Security is Worry Number
One"> While some enterprise customers look forward to a new Microsoft, one that is a trusted and responsible partner, they remain concerned about security. "Microsoft is trying to be the biggest and the best, but they are having trouble with the quality part," said Paul Tinnirello, a CIO for an insurance information company. "There are too many security flaws and wacky software errors for a company thats been doing this for more than two decades. Theres no excuse. Eventually, the quality issue may cost them the big game.""We do not have any confidence in the reliability of their product to use it for high-end processes such as our [enterprise resource planning] system," Benincasa said. "So, the reliability of their products is an important issue. Servers need to be bulletproof and run continuously. Security improvements and more effective patch management are also big issues for us." Security is an issue with other operating systems as well, but because Microsoft products are more pervasive throughout the world, they need to be better than other operating systems to reduce the risk of network failures due to viruses and other vulnerabilities, Benincasa said. A report released last summer by the Computer and Communications Industry Assoc. warned that the ubiquity of Windows and other Microsoft products has made the worlds computing infrastructure far more vulnerable to attacks and viruses than it would be were there more diversity of products. Click here to read more. As much as Ballmer talks about the repositioning of the company as an adult and responsible corporate IT citizen, many questions and unknowns remain. Among them are whether the deal with Sun will have any impact on Microsofts expected appeal of the European Commissions antitrust judgment and on the outcome of that appeal. Also as part of the settlement with Sun, Microsoft and Sun signed a broad Technology Communications Agreement as well as a Communications Protocol licensing agreement. But these appear to provide only a framework rather than specifics about how they will affect cooperation and interoperability between Suns and Microsofts products, as well as, ultimately, enterprise customers. Still, Ballmer was upbeat about Microsofts chances of changing customer perspectives and the maturation process. "A lot of what we have been doing is to try and put legal matters behind us andas we try to respond on these security issuesis to reposition the company as that kind of trusted, responsibleI wont say maturesupplier to the industry," Ballmer said. Check out eWEEK.coms Windows Center at http://windows.eweek.com for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis. Be sure to add our eWEEK.com Windows news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:
Microsoft also faces a number of challenges as it tries to convince enterprise customers that it has grown up and is ready to be a true enterprise playerand considered a partner. Ed Benincasa, a vice president of MIS at FN Manufacturing Inc., in Columbia, S.C., and an eWEEK Corporate Partner, said his company sees Microsoft products as PC- and low-end-server-based rather than as enterprise-class software.