Microsoft prepares security assault on Linux

Tuesday, 11 November 2003, 2:59 PM EST

Microsoft is preparing a major PR assault over Windows’ perceived security failings in which it will criticise Linux for taking too long to fix bugs, we have learned.

In a sign that the inroads made by the Open Source community are starting to rattle the software giant, Microsoft has hired several analysts to review how fast holes are patched in the open source software and is expected to announce that Windows compares favourably.

The strategy, called “Days of Risk”, measures the number of days it takes programmers to release a public patch after a vulnerability is revealed. While high-profile holes in Linux and associated software tend to be swiftly dealt with, less prominent problems - which could be just as potentially damaging - can take weeks or even months to appear.

Microsoft’s aim is to undermine critics and place a question mark over Linux’s security by revealing that, on average, Windows poses less of a security risk. By turning attention away from its own software bugs while at the same time launching several security initiatives, it hopes to be able to tackle one of main worries business has with its proprietary operating system.

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