Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Microsoft to enhance Mac OS X's Security

According to MacWindows, Microsoft just announced that it will be dropping VBScript support from the Universal version of Microsoft Office for Mac OS X. VBScript is a feature of Office that almost no-one uses, wants, or needs, which comes switched on by default, and which is a favorite venue for malware under Windows and cross-platform malware (e.g. it is the mechanism that allows most mail viruses to work). If you wonder what the "script" in the term "script kiddies" is, and were maybe thinking it's, say, UNIX shell scripts ... nope, it's VBScript. Indeed, most Mac anti-virus programs are chiefly concerned with finding Office macro viruses, since there are as yet no actual Mac viruses for them to find.

Microsoft also announced -- and this has been much more widely reported -- that a Universal version of Virtual PC would be too expensive to develop and is dropping it; this is hilarious since they have already have Virtual PC for Linux and Windows (which are essentially equivalent to Parallels) and so it's a pure business decision which has nothing to do with development costs. They simply don't want to help the rats leave their sinking ship.

Macwindows also said: "One advantage that Microsoft could offer that noone else could is a preinstalled implementation of Windows bundled with the virtual machine software." This is actually rubbish; the only thing that Microsoft could do that no-one else can do is offer Windows at an unbeatable price. Any vendor can buy Windows, install it on an image, and bundle it with their Virtualization software.