Why Ballmer doesn't get it on security

Thursday, 16 October 2003, 3:41 PM EST

Microsoft has come a long way in its understanding of security over the last five years, but comments made last week by its chief executive Steve Ballmer go to show it needs to change not only its approach, but must recognize that it doesn't operate in a vacuum.

In particular, his comment that he wishes security researchers would just shut their mouths is a sure sign that Ballmer just doesn't get it. His ambit scenario would see researchers only telling Microsoft about bugs they find. He actually cited the good of the world for his reasoning. At least he didn't bring God into it.

"I can tell you I wish those people just would be quiet. It would be best for the world. That's not going to happen, so we have to work in the right fashion with these security researchers," Ballmer said at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans.

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