Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

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Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Zaune » 2018-07-30 12:38pm

With DaaS Windows coming, say goodbye to your PC as you know it
For over 30 years, we’ve thought of PCs primarily as Windows machines, which we owned and controlled. That’s about to change forever.

This isn’t about Microsoft forcing us off Windows 7 to Windows 10 as fast as it can (though it has found many ways to push that agenda). This is about Microsoft abandoning the Windows platform as a conventional desktop.

Microsoft is getting ready to replace Windows 10 with the Microsoft Managed Desktop. This will be a “desktop-as-a-service” (DaaS) offering. Instead of owning Windows, you’ll “rent” it by the month.

DaaS for Windows isn’t new. Citrix and VMware have made a living from it for years. Microsoft has offered Remote Desktop Services, formerly Terminal Services, for ages.

Microsoft Managed Desktop is a new take. It avoids the latency problem of the older Windows DaaS offerings by keeping the bulk of the operating system on your PC.

But you’ll no longer be in charge of your Windows PC. Instead, it will be automatically provisioned and patched for you by Microsoft. Maybe you’ll be OK with that.

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know IT departments have not been happy with Microsoft’s twice yearly major “upgrades” to Windows 10. Let’s call it what it is. These aren’t upgrades or updates; they’re service patches (SP).

Take the Windows 10 April 2018 Update — please! It came with more than its fair share of bugs. What was especially annoying was that “Update” fouled up so many of Microsoft’s own programs. When even Word, Outlook and File Explorer lock up, you know you’ve got a mess on your hands.

Computerworld’s Woody Leonhard even recommended that, unless you were stuck with the April Update, you turn off automatic updating. He’s right to do so. Windows patching was always chancy, but with Windows 10 you’re more likely to have trouble when you patch than you are to avoid problems. And isn’t that a heck of a note?

So, with this track record, do you want to pay good money to let Microsoft maintain your desktops for you? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Nonetheless, DaaS Windows is coming. Microsoft has been getting away from the old-style desktop model for years now. Just look at Office. Microsoft would much rather have you rent Office via Office 365 than buy Microsoft Office and use it for years. Microsoft Managed Desktop is the first move to replacing “your” desktop with a rented desktop. By 2021, I expect the Managed Desktop to be to traditional Windows what Office 365 is to Office today: the wave of the future. Or maybe tsunami, depending on your perspective.

I’m not happy with this development. I’m old enough to remember the PC revolution. We went from depending on mainframes and Unix boxes for computing power to having the real power on our desktops. It was liberating.

Now Microsoft, which helped lead that revolution, is trying to return us to that old, centralized control model.

Forget that noise. If Microsoft continues on this course, soon your only real choices if you really want a “desktop” operating system will be Linux and macOS. Oh, you’ll still have “Windows.” But Windows as your “personal” desktop? It will be history.
Well, this is going to suck giant wet donkey balls for everyone who didn't see the writing on the wall back when Win 10 was being rolled out. Okay, so admittedly it's being targeted at the enterprise end of the market where this model might make some kind of sense: If you lease your workstations and have a hardware refresh every five years then licensing your software on a rolling basis might well be better value for money than buying one-off licenses with each batch. (Whether that model still makes sense in another few years when Moore's Law hits the limits of what's physically possible is another question.)

But as the article points out, the fact that the software-as-a-service model is a lot less financially sound for private individuals who don't buy a new computer every few years -ie most people who aren't gamers, amateur digital artists or showoffs with money to burn- didn't stop MS applying it to Office, a set of applications that are about as mature as can be and are unlikely to have any new features added at this point. Can we really trust them not to do it to the OS as well?

Now, if you'll all excuse me, I'm going to go and buy a tiny open-source violin.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-07-30 01:40pm

Micro$oft, with its arrogant handling of automatic updates, already made it clear they owned our computers. Now, with this OS for rent scheme, which most end users will have to get because of Redmond's strangle hold on the PC market, coupled with the FUD they've spread about viable alternatives, they're even more cynical in this assertion.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Jub » 2018-07-30 02:14pm

Are there actually good alternatives to Windows on a PC or are we still stuck with a crop of other operating systems that aren't gaming friendly, aren't end-user friendly, are incomplete, or just otherwise lack features most PC users expect out of an OS? I'm a little out of date but last I checked even the best Linux distros were having issues with graphics driver compatibility.

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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Zaune » 2018-07-30 03:01pm

Jub wrote:
2018-07-30 02:14pm
Are there actually good alternatives to Windows on a PC or are we still stuck with a crop of other operating systems that aren't gaming friendly, aren't end-user friendly, are incomplete, or just otherwise lack features most PC users expect out of an OS? I'm a little out of date but last I checked even the best Linux distros were having issues with graphics driver compatibility.
The graphics driver issues are mostly smoothed out now, though I think AMD GPUs still have slightly lower FPS with the Linux drivers. Ubuntu is at least as noob-proof as Windows by now, if not more so, and is officially supported and recommended by Valve. They're also still working on SteamOS, which is going to be even more idiot-proof in exchange for being very sub-optimal for anything except gaming by default. (They also just re-hired the writer of Portal 2, sparking the usual wild rumours.)

I'm not saying we're at the point where you can switch to Linux and never have to bust out the terminal and do things the old-fashioned way, or have to learn to live without every new game or app being available to you on release day if you're not able or willing to dual-boot, but huge progress has been made. And Windows hasn't exactly been getting more and more user-friendly with every new version; quite the opposite in some ways.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Jub » 2018-07-30 03:41pm

Zaune wrote:
2018-07-30 03:01pm
The graphics driver issues are mostly smoothed out now, though I think AMD GPUs still have slightly lower FPS with the Linux drivers. Ubuntu is at least as noob-proof as Windows by now, if not more so, and is officially supported and recommended by Valve. They're also still working on SteamOS, which is going to be even more idiot-proof in exchange for being very sub-optimal for anything except gaming by default. (They also just re-hired the writer of Portal 2, sparking the usual wild rumours.)

I'm not saying we're at the point where you can switch to Linux and never have to bust out the terminal and do things the old-fashioned way, or have to learn to live without every new game or app being available to you on release day if you're not able or willing to dual-boot, but huge progress has been made. And Windows hasn't exactly been getting more and more user-friendly with every new version; quite the opposite in some ways.
Windows is certainly having issues and I'd suspect a lot of them come from this desire to change to a DaaS model. Not even intentionally, though some amount of make Windows 10 just a little clunky to incentive a switch could be speculated on, just because they're pushing a lot of new features hard and in doing so breaking the mess of legacy code that they're beholden too. Hopefully, the other OSs have caught up before consumer grade DaaS is the only (fully supported) OS that does it all.

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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Zaune » 2018-07-30 04:50pm

The thing is, though, this can't just come from the Linux development community. They can make Linux more user-friendly and provide driver support for every permutation of hardware under the sun, but if people developing commercial software or games refuse to make the effort to develop for it we'll stay stuck in a vicious cycle of "developers refuse to create Linux versions" -> "people continue using Windows even though it's getting steadily worse" -> "market research says Linux has a tiny userbase" -> "developers refuse to create Linux versions".

The longer it takes for some sort of widespread, organised pushback to get going, the more Microsoft are going to try and get away with. And if this DaaS business being rolled out to home users doesn't cause that pushback then I dread to think how much further they'll go before finding something that will.

The good news, if you can call it that, is that it's not just consumers who are getting screwed here. One of these days somebody's Win 10 box is going to perform an unwanted update-and-reboot in the middle of something so critical that serious harm is done: Someone's drone goes out of control and ends up through a car windscreen, for example, or a lot of data ends up trashed and backups have to be flown out on the company Learjet because it's too sensitive to email. At that point the kind of lawyers even Microsoft have to take seriously will be weighing in.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Broomstick » 2018-07-30 04:59pm

I've been hearing about this "your computer as a terminal, rent your OS/software/whatever" since the 1980's. While there are niches where that model makes sense there are a lot where it doesn't.

I'm having a friend build my next computer right now. I'm going to Linux. There's nothing I do that requires cutting edge apps and software so that's not an issue.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Gandalf » 2018-07-30 06:14pm

Zaune wrote:
2018-07-30 04:50pm
The good news, if you can call it that, is that it's not just consumers who are getting screwed here. One of these days somebody's Win 10 box is going to perform an unwanted update-and-reboot in the middle of something so critical that serious harm is done: Someone's drone goes out of control and ends up through a car windscreen, for example, or a lot of data ends up trashed and backups have to be flown out on the company Learjet because it's too sensitive to email. At that point the kind of lawyers even Microsoft have to take seriously will be weighing in.
I wager those sorts of problems can be handled through terms of service. Also, I imagine that in event of a subscription lapsing, any files will still be accessible, but the system will just have lose some key functionality. A better article would have offered more detail on the matter.

Personally, I'm not shocked. Subscription seems to the wave of things and has been for a while.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Broomstick » 2018-07-30 06:30pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-07-30 06:14pm
Zaune wrote:
2018-07-30 04:50pm
The good news, if you can call it that, is that it's not just consumers who are getting screwed here. One of these days somebody's Win 10 box is going to perform an unwanted update-and-reboot in the middle of something so critical that serious harm is done: Someone's drone goes out of control and ends up through a car windscreen, for example, or a lot of data ends up trashed and backups have to be flown out on the company Learjet because it's too sensitive to email. At that point the kind of lawyers even Microsoft have to take seriously will be weighing in.
I wager those sorts of problems can be handled through terms of service.
Why?

It's not like the individual consumer has any power to negotiate terms of service. It's take it or leave it. Given how large Microsoft is as a practical matter for many people there are no alternatives.

"Terms of service" tend to be dictated by the provider.
Also, I imagine that in event of a subscription lapsing, any files will still be accessible, but the system will just have lose some key functionality
Why on earth would you assume that? Why would they keep your files "accessible" if your subscription lapses? Where's the profit in that? And make no mistake - this is about profit as well as control
Personally, I'm not shocked. Subscription seems to the wave of things and has been for a while.
Some of us still like to own things.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-07-30 07:35pm

Broomstick wrote:
2018-07-30 04:59pm
I've been hearing about this "your computer as a terminal, rent your OS/software/whatever" since the 1980's. While there are niches where that model makes sense there are a lot where it doesn't.

I'm having a friend build my next computer right now. I'm going to Linux. There's nothing I do that requires cutting edge apps and software so that's not an issue.
Either Chrome OS or Linux, probably the latter, mainly because the Chromebooks on the market have jack and shit in terms of offline storage, unless I want to get a bigger SD card. Also Linux supports OpenOffice, which I like way better than M$ Office, and my music files.

Or, I bite the bullet, get a bigger tablet and a better keyboard, and import all my OO files into Docs.
Some of us still like to own things.
Especially when you paid good money for the damn thing, and afford to shell out any more.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-07-30 07:54pm

Yeah... maybe it's overly paranoid of me but I'd like to have a computer I can actually own and use without having to worry that if I let the payments lapse because I'm broke, one day I'll boot it up and nothing happens and it's not because the computer's broken.

Maybe it's dumb of me but I'm still kinda happy I bought my PC right before they started selling Windows 8...
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Gandalf » 2018-07-31 04:39am

Broomstick wrote:
2018-07-30 06:30pm
Why?

It's not like the individual consumer has any power to negotiate terms of service. It's take it or leave it. Given how large Microsoft is as a practical matter for many people there are no alternatives.

"Terms of service" tend to be dictated by the provider.
I was thinking of it from Microsoft's point of view, in the same way the quoted post was.
Why on earth would you assume that? Why would they keep your files "accessible" if your subscription lapses? Where's the profit in that? And make no mistake - this is about profit as well as control.
You mean that a multi-billion dollar corporation might be doing things for some sort of... monetary gain? :shock:

Also, the profit is in an ongoing and reliable OS service. Microsoft does a fuckton of business with businesses and governments and others who'll pay a lot for something which works. A service which locks out files (Does it encrypt them or something? That's quite the security risk) would essentially be ransomware and lose them a lot of work. Who would ever do business with them again?
Some of us still like to own things.
You never owned Windows. That's why you can't crack it open and modify the thing. You just paid for the right to put their stuff on your computer.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Vendetta » 2018-07-31 08:02am

Pure FUD.

This is just a new implementation of standard enterprise box management.

Also, for basically all end users I absolutely agree that they should not be in charge of updates because they cannot be trusted with them. Especially people who think they know enough to be allowed to be in charge of updates because they're always the ones who come up with aggrieved stories about their PC unexpectedly restarting to update whilst they were doing something soooo important. If they actually knew as much as they think they do about their computer they wouldn't be surprised because they'd know the updates were pending and would have restarted already.

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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Broomstick » 2018-07-31 08:25am

Gandalf wrote:
2018-07-31 04:39am
I was thinking of it from Microsoft's point of view, in the same way the quoted post was.
I'm not Microsoft. I tend to view things from the consumer's viewpoint.
Why on earth would you assume that? Why would they keep your files "accessible" if your subscription lapses? Where's the profit in that? And make no mistake - this is about profit as well as control.
You mean that a multi-billion dollar corporation might be doing things for some sort of... monetary gain? :shock:

Also, the profit is in an ongoing and reliable OS service. Microsoft does a fuckton of business with businesses and governments and others who'll pay a lot for something which works. A service which locks out files (Does it encrypt them or something? That's quite the security risk) would essentially be ransomware and lose them a lot of work. Who would ever do business with them again?
What if you have no choice? Who are the potential alternatives?

Doesn't have to encrypt the files - just store them at a different location than where you are, then cut your connection.

In this case, if your connection is cut after non-payment that IS the system working properly.

Now, with sufficiently large customers, like a government, there might be other arrangements than simply "you're immediately cut off" but for the little guy, why wouldn't it be an instant cut-off? Don't pay your Netflix bill or your World of Warcraft subscription your access ends. Stored all your data in the "cloud"? Too bad - you no longer have that either. MAYBE if Microsoft is being nice they won't instantly delete everything, but I don't see where they're obligated to be that nice.
Gandalf wrote:
2018-07-31 04:39am
Some of us still like to own things.
You never owned Windows. That's why you can't crack it open and modify the thing. You just paid for the right to put their stuff on your computer.
I can't "crack open" a dog and "modify it" but I can still own one.

Ownership isn't about "modifying" something - it's about paying once and then being able to do what you want without additional payment.

It used to be you went out and purchased a copy of Microsoft Windows. It came on physical media. You then installed it. You could install it on a different machine. And - best of all - you never had to pay Windows another dime ever for your continued use of it. That's why my spouse could continue to run a 20+ computer controlled lathe and several equally old software packages off a Windows 98 system as late as 2005. Granted, that's a bit of an outlier (and for damn sure that computer system was physically isolated from external networks at that point). Regardless, Microsoft never got any more money for that OS than the initial purchase price. Assuming the system is still intact, I could go into his workroom right now and fire up the system and use it today.

But Microsoft would have loved to have collected a monthly payment on that thing these last two decades.
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Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-07-31 08:43am

There's definitely distinctions to be made in the "you don't own the thing, just the license to use the thing." I recall Microsoft years back getting "dinged" because they treated their discs (GENUINE MICROSOFT DISCS! With holograms and all that jazz) like they were solid gold and made replacing them stupidly annoying. The problem was they were in violation of their own user agreement. Once you buy software: it's yours to use. I have legit copies going back to W98. So, the license is as good as physical ownership.

They now have all their Operating Systems for download. It didn't used to be like that, even accounting for the Internet being shitty back in the day. Microsoft just didn't like handing out copies of their software.

There's not a lot of comparisons to be made here. But one I like(d) is the concept of e-books or books in general. You're buying someone's idea in a physical or electronic format. You don't own the words, but you damn sure own the book. You know, unless you buy ebooks and Amazon steals your shit.

Anyways, it's about time software providers needed to go up against the wall in court for their bullshit.... though with the way things are leaning in the good-ol U.S. of Murrica, I don't think we would like the outcome. That said, SaaS is a pretty good concept that meets requirements for all types of business. But Microsoft (WRT WIndows) has a responsibility here by being the big dog. But I doubt they'll ever be held to it.

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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Zaune » 2018-07-31 08:58am

Vendetta wrote:
2018-07-31 08:02am
Also, for basically all end users I absolutely agree that they should not be in charge of updates because they cannot be trusted with them. Especially people who think they know enough to be allowed to be in charge of updates because they're always the ones who come up with aggrieved stories about their PC unexpectedly restarting to update whilst they were doing something soooo important. If they actually knew as much as they think they do about their computer they wouldn't be surprised because they'd know the updates were pending and would have restarted already.
I would be more sympathetic to your position if Windows didn't have a marked tendency to actively resist any attempt to take precautions against having that sort of thing happen.

For example, my last Windows PC was a rather feeble Dell Optiplex, one of the lunchbox-sized ones that used to be ubiquitous in libraries: It was so slow to boot up that when it needed updating the machine would be unusable for a good quarter of an hour. I solved this problem by setting Windows Update to download updates but not install them, and then when I went away from the computer to do something else I'd tell it to install the updates and then shut down.

Sensible solution, right? Well, Windows didn't think so. I got a constant stream of pop-ups, at least one a day, demanding I change the settings back to the default because it was "unsafe". Unsafe how? Whatever security holes it's patching have been there since release, or at least the last Service Pack, waiting a few hours until I'm finished using the machine for the day is unlikely to make much difference. And even if it is some sort of potential security issue, it was my privately-owned hardware and data on that computer and it should be my decision whether or not to accept the risk.

Oh, and just to add insult to injury the damn thing kept trying to install the Bing desktop search app on my computer, forcing me to check the list of updates and uncheck it manually every single time.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-07-31 12:38pm

I had a longer post but it got lost...

In brief: People don't like change. This is why there's always a certain amount of grumbling about new OS'es (unless the last one was terrible, like Windows 8). People would prefer to have a set of bugs that they know how to handle and work around. People prefer to have a familiar OS, with all its flaws, that they understand to whatever limited vaguely technophobic extent.

People also like to be able to make their own decisions. People also like to own things outright.

Renting things as a service, rather than owning them outright, only works to a certain extent. Residences, yes. Cars, sure. Even software in certain contexts, yeah. But say, pants. Would you want to rent a pair of pants? Underwear? Something you put your most valuable information on and access it regularly... actually belonging to someone else, who in theory could yank your access to it? I don't know how well that'll fly.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Vendetta » 2018-07-31 12:45pm

Zaune wrote:
2018-07-31 08:58am
Sensible solution, right? Well, Windows didn't think so. I got a constant stream of pop-ups, at least one a day, demanding I change the settings back to the default because it was "unsafe". Unsafe how? Whatever security holes it's patching have been there since release, or at least the last Service Pack, waiting a few hours until I'm finished using the machine for the day is unlikely to make much difference. And even if it is some sort of potential security issue, it was my privately-owned hardware and data on that computer and it should be my decision whether or not to accept the risk.
Unsafe because although the security holes had been there for a while, nobody knew about them until Microsoft announced their presence to the world by patching them.

On Patch Tuesday all the clever yet thrillingly unscrupulous malware developers get a nice little newsletter in the form of new critical updates which they can dissect and figure out what flaw they patch, then write something to exploit that flaw knowing full well that a vast swathe of potato users and Windows Antivaxxers will resist updating their boxen until it is "convenient". That's why they're called "Zero day" exploits. The exploit appears on the same day as the patch that fixes it whilst most people still don't have the patch installed. So by evening of the next day a whole new raft of zombie PCs have joined a bouncing baby botnet and are ready to send spam advertising totally natural little blue pills, take down email servers to fish for dirt on politicians, DDOS playstations, crash company servers to fish for lists of credit card numbers, or whatever this botnet gets rented out to do.

Yours is exactly the mentality that Microsoft recognise is the problem. The one that says "I know better and anyway it's my PC and I'm accepting the risk". You don't know better, and you're not the one at risk, every other fucker is at risk of whatever your zombied PC gets up to because letting it patch and restart when you went to get a coffee and have a shit was too much trouble.

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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Zaune » 2018-07-31 01:27pm

Vendetta wrote:
2018-07-31 12:45pm
Unsafe because although the security holes had been there for a while, nobody knew about them until Microsoft announced their presence to the world by patching them.

On Patch Tuesday all the clever yet thrillingly unscrupulous malware developers get a nice little newsletter in the form of new critical updates which they can dissect and figure out what flaw they patch, then write something to exploit that flaw knowing full well that a vast swathe of potato users and Windows Antivaxxers will resist updating their boxen until it is "convenient". That's why they're called "Zero day" exploits. The exploit appears on the same day as the patch that fixes it whilst most people still don't have the patch installed. So by evening of the next day a whole new raft of zombie PCs have joined a bouncing baby botnet and are ready to send spam advertising totally natural little blue pills, take down email servers to fish for dirt on politicians, DDOS playstations, crash company servers to fish for lists of credit card numbers, or whatever this botnet gets rented out to do.
I'm going to have to ask for a citation on that, because I would be very surprised if Microsoft has ever patched a security exploit that the malware industry didn't find and exploit first; indeed I was under the impression that their procedure for finding these things was to wait for someone to notice they've been compromised and complain about it.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-07-31 01:31pm

There's updates and then there's updates. OS updates are a pain in the ass because they tend to be large, take up a lot of time, and while you may be contemptuous of what people are doing on their computers, it matters to them. However I think a lot of people don't have issues with updating their security software because duh. And I imagine that helps filter out the worst problems. Most security programs are fairly user-friendly; the heavier-duty stuff is less friendly, but usually has a support structure in place for the people who are all 'halp my computer is haxed'. Hell, isn't Microsoft Security Essentials pretty good all by itself, and it should come with pretty much any Windows computer standard?

Not being an idiot computer user also helps. Most people under the age of 50ish these days have a pretty OK idea of what not to do and are aware that, for example, popup blockers are a Good Thing, one does not randomly click on anything that comes up on their browser, one generally doesn't dick around with sketchy-ass websites, etc...

It probably helps that likely the majority of people simply don't use their computers THAT much. Work-- probably safe. Social media-- also probably safe. Gaming-- usually safe enough, unless you're downloading weird-ass shitty porn games from browser Flash ads. Adult content-- can be sketchy, but that's why the big websites exist. Streaming media... depends on where you're getting it from, but the major services don't screw around. Illegal downloads... that's where the questionable stuff is, but a lot of security programs are capable of filtering out the worst effects. Open up "RecentMovie.mp4", it's got a virus on it, warning pops up from your Malwarebytes or whatever. Delete the file, scrub the computer...

Look I'm fairly sure nobody is going to seriously say that they're completely immune from anything, unless they're running a PC that's not connected to the Internet at any point. And I get that there are a lot of malwares and creators thereof out there. I suppose what I'm saying is that unless you're a complete damnfool noob, you'll probably have at least SOME level of protection and SOME understanding of what you can and cannot get away with. That, in and of itself, will help restrict the damage that can happen to some extent.

That said, I will admit that I may be on a separate discussion here than the one about OSes, as I'm not as familiar with exploits that use OS flaws rather than those that attack the computer via the user or the user's choice in programs.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Vendetta » 2018-07-31 02:36pm

Zaune wrote:
2018-07-31 01:27pm
Vendetta wrote:
2018-07-31 12:45pm
Unsafe because although the security holes had been there for a while, nobody knew about them until Microsoft announced their presence to the world by patching them.

On Patch Tuesday all the clever yet thrillingly unscrupulous malware developers get a nice little newsletter in the form of new critical updates which they can dissect and figure out what flaw they patch, then write something to exploit that flaw knowing full well that a vast swathe of potato users and Windows Antivaxxers will resist updating their boxen until it is "convenient". That's why they're called "Zero day" exploits. The exploit appears on the same day as the patch that fixes it whilst most people still don't have the patch installed. So by evening of the next day a whole new raft of zombie PCs have joined a bouncing baby botnet and are ready to send spam advertising totally natural little blue pills, take down email servers to fish for dirt on politicians, DDOS playstations, crash company servers to fish for lists of credit card numbers, or whatever this botnet gets rented out to do.
I'm going to have to ask for a citation on that, because I would be very surprised if Microsoft has ever patched a security exploit that the malware industry didn't find and exploit first; indeed I was under the impression that their procedure for finding these things was to wait for someone to notice they've been compromised and complain about it.
It's so common it's even got a name. Zero-day Wednesday.

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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Solauren » 2018-07-31 05:35pm

I can't see this working well with Governments.

At work (Canada Revenue Agency), the admins have disabled all updates and the like for network and data security. It doesn't sound like that would be an option 'renting' from Microsoft.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Ace Pace » 2018-07-31 11:18pm

Zaune wrote:
2018-07-31 01:27pm
I'm going to have to ask for a citation on that, because I would be very surprised if Microsoft has ever patched a security exploit that the malware industry didn't find and exploit first; indeed I was under the impression that their procedure for finding these things was to wait for someone to notice they've been compromised and complain about it.
I cannot believe I have to talk about this shit.
Hi, SDNs local security researcher with multiple disclosed vulnerabilities here. Microsoft fixes hundreds of security issues across dozens of products. The vast majority are found and fixed internally, thanks to internal efforts with the SDL (a Microsoft practice that is now the standard in the industry). More are reported by outside white hat researchers such as me (you can see a partial list of such researchers here and here, no bonus for finding me).

In fact, in 2017, the amount of vulnerabilities used in the wild before a patch existed, for Microsoft products, was incredibly low. Far lower than other platforms.

To be more serious, security is hard. It's at least made better by Microsoft actually caring, in Linux, the situation where Linus actively sabotages kernel security patches, where vulnerabilities are fixed "under cover" without a CVE, without their patches being backported to the kernels you actually use, is far worse. :roll: But go ahead and recommend things with a security record from the 00s, sure, that's great.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Ace Pace » 2018-07-31 11:21pm

Zaune wrote:
2018-07-31 08:58am

Sensible solution, right? Well, Windows didn't think so. I got a constant stream of pop-ups, at least one a day, demanding I change the settings back to the default because it was "unsafe". Unsafe how? Whatever security holes it's patching have been there since release, or at least the last Service Pack, waiting a few hours until I'm finished using the machine for the day is unlikely to make much difference. And even if it is some sort of potential security issue, it was my privately-owned hardware and data on that computer and it should be my decision whether or not to accept the risk.
I'm just going to find your horrible thoughts and point them out. This shitty attitude is responsible for every serious malware outbreak in the past decade, from Conficker till Wannacry and then I have to handle the mess.

Your data? Sure, lose it all you want. But when your machines are infected with some crappy malware, they're spewing out spam, more copies of themselves, internet DDoS traffic, proxying malicious traffic and other fun things. So please, can the crap, if your machine is connected to the internet, the same vaccine argument that applies to humans applies to it.

Patch your fucking shit.
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Re: Microsoft Managed Desktop: Operating System As A Service, Anyone?

Post by Ace Pace » 2018-07-31 11:25pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-07-31 12:38pm
Renting things as a service, rather than owning them outright, only works to a certain extent. Residences, yes. Cars, sure. Even software in certain contexts, yeah. But say, pants. Would you want to rent a pair of pants? Underwear? Something you put your most valuable information on and access it regularly... actually belonging to someone else, who in theory could yank your access to it? I don't know how well that'll fly.
Do you use Facebook? GMail? Outlook? Amazon Kindle? Congrats, you're giving some company your most valuable information in a subscription platform where they can and will block your access at will, with no real recourse granted.

So what's the difference between this and your PC? The physical aspect?
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