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29 Reasons to Not Get Vista

Microsoft Windows Vista hits (assaults) consumers on 30 January 2007. Starting with New Years Day that gives you twenty nine days to think about the big mistake you're about to make.

Every day of January 2007 until Microsoft Windows Vista is released you can read yet another good reason why it's not a good idea to get it.

8 January 2007 Reason #8: The MS Office Lock-In.

Face it: you live in an Internetted age. There's nothing saying anyone else is using the same computer, the same operating system, the same document formats you do. And yet all too many (one would still be too many) are still using things like the MS Office suite.

Those are proprietary formats - and Microsoft love it when you use them. For it means you won't be able to move your documents to another platform. You'll be forced to stay on Windows.

It's common knowledge that a lot of Windows users would be gone tomorrow were it not for their MS Office files. And true, there are free alternatives today such as OpenOffice.org from Sun Microsystems, but that's like giving drugs like methadon to a heroin addict: you're not kicking the habit. Proprietary formats are so 'last millennium'.

But it's worse, for right alongside Internet Explorer stand the members of MS Office as some of the worst software products on the planet.

In a recent report entitled 'Microsoft's Achilles' Heel: Office', security researcher Brian Krebs assembles facts and figures for 2006 and shows that MS Office users have almost more to fear than IE users.

Last year Microsoft patched a total of 41 critical vulnerabilities in MS Office - and don't forget what that key word 'critical' means: it means the attack requires little or no interaction on the part of the user. That means that by just opening an MS Office document you could smell the bread burning.

And it's not getting any better either: in 2005 Microsoft shipped only 37 patches for all its software products, and as of 1 January 2007 Microsoft acknowledge they have yet to patch another three MS Office holes that criminals are actively exploiting right now.

This past December there was a hack attack on a US based public utility company using infected PowerPoint slides. The consultants called in to sort out the situation suspected the attack was done on order by a Chinese group known to write attacks for hire. It was a targeted attack: that's how bad it's getting.

Bill Gates is never going to let you go willingly: the longer you stay on, the more dirty tricks he's going to think up to make it even more difficult for you to get away. All the while you're suffering, really suffering, on his platform.

It's going to hurt no matter when you do it, but it's going to hurt less today than it will tomorrow.

Or after 29 January.

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