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Monday, 10 April 2017 10:37

Microsoft ignores ransomware in Windows 10 push

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A new study commissioned by Microsoft and carried out by Forrester Research claims that deploying Windows 10 in a hypothetical organisation will lead to savings of US$515 per worker, an increase of 28% over the US$403 estimated in mid-2016.

But strangely the revised study makes no mention of any provision of costs for dealing with ransomware attacks — which are reported almost daily — and mentions malware only once in passing.

In the mid-2016 report, the word ransomware does not figure either. Malware gets two cursory mentions.

When Forrester calculated the US$403 figure, it interviewed four customers who had moved to Windows 10 and then extrapolated that data to an imaginary firm that had 24,000 Windows 10 devices, according to a report in Computerworld.

The US$515 per seat savings was calculated by Forrester after interviewing another four Windows 10 migration cases and consolidating the data it had.

The savings is meant to represent the figure that would be saved if the imaginary company moved from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

In a blog post, Craig Dewar, a director of marketing on the Windows Commercial team, claimed that these savings would eventuate from IT management, reduced security remediation and improved productivity.

His post made no mention of malware or ransomware at all.

Security concerns have dogged Microsoft right from the day when the Stoned virus and the Pakistani Brain/Ashar virus made their appearance. When Windows 95 was launched in August 1995, it took only a year or so for the flood of viruses and worms to become a tsunami.

And recently, reports of ransomware infecting Windows installations in various corners of the world have become very common.

Only yesterday, iTWire reported on the way that a malicious Word document could be used to download ransomware into a Windows 10 system. Despite all the claims from Redmond that Windows 10 is secure, the company can only make a relative claim: that it is more secure than earlier versions of Windows. And that does not mean a thing.

Understandably, Microsoft is desperate to push businesses to move to Windows 10 because it must be quite a task to support so many different versions of its operating system. But then this complicated set-up was created by the company itself and any cross that it has to bear is of its own making.

Given this, it is irresponsible of Microsoft to ignore the crucial security ramifications of the plethora of malware that attacks Windows in this blind rush to push businesses to upgrade.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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