Microsoft's chairman and founder takes on Windows security critics, content rights, privacy and more.
Coming off a summer of widespread virus attacks, a year without a significant Windows update, and new attacks on Microsofts multimedia plans, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates sat down with PC Magazine Editor-in-Chief Michael J. Miller late last year to set the record straight and talk about some of the bigger issues facing the technology industry.
Michael Miller: I thought Id start by talking about security. Its been a big issue this year. When I talk to readers, its probably their number-one concern. Theres a perception that Microsoft is to blame, to some extent, for some of whats going on. There are all the viruses, and there are worms, and there are lots of patches. How do you deal with that?
Bill Gates: Its our responsibility to make sure that PC computing is something thats extremely productive, that [viruses dont interfere with that] and they [users] dont have this underlying concern, "Jeez, did I do the right things?" So theres a ton of things that we need to do: Were going to default the firewall on, were going to work with broadband providers to do scans to make sure everybody has their system set up the right way. Most people, between defaulting the firewall on and having auto-update, never would have run into one of these problems, and they are not likely to run into problems in the future.
I should say a third thing. They [users] should be careful what attachments they click on. Most e-mail servers nowadays take out the dangerous attachments, but [users] have to participate a little bit [to get infected] in terms of downloading arbitrary [executable files] from Web sites or from e-mail they receive. We just need a clear message to consumers, and its our responsibility to work with the right partners in the industry to make that clear.
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Michael J. Miller is Executive Vice President and Editorial Director of Ziff Davis Media Inc., where he takes an active role in corporate editorial issues, helps identify new editorial needs in the marketplace and shapes the editorial process of every Ziff Davis Media publication.
He joined the company in 1991 as Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine. Under Miller's supervision, PC Magazine has grown to have the largest readership of any technology publication in the world, at 5.9 million readers. He oversaw the redesign of PC Magazine, the launch of pcmag.com and an expansion of PC Magazine Labs, the largest computer testing lab run by any publication.
Prior to joining PC Magazine, Miller was editor-in-chief of InfoWorld, which he joined as executive editor in 1985. Previously, he was the West Coast Bureau Chief for Popular Computing, and Senior Editor for Building Design & Construction.
An experienced public speaker and veteran technology journalist, Miller has become the 'spokesperson' for the technology industry. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including being named to Medill's Alumni Hall of Achievement. In 2002, Mr. Miller was named the number one consumer/computer journalist by Technology Marketing magazine.
Mr. Miller holds a Master of Science degree in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.