Laser Blog

Articles tagged "open source"

59 ODF threat to Microsoft grows

Monday 5th March, 2007

A third US state, California, has joined Minnesota and Texas in requiring that an open, XML-based format be mandatory for state agencies. And why not? Who wants to have to upgrade those expensive proprietary formats every two or three years?

The new bill ... does not name ODF specifically but has stipulated that by 2008 agencies must be equipped to store and exchange documents in an open, XML-based format. Although the name of Microsoft's Office Open XML suggests that it would match the requirement, it is in fact a proprietary format that would fail the open standards test.


58 Microsoft threatens Linux again

Monday 26th February, 2007

Actually, this is the same threat which I discussed last week. It's just that this particular report from The Inquirer has some interesting points to make:

Microsoft and its legal team has decades of experience with IP infringement, it can spot it a cube away, possibly farther. It knows all the ins and outs of IP infringement law, and has spent billions because of it.

When it come to Linux, it should be pretty cut and dried. Either it does or does not infringe on Microsoft patents. If it does, Microsoft can and should sue those who are guilty, the law is plain, simple and clear. It has the resources and personnel to shut down its biggest competitor almost overnight if the threats are true.

So, why isn't it? Basically because there is no IP infringement in Linux. It tried with SCO as a proxy and failed miserably so now it is resorting to veiled threats.


47 Apache on Linux vs IIS on Windows

Monday 5th February, 2007

A graphic illustration of why Windows is less secure than Linux. You know that old saying: "A picture is worth a thousand words"? Well here are two pictures! Both images are a complete map of the system calls that occur when a web server serves up a single page of html with a single picture.

This first image shows the system calls that occur on a Linux server running Apache.

The system calls that occur on a Linux server running Apache


And this second image shows the system calls that occur on a Windows server running IIS.

The system calls that occur on a Windows server running IIS


It's kind of self-explanatory, but there is a little more detail (including larger pictures) on the originating site.


39 2006 security status: Internet Explorer vs Mozilla Firefox

Monday 22nd January, 2007

The "Security Fix" blog on the Washington Post website compared the relative security of Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox during 2006:

... analysis found that for 284 days in 2006, bad guys were either exploiting critical, unpatched security holes in IE or blueprints for said instructions were published online for any criminals to use. In contrast, the data showed that there just nine days in 2006 in which exploit code was available for similarly serious, unpatched security holes in Mozilla's Firefox browser.

These statistics are shocking. There's not a lot more which can be said about them; one can only guess as to the reasons behind Microsoft's apparent lack of commitment to security for Internet Explorer. However, let me represent this data for you graphically:

Chart showing the relative security of Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox during 2006

It just seems unreal.


38 Open source is almost always the cheaper option

Thursday 18th January, 2007

This article from, and another from the BBC give accounts of how the European Commission has published a report (PDF format) saying that in "almost all cases" switching from proprietary to open source software could offer considerable savings to organisations with little effect on their business.