Thursday, October 14, 2004

Will Microsoft Ever REALLY Be Trustworthy?

There was a memo written a few years back dubbing Microsoft the "trustworthy computing" company. So how many of you out there trust Microsoft. I've always referred to Disney as "the evil empire" but I may have ot take that label and apply it to Bill Gates' baby. How can a company who continuously preaches change and security, then turns around and forces us to continue to pay for sub par product be trustworthy?

In cae you need another reason why Microsoft conjures up images of Big Brother, here's an article from Jeff over at Lockergnome about the new Media player Microsoft launched Tuesday. It's definately worth reading if you are thinking of getting the new Media Player 10.

January 15, 2005 -- a Saturday -- will almost certainly pass quietly on the bucolic Redmond, Washington, campus of Microsoft Corp. But for those in the field of information technology security, who often make a sport of following the company's struggles to secure its products, the date is certain to attract some notice: it's the third anniversary of a now-famous internal Microsoft e-mail dubbed the "Trustworthy Computing" memo.
Addressed to all full-time employees at Microsoft and its subsidiaries, Gates' Trustworthy Computing memo announced an ambitious program to make Microsoft's technology more secure and reliable, and signalled a profound change in the culture of the world's leading software maker. In it, Gates re-oriented the priorities of the company he founded in 1978, and which made him into the world's richest man in the 1990s by turning out easy-to-use software applications that were tightly integrated with the company's dominant Windows operating system.
Written just months after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S., the Trustworthy Computing memo likened the need to secure his company's software to the new imperatives of securing the nation's critical infrastructure such as airlines, electrical, telephony and water services.
Compared to the reliability of such critical services, "computing falls well short," Gates said, noting that the insecurity and instability of computing systems had a subtle but pernicious effect on technology adoption.
As explained by Gates in the memo, four important aspects comprised the new initiative: availability, security, privacy and trustworthiness.

Within Microsoft, the memo "absolutely changed the mindset of the company," said Gytis Barzdukas, director of product management in Microsoft's Security Business and Technology Unit.
That kind of decision would have been unheard of in the go-go days of the 1990s, when Microsoft's focus was on shipping its products fast and on crushing the competition, such as rival Web browser Netscape (
Overview, Articles, Company), with key features, said John Pescatore, vice president at Gartner Inc.
"Microsoft was of the opinion that nobody cared about security -- what they wanted was integration ... something so easy that (their grandmother) can use it," he said.