Microsoft goes back to blaming victims: Your malware problem is your fault

We get your point, Microsoft. You don't like customers.The software still has to be secure.

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Microsoft only got religion a few years ago, tightening up its security stance by releasing several notable and free antivirus applications and recovery tools and (almost by the way) doing things like changing the default configuration of its products from More Viruses Here, Waiter, to No More For Me, Thanks.

It never quite got used to the idea the stupid behavior of its customers are its responsibility. This study, disguised a little to look as if it is simply focusing on malware propagation methods, retreads ground walked by nearly every security study ever done.

End users, it discovers, don't like to spend all their time applying patches and making sure nothing bad happens to their computers, in the same way most car owners don't like to keep their primary mode of transportation confined to the driveway, running out to protect them with a cover every time it drizzles and spending all day polishing or changing the oil on days when it doesn't.

There are certainly people who enjoy that kind of activity, but even the most crazed motorhead spends more time driving a less-well-maintained daily driver than polished jewel they can hardly bear to wheel out on the road.

Cars, computers, software, clothing, tools, shoes – all the things we buy and use every day are there for us to use, not to preserve.

Abusing and ruining them is foolish, but we know when we're doing it. We don't need Ford to come by the house every week or so to remind us we're shortening the life of the engine if we don't change the oil every 3,000 miles.

And we don't need it trying to find a reason to keep people from blaming it when Pintos start bursting into flames every time anything larger than a bug rear-ends them.

We expect -- and we know you think this is unfair -- that when we spend a lot for a complex product and trust our lives or working lives to it, we can expect it to work as it is supposed to and protect us within certain limits, to the extent it's supposed to. We don't expect the vendor to throw up its hands and deny all responsibility the first time we exceed the speed limit or fail to come to a complete halt at the Stop sign.

We get your point. Users are sloppy with security, unreliable about patching, ridiculous about the usernames and passwords they choose and do idiotic things like open attachments from strangers and visit insecure web sites. We're also ugly and our mothers dress us funny.

We still rely on the software we buy from you in order to remain employed so we can continue buying PC maintenance products. We expect you to continue doing your part, not go out of your way to provide a body of published data clearly demonstrating it was all our fault anyway and we should just shut up about Microsoft's crappy security.

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