WannaCry [OT]

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Mon May 15 13:13:13 EDT 2017

Mike Kerner wrote:

 > First and foremost, you might expect M$ to be able to deliver an OS
 > that is backward compatible, since they are the 800 lb. gorilla in
 > this conversation.  They put out the specs that all the hardware
 > vendors built to, before they decided to change the rules and go in
 > a direction that broke everything.  When all the hardware vendors
 > were screaming, was M$ trying to build a compatibility layer?  No?

Of course I don't know the details behind lost backward compatibility as 
it may relate to a specific unnamed hardware device, but I do know that 
Microsoft has earned a reputation for maintaining backward compatibility 
far better than most.  Indeed, saddling themselves with that 
responsibility has been a frequent complaint against the company, said 
to restrict their options for innovation.

And with XP specifically, IIRC Microsoft gave everyone at least 7 years' 
advance notice of XP's EOL, having announced in 2007 that it would reach 
EOL in 2014.  Key vendors may have had that disclosure even earlier than 
the public notice.

Is it possible that the APIs these vendors depended on were later found 
to present security vulnerabilities?

It is truly impossible for these devices to deliver their functionality 
using modern supported APIs?

Might it be (again, we can't know for sure until we talk with each 
vendor) that they simply soldered too little RAM onto the motherboard 
and provided no means of updating the OS because they weren't thinking 

Lots of questions, likely unanswerable until we learn the specific 
constraints in play with each device.

If hardware vendors are looking for control over their platforms, 
perhaps they should be looking at open source OSes so they have access 
to the source code, ensuring that it will do always be able to do what 
they need.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  Ambassador at FourthWorld.com                http://www.FourthWorld.com

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