Quality and Testing

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-10-27 Print this article Print

But in spite of this, Linux is often touted as a more secure platform. This is due in part to the "many eyeballs" maxim of open-source software, which claims a correlation between the number of developers looking at code and the number of bugs found and resolved, Ballmer said. "While this has some validity, it is not necessarily the best way to develop secure software," he said. "We believe in the effectiveness of a structured software engineering process that includes a deep focus on quality, technology advances and vigorous testing to make software more secure." Citing another research report from Forrester, titled "Is Linux More Secure than Windows?," Ballmer said this highlighted "that the four major Linux distributions have a higher incidence and severity of vulnerabilities, and are slower than Microsoft to provide security updates."
"According to Forrester, Microsoft had the lowest elapsed time between disclosure of a vulnerability and the release of a fix," he said. "They found that Microsoft addressed all of the 128 publicly disclosed security flaws in Windows over the 12-month period studied, and that its security updates predated major outbreaks by an average of 305 days."
Ballmer recently also talked about security at the recent Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, but frustrated Windows users there said actions speak louder than words when it comes to Ballmers promise that Microsoft will fix the security vulnerabilities in his companys computing platform. Read more here about user reaction to Ballmers promises of improved security. "Trust is not a word that I would use" in relation to Microsofts promises on security, said Paula Dallabetta, director of product marking at CreekPath Systems Inc., a storage management software producer based in Longmont, Colo. She said she has no reason to trust Microsoft because it "hasnt delivered anything to date" that improves the security situation. On the indemnification front, Ballmer said a top issue for customers is patent indemnification. The company had now lifted the cap at the amount the customer had paid for the software, for its volume licensing customers: those most likely to be the target of an IP lawsuit. Next Page: Comparing indemnification plans.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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