Microsoft – So long my friend…

As many of you know I haven’t been the biggest Microsoft supporter :) Its been a really bumpy road using Microsoft products over the past 20 years. The consistently buggy software, and the security nightmare that is Windows/Internet Explorer is so flawed that I don’t think its possible to “fix” at this point without a fundamental change to the lowest levels of the OS.

About 4 years ago I switched all my desktop use to Mac OSX. I love it. And although I believe it is superior to Windows in almost every way (Especially the MACH Kernel) I didn’t really care what we used at Bluehost/Hostmonster/Fastdomain for our office/support computers.

Those days of ignorant bliss are now totally gone. We literally can no longer tolerate Windows in our corporate network. What you say? I know this sounds strange as corporate America is a stalwart Windows using market, but I’ll say it again. We can’t tolerate Windows anymore. It is simply too high a risk. It is UNSECURABLE.

Now I know right now that there are going to be lots of readers that write back saying, “If you know what you are doing then Windows is easy to secure. Only people that aren’t technical enough to do things right get infected.” Uh huh. There are so many zero day vulnerabilities with Windows that I simply can’t keep our network secure. In addition, because of the type of business we are in we are constantly the target of malicious activity directed at our network. We have to protect ourselves, and running Windows feels like bringing a plastic knife to gun fight when it comes to security.

So now the vast majority of employees at Bluehost/Hostmonster/Fastdomain run Linux in an LDAP environment (Support, Abuse, Admins, etc). We have several Macs throughout the office and will be adding many more in the near future. We do have some Windows machines (Quarantined from the rest of our network completely) that are used for testing, and a couple that are still used for accounting purposes, but even most of those are just virtual machines running Windows.

I’m not saying Linux, and Mac OSX aren’t susceptible to viruses or malware, but its so much less that its not even close. Its strange to me that most businesses just accept the fact that their machines will be infected with Malware and that they will just clean it off with the latest scan of their computer. Are you ok with your passwords, personal data, and financial information just flowing out to owners of various botnets? Are you fine to have an army of your office machines sending out spam in the background all day long while you wonder why your internet connection is slow? Clearly the answer for most businesses is yes. I guess after 20 years of Microsoft usage most people are just beaten into submission that computing has to be this way – but it doesn’t have to be. There are alternatives, and we are using them. I hope many of you reading today will consider some of the alternatives.

Matt Heaton

101 Responses to “Microsoft – So long my friend…”

  1. Simon W. says:

    So long Matt.

    Like it or not, you have basically confirmed that your company doesn’t care about the operating system that most of your customers are running and that you don’t want our business.

    Like Esteban’s Evil Clone said, you have helped me make the decision to no longer avail myself of your company’s services when my next renewal comes around.

    Your article is a typical “Techie with their head in the sand not living in the real world” rant and it proves that you wouldn’t be able to support me or my customers when required.

    So long.

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