Microsoft reeducation campaign

Wednesday, 5 November 2003, 11:14 AM EST

Exactly two years ago in this very space, I wrote about how security would become critical to the success of Microsoft, and how the challenge of combining "simplicity and security" would represent the highest costs in IT.

For what is apparently the first time in Microsoft's financial disclosure history, the company has reported that security issues, or more appropriately insecurity issues, have directly affected their balance sheet in a negative way. Though quarterly stock earnings were up from last year (and above industry projections), Microsoft has identified losses of approximately $700 million in unearned revenue from non-renewed contracts in product futures. This was primarily attributed to industry concern over recent product vulnerabilities and other security-related problems.

Microsoft bashers will be quick to say things like: "All of Microsoft's revenue is unearned!" But that's just because they don't know any better. The truth is that from a business perspective, Microsoft does an excellent job in their support of customers and partners.

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