Are we nearly secure yet?

Tuesday, 28 January 2003, 4:34 PM EST

If Bill Gates were running for office (rather than just trying to sell it), the question the opposition would be asking this month is simple: are you better off now than you were a year ago?

That's how long it's been since Gates sent out his now-famous email rallying the company to solve security problems.

Bill's 15 January, 2002, message came in the wake of 11 September, but was more directly a response to the embarrassment the Nimda and Code Red incidents caused his company by shutting down its customers' servers and networks. There was also that embarrassing little business about Gartner, the big IT research firm, telling its customers not to use Microsoft Web servers because they were too insecure.

Microsoft looked like it was lax on the security issue. Clearly something had to be done. The question, a year later, is: has Microsoft done it?

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