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

By Robert Williams, ITworld |  How-to

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
wrote:

"First let me thank you for contributing to the newsletter series
at ITworld.com. 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
desktop...."

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
information."

Max, I appreciate your thoughts and candor.

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