Microsoft’s security starts to show

Monday, 24 November 2003, 2:59 PM EST

Bill Gates says security has become a vital issue for Microsoft as it prepares its next release of Windows. The Microsoft chairman, speaking in Las Vegas at the opening of Comdex, said that security is being designed into Longhorn, the code name for the next desktop version of Windows.

Gates also said that Microsoft is finding ways to provide tools Microsoft server software users to fight spam and viruses. The company’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, speaking in Tokyo at about the same time, echoed those words.

It’s a refrain I’ve heard a lot from Microsoft recently. Nearly a year ago, I spent time meeting with the new security staffers from Redmond. Since then I’ve heard much about added efforts to tighten up the security in Windows and other Microsoft products.

The results are starting to show. My initial experiences with Windows 2003 Server were frustrating because the OS is locked down. You have to specifically enable the services you want to use, making the rest of the software unavailable to viruses and worms. Of course, I’d been cruising along, certain that my long experience with Windows would see me through whatever I wanted to accomplish.

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