Telegraph Now Acting As PR Flacks For Microsoft

There was a time when the newspapers were written by people who knew something. No, not everything, but people did tend to be subject specialists at least when discussing matters off the main news pages. Technology, or Labour Relations, or Travel, sections were written by people who had actually wielded a spanner, attended a union meeting, gone somewhere other than with everyone else on their Gap Yeah.

Now that journalism is a graduate entry occupation – often requiring a post-graduate degree for the Lord’s sake – the newspapers are produced by people who know how to type and not a great deal else. They’ve no bottom in the subject under discussion. This is what explains this story:

Retail and financial services among worst at updating IT systems

Well, banking, yes, that’s a well known problem. First mover disadvantage we might call it. The first UK ATM was opened in the 1960s. Actually, the celebrity opener was the bloke from On the Buses. That means that the underlying technology of the ATM network is that of the 1960s. This is why the UK ATM network generally allows you to take out money, check a balance, and not a great deal else.

As opposed to the networks in other places which only started to be installed in the 1990s and beyond. Which allow you to pay any bill to anyone, with a nice cute system of error checking which bill for how much is being paid to whom and so on. To install such in the UK would mean backinstalling over the whole network in the UK and we’re just not going to do that. It’s all on the internet instead.

But that’s not the complaint in fact:

Retail and financial businesses in the UK are among the worst at updating their IT systems placing them and their customers at risk of devastating cyber attacks, new research suggests. Notes seen by The Telegraph, and understood to have been compiled by Microsoft, suggest that both sectors have been among the slowest to adopt Windows 10, the company’s latest operating system. In the public sector, larger councils and healthcare bodies have also been behind in updating their IT systems. The research, which was released to a number of Microsoft’s partners, will likely raise questions over whether large swathes of companies are taking their security seriously enough.

That’s all just straight out PR Flackery for Microsoft.

The old model was that you buy a licence and that’s that, you’ve a licence for whatever version of Windows you’ve got. The new model is that you rent a licence by the month for Windows 10 and beyond. Microsoft would obviously like that installed base to move on so that they can start charging them again.

And lots of talk about how they’re not taking care of cybersecurity might be just the thing to get the politicians to force them to do so, no?

There is actually a point to people writing the newspapers having some subject knowledge. Strange as it may seem.

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Quentin VoleJonathan HarstonMr WombyMatt Ryan Recent comment authors
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Matt Ryan
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Matt Ryan

Anyone with any experience of Windows would not describe it as secure.

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

Secure compared to … what? 90% (I’m tempted to write 99%) of security problems arise between chair and keyboard. As Bruce Schneier observed:
If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don’t understand the problems and you don’t understand the technology.
Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World

Mr Womby
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Mr Womby

You can’t just upgrade the software without upgrading the hardware, especially when we’re talking about state-installed kit which could be a few years old. Someone at work put W10 on one of our laptops which only had 1GB of RAM. Result – an unusable laptop.

Jonathan Harston
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Jonathan Harston

Yep. Five years ago I was rolling out Win7 to GP practices – about 90% of them we had to change the hardware first. Carting the old machines back to base knackered the suspension in my car!