Paul Ferris — What a Twisted Web

By Paul Ferris, Staff

It’s been a bad week so far for Microsoft. We have security
problems lining up like tin soldiers, all of them aiming at
Microsoft’s already badly tarnished reputation. Then, we have rival
Sun pushing a new front. It’s
obvious that Scott McNealy would like to trounce Microsoft’s lock
on the Office suite monopoly.

In case you think he’s the only one making a fuss about that
problem, bear in mind that in the original push for anti-trust
litigation, the 19 states that sued Microsoft had included Office
as one of the primary reasons. That reason got dropped due to time
constraints for the trial.

Still, you can see it. Sun wants to rock the Office boat badly.
I’d like to take this time to say this to CEO Scott McNealy: Scott,
I love ya man, but please consider using the GPL instead of the
license you have chosen. Ok? Free
works, and if you want to fight for freedom at least
use the free license that makes you look the least like

Now, back to the real problem. We have the title of the latest
FUD* aimed at Sun’s new Internet push: “Free Apps
Aren’t Trusted, Sun Web Rivals Say”.

The main web rival being quoted: Microsoft of course. That’s the
only one that even mentions security anyway. The rest are
commenting about other aspects such as whether or not it’s a
server-based app, and market share.

Microsoft. What a well-spring of intellectual depth on the
subject of Internet security.

I think a short review of this year’s mistakes is in order, to
help provide a contrast between their actual experience and their
wishfully projected expertise on Internet security:

That’s just a short list, from this year alone. I’ll bet that
there’s more, yet to be uncovered. Probably some that I’ve missed
as well. And one of this company’s spokespersons has the nerve to
throw rocks at Sun in public for attempting an initiative that they
(Microsoft) thought was too insecure?

What’s wrong with this picture? Why, I have to ask, why out of
all of the rocks to choose to throw at Sun for this decision, did
you, Microsoft, choose security? Was it because you know that
Microsoft isn’t the authority on thin-client or server based
applications? Was it because you knew that an attack on their
stability would be a dead end?

My guess is that somebody in Microsoft’s PR agency doesn’t
understand that there are a few aspects of Microsoft’s reputation
that have pretty much been flushed down the tubes of public

Let’s directly cover what’s really being said in this

* Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

Fear: This product is going to be insecure!

Uncertainty: It’s not what it appears to be.

Doubt: It won’t gain any market share at all.

Well, they are right about one aspect: Somebody can’t be
trusted. But maybe Microsoft can be trusted to deliver some things.
This item is delivered a lot with such regluarity too. It’s so
regular, so predictable and so well defined. It almost sounds like
some kind of parrot speaking.

Polly want a cracker? This one is getting stale.