Waiting for a digital Sept. 11

Friday, 19 September 2003, 3:26 PM EST

Speaking at the Commonwealth Club earlier this week, Microsoft's chief executive confessed to being "humbled" by the attacks and pledged to redouble the software maker's efforts to make its products more secure.

I don't think a staged PR event will mollify angry computer users. Ballmer's handlers no doubt recognized the groundswell of resentment building in reaction to the security holes turning up in Microsoft software.

Still, there's a limit to how far you can dun Microsoft for faults real and imagined. The company's obviously got a lot of work to do. But in pinning blame for the seemingly never ending series of cyberattacks, don't lose sight of the fact that the real culprits in this novella are the bad guys who break the law by writing viruses.

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