Microsoft decision puts public libraries at risk by Yardena Arar in the Newsletter this week notes:

Millions of Americans depend on libraries, Internet cafés, and other public locations for their connection to the Internet, and keeping these points of access safe from hackers is especially difficult.

This is very sad news indeed. SteadyState support was in the Windows 7 betas, and of course there is still support in Vista and Windows XP.

As noted in the article, 77 million Americans used a library computer or Wi-Fi network to access the Internet last year. That’s a lot of computers that will likely not be upgraded to the new Windows 7 due to lack of SteadyState support due to the added cost of using third party software — particularly to Libraries that are already strapped in this economy — since Windows 7 would not afford the same protection against malware, changes to the system, hard drive, software, sites, etc. that SteadyState has been providing.

So it would appear that Microsoft is turning on its own founders’ mission:

SteadyState is descended from the Public Access Computer security software developed in the early 2000s by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It was part of the foundation’s ongoing drive to put computers into schools and libraries.

Talk about egg on the face of the the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Sad.

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