINE is not really sufficient
Why not? It runs practically everything that Windows runs, and it does it in an open-source way. What's not to like?
Microsoft's source code might not be open, but their API specification is. So it's really not that hard to take a binary compiled for Windows and run it on an entirely Windows-less machine.
About 1% actually. But that's less to do with the fact that they've been so careful to publish and more to do with the fact that he stole tens of thousands of documents.
And it's not a good metric anyhow. The most sensitive information won't be evenly spread throughout those documents, so the 1% of leaks could well hold 50% or more of the damaging materials. We just don't know.
What I do know though is that if the Washington Post or the Guardian did have clear evidence that Microsoft or other companies were deliberately inserting vulnerabilities which put ordinary Americans at risk from criminals or foreign governments, that document would be right at the top of the list of documents they would be publishing, and hence the absense of such a document is conspicuous.
How can you defend the NSA in face of the FACT that they have been spying illegally on citizens and anyone they choose?
Find me one example where the NSA has (as an organisation) chosen to illegally spy on any citizen, or chosen to systematically spy on any individual or group of individuals since the end of the Cold War.
I'm not going to speak to Windows. The few folks I know use VS as their editor.
I don't know anyone in the NT kernel team that use Visual Studio IDE for development, although I know a couple of people that use vim.
Production builds (i.e. the ones that are built overnight and the ones that they sell) of Windows don't use an IDE at all - dedicated build machines in the build lab use a custom compiler from the compiler's team via razzle, and this compiler is basically (but not exactly) the same as the compiler that ships with Visual Studio.
The compiler is different in a couple of ways. Firstly there are lots of experimental switches that are enabled that don't exist in retail builds of Visual Studio (CFG comes to mind, if you know what that is). And secondly there is metric craptons of performance data from ETW that is fed into the compiler in order to influence things like default branching decisions which aren't available in retail Visual Studio.
But that all said, the compiler is basically the same (it's the same code with some #defines between them), and it is an explicit test of the Microsoft compilers that they can do a full from-scratch compiler of Windows followed by a performance monitored boot to desktop.
Trying to tell customers "Oh this device by our competitor sucks because you can't install all of the apps you like on it, here - have this device that we make that sucks because you can't install any of the apps you like on it" is kinda stupid.
Hell - you can't even install Google Chrome on a Surface. Or Photoshop and Illustrator for that matter (which is a no-sale for one of their earlier extras-pretending-to-be-a-real-person earlier in the ad).
Microsoft's counterpoint to Chromebook shouldn't be a Surface. It should be Windows.
'Cos given a choice between a Chromebook and an RT? To be honest, I'd probably prefer the Chromebook.
As it happens, IAD - a division of NSA - are responsible for a sizable percentage of all of the bugs that get fixed in every Windows Update.
Much as the media like to pretend otherwise, the NSA does actually care about the security of Windows from remote attackers. Because even looking past the fact that most Americans, including big businesses and defense contractors use Windows - most of the US government including the Whitehouse and the NSA itself use Windows.
And again - I hate to be the one to roll out the whole "facts" thing again - but the facts in this case just don't add up to that conclusion. The media are more than welcome to their opinion that the NSA is big and bad and evil. But the actual slides they are using to justify these statements don't back up that statement you're making there.
In the entire stash of illegal disclosures by Snowden so far, there has been zero evidence that the NSA have backdoored Windows (or anything thing else) that would allow criminals or foreign governments to attack it.
No you're not.
We do use Application Domains inside of the processes to limit permissions. Would doing it this way allow users to bypass permission restrictions?
Yes. Yes, doing that would allow users to bypass permission restrictions.
.NET permission restrictions are not process level isolation. Someone who can run native code in your process can bypass all .NET permission restrictions, and someone who can do reflection or any kind or marshalling in your .NET process can escalate out of the .NET sandbox to native code to bypass any non process-level isolation restrictions that you have in place.
You need to start the user process in at least Low Integrity, with an isolated ACL, if you're in Server 2012 or above, use AppContainer isolation, then put the process in it's own job group on a different window session.
Basically, assume that someone running .NET is running whatever C code they want in your process. There's a reason Microsoft stopped taking .NET permissions seriously in .NET 3.5. It's because they fundamentally don't work as a barrier to attackers who can run arbitrary .NET code from elevating out of it to take control of the system.
... Yet they have full control over any system hard-coded against Windows because they are the only company that provides Windows, and they have complete and utter control over this dependency, and without this dependency your system becomes worthless. Therefore, anything hardcoded to Windows is fundamentally under the control of Microsoft, a single proprietary vendor who may or may not have your organization's future interests in mind.
Let me introduce you to WINE.