Three East Asian countries plan Windows rival

  TOPCAT® 21:46 08 Sep 2003

Quote: 'China, South Korea and Japan are to boost joint research into a new computer operating system to rival Microsoft Windows.

The project, expected to be open-source software, was proposed by Japan and is intended to give a helping hand to Windows rivals, such as Linux...'

click here

The spate of virus attacks on Windows software shows the risk of having all your eggs in one basket, as it were. Sounds as if they have had enough. TC.

  spuds 22:00 08 Sep 2003

Considering that a vast amount of call centres a being located in that part of the world, and considering that there are a vast amount of computer graduates looking for employment. It is no suprise that this type of competition against Microsoft global stronghold as or will happen.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 22:13 08 Sep 2003

'The spate of virus attacks on Windows software shows the risk of having all your eggs in one basket, as it were'...I think you will find that Linux servers have more attacks than MS. Just wait if/until Linux becomes popular on home computers.............


  Forum Editor 23:12 08 Sep 2003

attacks on company networks are as likely to originate from South East Asia as anywhere else, and I see no evidence to suggest that this situation will in any way be eased by the development of a new operating system.

I've seen some of the work going on in mainland China at first hand, and it looked pretty much like Windows called something else to me. I have no doubt that something will come of it - the potential market is huge, and will get even bigger over the next decade. As for rivalling the Windows "global stronghold" , we'll see. Microsoft's teams of software engineers aren't exactly going to sit around doing nothing while all this is going on.

  Webmaster 03:31 10 Sep 2003

"I think you will find that Linux servers have more attacks than MS."

Oh dear. This subjective comment just does not stand. Microsoft versions of OS will statistically be attacked more because there are more computers with Windows on than any other OS around the world. There is also the fact that Linux is not vulnerable to as many viri as Microsoft software. Perhaps if we are talking on the DOS front, it is mainly to do with the address of the server/machine anyway.

What leads anybody to say that one OS will be attacked more than another? Surely there are equal sized attacks at the different OSes? But how can this be true when there are more Microsoft OSes on computers around the world than any other OS. Well, one could deduce that there is a community out there that has, at its aim, a desire to attack machines running Microsoft software. Perhaps this community uses an alternative platform than Microsoft Windows.... I suppose it could be Linux for example. Theoretically this would therefore suggest that, because there are more machines out there running Microsoft software, than machines running Linux, more machines running Microsoft Windows will be subject to attack.

The Kernal integrated Firewall in Linux is written, as such, to withstand DOS attacks - this is a vital part of Linux and is one reason why it is incredibly stable when under attack. The only problem for Linux? Log files growing to ridiculous sizes in a matter of seconds, generating hundreds of thousands of message lines, and emails multiplying in quantity at the same rate, in a matter of seconds, when under attack by a mail server worm. But what could Linux do? As a mail server it has to serve, but simply goes in to failsafe when log files are far too large and millions of email messages are trying to be propagated around the world from one server. Linux falls over in this case. :-|

  wee eddie 17:47 10 Sep 2003

If a new OS is developed in the Far East, Big Bill will buy it.

Welcome to:

Microsoft Zen.

  Webmaster 18:53 10 Sep 2003

In the words of Peter Key, "I like it.... it's catchy."

  Forum Editor 23:09 10 Sep 2003

Well now, a sense of balance is certainly important when discussing network server security issues, so with my network admin hat on..........

The installation routines for many Linux distributions ensure that the door is wide open by default to reduce the number of technical support calls and e-mails winging their way to the network support desk. The more wide open a system is the less likely it is that a network user - or an application - will run into trouble trying to perform a specific task or function. As a result, most Linux systems are, in my experience, inherently insecure, and over the past two years there have been some serious security concerns about Linux servers.

Last year saw the discovery of a flaw in a software-compression library used in all versions of Linux which left almost every Linux server wide open to attack. Then, in March of this year there was news of a security hole which allows low-level users of Linux-based systems with shell accounts to gain full privileges, thereby totally compromising the server.

Statistics are always only as good as the methods used to compile them, and for that reason I'm a tad wary about quoting from sources outside my own sphere of experience, but....... statistics gathered by a security vulnerability tracking company (SecurityFocus) showed that in the eight months to August 2001 Linux servers suffered far more than did Windows systems when it came to vulnerabilities (Linux - 96 Windows NT/2000 - 42). In fact, the figures show that for five years on the run Windows servers have come out less scathed than Linux.

Of course, taking attacks as a whole, Windows servers will tend to be attacked on more occasions than will Linux systems - simply because there are more of them, as Webmaster points out. The figures available show that Windows tends to fare better however - at least to date it does, and that's what really counts isn't it?

  Webmaster 03:06 11 Sep 2003

Okay then, let us get in to more detail. Forum Editor's points are good. Ya, I can agree, Linux distros encourage the end-user to select medium or standard firewall configurations when installing the OS, in fact, as has been pointed out, making Linux more 'open' is due to the fact that Linux can be left alone performing the tasks that are requested, without the end-user being prompted to 'open' a part of the system to allow something to take place. However, when one desires more protection, strict firewall rules can be enforced using such tools as IP Tables. The problem here is that you have to know what you are doing in order to specifically allow or deny certain addresses. Hence this could be why, as has been said, more and more Linux servers are vulnerable by default now, considering more and more users are moving on to Linux as beginners. This is a likely and expected result.

Touching on administration and network management, I strongly believe that effective administration and configuration of servers, i.e. knowing what you are doing, is the way to protect the OS. Linux and other *nix varieties have, over the past years, generally been well configured because the few Linux gurus out there have been able to effectively protect the OS. I think one can safely argue that there are more certified Microsoft Software specialists out there and being employed, who are trained to configure, amongst other things, security aspects of the Microsoft Windows family of OS. There is a problem in the Linux community.... a lack of good employable specialists (perhaps due to the lack of a certification scheme) with thorough knowledge on how to manage Linux servers, say, for large organisations such as schools - a Microsoft Certified guy usually comes along and gets permission to wack or keep Microsoft Software on the group LAN. Where are the Linux Network Managers out there, managing networks for groups of people and organisations such as these? Of course, larger networks such as University Campus networks, and those networks as part of large and international companies, seem to have no problems acquiring skilled Linux administrators. Perhaps this is because there are fewer of these organisation types than of schools and small, perhaps family companies, which resort to Microsoft software because they either know how to configure the software themselves or find it far easier to locate a Microsoft specialist, considering there are many of them out there. With the market saturated with Microsoft specialists, this allows the employable Linux specialists to increase their salary prices due to demand, thus large companies and organisations can afford to employ Linux deployment specialists and advisors.

Therefore, with less accessable Linux specialists out there, perhaps this could be a reason for why more and more Linux servers are now unfortunately vulnerable to attack. There just aren't enough trained people out there to offer their services to effectively securing corporate or organisation PCs, even consumer PCs! Correct me if I am wrong, but do places such as PCWorld 'repair centre' (or whatever they call it) cater for OSes other than Microsoft's and perhaps Apple? With more advice out there from employable specialists on how to appropriately configure the Microsoft Windows family of OS, and less specialist advice (other than books) on how to configure Linux, perhaps this is why one could argue that Microsoft software is more secure than Linux, but only because Linux has not been configured effectively. :-)

  MichelleC 09:30 11 Sep 2003

Well, it's all Chinese to me, but I'm glad they'll be competition to Mr gates. It'll be more healthy all round.

  TOPCAT® 00:58 12 Sep 2003

I don't profess to understand all the inner working of these various OSes but I get the gist of what has been said.

I still remain convinced however, that Microsoft's global position will definitely be challenged within the next decade or so. As I see it, it just has to happen. These countries of the Far East, with possibly more becoming involved, really mean business and are determined to end the MS monopoly. Who will win remains to be seen of course. TC.

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