ZDnet’s Executive Editor David Berlind did a “technology shakedown” of MS Vista recently and discovered that when logged in as a “Standard” user, and Vista downloads and installs some patches/updates which requires a reboot, Vista will automatically go ahead and reboot you.  That is, it will reboot your machine whether you’re at a stopping point in your day/document/webconference or not.  In fact, it will show you the “Remind me later” button so you can delay the reboot — but it’s grayed out (as if to mock users)!!  YIKES!! David then found that by reconfiguring the workstation as an Administrator, he did indeed have the rights to delay the reboot.  Anyone else see a problem with this?

Am I being picky?  Am I just pointing this out to be mean?  No, not entirely… I was in a meeting today and we were discussing some of the security differences between Linux and Windows.  Part of Windows’ problem is that they have many applications and services which are granted “Administrative” priviledges in order to do their work.  These can then represent potential backdoors into the system for security. In addition, many organizations simply give users Administrative rights out-right which can lead to other complications.  Linux by comparison, does not automatically grant administrative rights to apps and processes.

So, to avoid running into this problem it would appear that you might need to deploy Vista and give users Administrative rights.  (Don’t worry, I’m sure users won’t do anything undesirable to their PCs…  😉  Alternatively, you could just force users to reboot whenever the OS feels it’s necessary and simply not give users any way to stop or delay it.  If you ask me, that’s quite the “rock” and the” hard place.”

I suspect MS might hear enough complaints about this “feature” from Vista users (as soon as they get enough of those, that is) and will issue some sort of patch or optional add-on which will resolve this for IT guys who care.  In the meantime, we’ll be waiting…

Okay, so perhaps the headline was a little sensational, but I was still very alarmed when I learned of this, and I think you should at least be aware of it.  Thus this post.  I guess that’s just one more (albeit relatively minor) reason to choose SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop instead.
What do you think?  Am I over-reacting?

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