Windows XP Interoperability, Part 7: A Reader's Rebuttal

We had originally planned to begin a series on interoperability

training options, but I decided to postpone that newsletter one week to

air one of the e-mails I received on this Windows XP series. Max

Blickenstorfer of MBS Software Co, Ltd writing from Phuket, Thailand

articulated a thoughtful rebuttal to my views of Windows XP. Since this

newsletter is designed to stimulate technical review and opinion, I

thought I would share his comments in whole with you. This is what Max


"First let me thank you for contributing to the newsletter series

at Professionals like you bring knowledge and views

around the globe!

"Here are some thoughts from my experience:

"I agree XP's stability is much improved over 98 and Me, but that's

not new. We had greater stability with NT4 and 2000 already.

Additionally, many other products offer simply networking so this

is not an advantage of XP over other products.

"I strongly believe that enterprise security starts at the gate and

not on the desktop. Hence, data should be stored on servers and

never local machines.

"Active components should be avoided over http and udp where they

can bypass the dedicated gate. A gateway with firewall rules is

designed to lock some traffic out. Do it the way systems are

designed for and not "plug something on top of it". Use Objects as

comparison, similarly to accessing class properties directly that

bypass access functions. This way the whole idea of objects is

questioned and encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism are

stashed away for the supposed "easy access of corporate information.

"XP is clearly several years ahead of Linux or UNIX open source


A screen saver password is more effective than many other expensive

solutions if you track down how frequently systems lie open for hours.

Combined with easier access to a remote system and being able to hide

behind the mask of a fellow worker will make a crackdown certainly not

easier. But to be fair, this is not XP specific and can actually not

count pro or contra.

The statement that "XP is clearly several years ahead of Linux or

UNIX..."is not true, but is also not wrong. Stating this with a

specific office installation in mind may be appropriate, but not as a

general statement. Businesses, most likely, are not interested in the

fancy stuff promoted by marketing pros, but you're professional enough

to recognize this difference.

Linux can hardly replace a Windows desktop, in some narrow areas this

will fit perfectly and will serve customers well for now. You have to

admit, though, that this narrow notch becomes wider.

We as consultants can only benefit of this "trend", we can advise our

clients more specific considering their own environment and our broader


Max, I appreciate your thoughts and candor. I invite others to also

comment on Windows XP and future newsletter topics.

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