Microsofts About-Face: Security Now Job One
A Bill Gates e-mail to Microsoft employees outlines his vision to make security the company's highest priority, taking precedence over even functionality.As the launch of Microsoft Corp.s critical .Net Framework draws closer, Bill Gates is launching an all-out effort to repair his companys reputation for poor security and reliability. Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., has developed a broad-based plan to combat present and future security and reliability problems in all Microsoft products. Gates last week sent an e-mail to all Microsoft employees outlining his vision for Trustworthy Computing, a design, development and implementation philosophy that he hopes will restore some of the confidence that the companys persistent security problems have eroded in recent years. The heart of the plan involves a dramatic about-face for Microsoft, with Gates calling for security to be the companys highest priority, taking precedence over even functionality, which long has been the No. 1 concern for Microsoft software designers.
"In the past, weve made our software and services more compelling for users by adding new features and functionality, and by making our platform richly extensible," Gates wrote in the message, a copy of which was obtained by eWEEK. "Weve done a terrific job at that, but all those great features wont matter unless customers trust our software. So now, when we face a choice between adding features and resolving security issues, we need to choose security. Our products should emphasize security right out of the box, and we must constantly refine and improve that security as threats evolve."