Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Is Open Source a Wolf in Sheeps clothing?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Some years back the Robots were asked to advise on the nature and colour of technology requirement. There were two competeting technologies. One was from Microsoft and the other the open source operating system, Linux.

Our initial investigation concluded that the Microsoft technology was less secure than the open source equivalent. It was clear that the open source product was better designed and could be 'hot patched' more rapidly than that of Microsoft technology. So on the surface of it we concluded that Linux was a far better offering in terms of security than Microsoft.

But as we got deeper and deeper into the debate we began to change our mind.

It suddenly became clear that many of those "so called" hackers were anti-Microsoft people, so there was clearly an agenda to discredit the Microsoft technology anyway - creating conditions which placed greater scrutiny on Microsoft security. Then it was brought to our attention that much of the code is created by thousands of disperate coders from here to Timbuktu. Many of these people are high calibre programmers, but many we interviewed were pretty ineffcient and those that were not - seemed like crackpots. We wondered how many of the security vulnerabilities in systems were being engineered by these people.

Anyway, the most worrying of all concerns about open source lies at the very heart of its cause. We can only wonder at how so many people have been fooled for so long.

Open Source is in fact only open to a minute number of programmers. It is not open to the general public, business managers or shareholders. It is open to a few software engineers who can understand the language and context of the C programming language and operating system architecture.

For everyone else, open source is no more open than Microsoft technologies.

So we ask, is open source a Wolf in sheeps clothing?

Is it really more secure than Microsoft technology?

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