Sterling Life Insurance is still using Novell NetWare as its internal network operating system. Thus, it may have less concern about network security, Warren said, although it still has concerns about viruses and Internet security. As a result, he said he doesnt know whether the deployment of Windows XP SP2 is an issue in his organization. Fran Gabriel, an end-user services specialist with the U.S Navy in Philadelphia, said she is confident that Ballmer will do what he can to solve the problems. "Like most of the key figures in the industry, he knows that the future of every vendor in the business depends" on Microsoft solving the security issues, she said. "Clearly, his boss expects that he is going to do something about this," Gabriel said.Click here to read about a Windows JPEG exploits venture into the wild. Jaap Bloem, a senior analyst at Sogeti Netherlands BV, an IT consulting and services company based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, said he thinks Microsoft will do what it can to fix the security problems. But it remains to be seen how effective those efforts will be, he said. "Microsoft has been pushed in the right direction, but they didnt go there voluntarily," Bloem said. Customers and the market pressured the company to address the security issues, he said. Security concerns were one of the issues that prompted Sogeti to consider evaluating the effectiveness of Linux running on the desktop, Bloem said. There is a good chance that the company will conduct this evaluation within the next three months, he said. But Sogeti has no plans to evaluate Linux as a server operating system, he said. In addressing Linux, Ballmer said Wednesday that the perception that Linux is more secure is "just not true." "Were more secure than the other guys," he said. "There are more vulnerabilities in Linux; it takes longer for Linux developers to fix security problems. Its a good decision to go with Windows." Bloems colleague Menno van Doorn, a technology manager at Sogeti, said users can get a clearer view about what Microsoft intends to do about security when the company eventually delivers the Longhorn Windows server. Now that Longhorns shipment has been delayed for a year, the question is whether Microsoft is using the extra time to enhance server security or mainly to bolster its features and performance. Check out eWEEK.coms Windows Center at http://windows.eweek.com for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Whether Microsoft will do everything that needs to be done to solve problems with viruses, Windows security loopholes and junk e-mail remains to be seen, she said. "Im sure that Microsoft as a corporate entity is taking this very seriously," she said.