In mid November, our contract with AT&T (formerly Cingular) expired. We switched to T-Mobile and got BlackBerry Curve phones. I was a BlackBerry skeptic for a long time. I didn’t think I wanted a phone with a full QWERTY keyboard. This changed when we looked at the phones available. It turned out that the Curve was only marginally wider than the average phone, perhaps a centimeter or so. It’s otherwise comparable to mid-range phones in size.
Microsoft has announced its new tenets to “promote competition”, so I thought I’d take a look at them. I wasn’t impressed.
1. Installation of any software. Computer manufacturers and customers are free to add any software to PCs that run Windows.
Translation: “Your computer belongs to you, not us.”
Yes, you’re actually allowed to install any software you like on the computer you build or purchase. It’s hard to believe that Microsoft even have to write this down. That they feel it’s some kind of new principle to apply “going forward” is a shocking admission.
There’s another major bug in one of the IE ActiveX controls installed as part of Windows. It allows any web site to run arbitrary code on your system via malformed HTTP requests. Microsoft have issued a fix for this one. The problem is, the original broken ActiveX control is still out there, and is signed as trusted code with a Microsoft signature which doesn’t expire. So nefarious web sites can simply request the old, broken version be downloaded and executed in preference to the new one, then use the old security hole to reformat your hard drive.