There are a great number of people who perceive me to be an anti-Microsoft guy. I guess that’s an easy enough conclusion to come to. In reality, though, I feel like Microsoft has its place in the world like any other OS — it just happens to not be anywhere near anything I’m working with. I’m lucky that way. Others have no choice in what they use – work makes them use Windows. This rant is more for those who have a choice in the matter (home users) and are still using Internet Explorer and/or outlook.
Here’s the deal: Just because Windows is (allegedly) “easy to use” doesn’t mean that you can regress into a drooling blob of jelly. Microsoft loves that you are as stupid as you are. You probably never read technology news, you never read slashdot, you never read any site that might give you an alternative view of things, and Microsoft loves that. Why? Because it means you never hear about all the stuff us geeks hear about regarding their products, and stupid end users don’t listen to geeks because geeks mostly just don’t know how to talk to normal people anyway. What are the geeks saying?
Geeks, even ones that work to support Microsoft products, are pleading with people to get the hell away from IE and Outlook/Outlook Express. Why? Because most of the security problems in existence today happen to take advantage of the fact that 90% of the stupid home users use IE and Outlook, and stupid means that you won’t question an attachment from someone you never heard of coming to you in an email written entirely in a language foreign to you, even if the email says “the attached file is a virus, please open it to delete all of your files”. Seems unbelievable, but it’s absolutely true. The goal of a virus writer is to have his virus spread as quickly as possible to as many machines as possible. The best way to do this is to write it to work with a vulnerability in a product that all stupid people use — like Outlook or IE. These apps are rich with vulnerabilities and stupid users. They are, then, the perfect targets.
If you’re thinking “wow, maybe I should stop using IE and outlook”, you’re only getting half of the point. The rest of the point is that advances in technology which afford you a nicer computing experience do not amount to a justification for having absolutely no clue how what you do on your local machine affects the rest of the Internet (and, by the way, it absolutely does). Educate yourself just a little. Please. Go down to Borders or Barnes & Noble and get a book. They have thousands of them just on computing alone, and there are a great many of them geared towards people just like you. Please do something to help yourself, ‘cos us geeks are ready to give up and stop helping you recover your crap.