Last week Redmond released security patches for Windows Vista Beta, and the media was all over it, pointing to the fact that it was the first time Microsoft had patched a beta release.
Most surmise that it results from the fact that the software behemoth's approach to security for the new OS may have locked out other security vendors. Microsoft's Kernel Patch Guard, which will ship with Vista, prevents the kernel from being modified in any way which, in turn, will prevent most antivirus software from doing its job.
In a BBC News column, tech commentator Bill Thompson points out that Redmond may be writing its own death warrant with the new approach. (Ok, so his language wasn't quite that severe, but you get the idea.) If security problems continue to plague Windows Vista and users raise a ruckus or even begin to drop the new OS, Microsoft will have no one and nothing to blame but itself.
For the first time, Thompson says, users will be able to determine for themselves whether completely closed source software development or open source software development produces a more secure OS. And if open source comes out on top, Redmond won't be able to look anywhere but in the mirror.