Hey folks. Interesting article, lots of interesting comments, many with much truth to them.
Nonetheless, i think they mostly miss an important point.
Before I start, please note that I realize that the history doesn't change the current facts, but stick with me; I'm leading upto a point about the current situation.
Historically Windows and *nix were developed in and for completely different contexts and for extremely different uses. Windows was and is a commercial product developed to be directly marketed to offices and end users. It was and, excepting the server products, which are an aberation, continues to be essentially a single user OS designed to be easy for the non expert end user, to be used primarily for non technical tasks, or tasks which are technical in some way that has nothing to do with computing or networking. I will not comment on the blunders where it has failed to meet some of these goals. Overall it has been extremely successful at these things.
Unix was, from early on, a multi user networked OS with a clear separation between users and the system administrators. Anyone using it as a network server is strongly advised to respect that separation now more than ever.
Yes, this history has led to a messy situation in Windows. And yes, this has been unfortunate as personal security has become more important.
But seriously, if Windows treated me like a non root Unix user on my own home pc, it would be infuriating and inconvenient. And if a Linux server DIDN'T treat me that way, it would be an invitation to disaster that would affect a lot more than my personal stuff.
As a programmer I have worked and do work in both environments. Nothing that is critical to clients and users lives or runs on my Windows pc unless it is something I am developing for pcs. But I sure use the pc for a lot for other things!
So, basically, I am not saying that all of the reasons for the messiness in Windows are reasonable, but even the best designed Windows would have to allow the user to make his own computer insecure in order to be usable and uninfuriating and appealing to its intended user and for its intended use.
This is the opinion of a user and a programmer, but not, I freely admit, the opinion of an expert in OS architecture, but it seems to me that it would be extremely difficult for there NOT to be an inverse relationship between the security of a system and the freedom of a user to do what he wants, change what he wants, and mess up what he wants.
You all are lucky, my flight was just called, so I'm done.
Keep Up with TechRepublic