Breaking Analysis: Microsoft Downplays Windows RT Hack

On Sunday, it was reported that the Windows RT operating system had been hacked to allow unsigned ARM desktop applications to run.  Microsoft responded quickly to say that it was investigating the findings and is now saying that it doesn’t consider this to be a security vulnerability. According to SiliconANGLE Contributing Editor John Casaretto, the jailbreak was done by an independent researcher. He believes that Windows RT was targeted due to the fact that it was released in such a limited fashion.

Although RT is not designed to run full desktop applications, the jailbreak proved otherwise. Casaretto observed that the large size of the operating system could have been an indicator to hackers that there was an unlocked, underlying capability of a full-on desktop environment.  While Microsoft is not categorizing this as a security vulnerability, Casaretto said they left the door open for a future patch.  Apparently Microsoft feels this is a sophisticated hack, but has not proved to be a true threat as of yet.

In CES news, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer made a surprise appearance during Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs’ keynote speech to show off some of the Windows 8 devices associated with Qualcomm, including phones, tablets and laptops. Although Microsoft is not participating in CES this year, after leading the opening keynote for the past twelve years, they still have a strong presence at CES.  Casaretto stated that Ballmer’s presence specifically adds a lot of weight to how important this event still is to Microsoft.

When asked if the absence of Microsoft at CES could be indicative that the event is losing some of its mojo, Casaretto disagreed. He said, “I think it’s quite the opposite . . . there’s a number of ways partners are bringing the Microsoft brand into that experience. Again, a surprise visit from Ballmer really shows that Microsoft relies pretty heavily on the partner strategy at this point.”  See the entire segment with Kristin Feledy and John Casaretto on the Morning NewsDesk Show.