Microsoft's high-risk security strategy

Wednesday, 10 March 2004, 12:04 PM EST

Fighting to protect its operating system monopoly by making Windows more secure, Microsoft this year finds itself sitting between the rock of inevitable antitrust oversight, and the hard place of its reputation regarding security.

Bill Gates has said that the next big upgrade to Windows XP, Service Pack 2, will have personal firewall software in it, among other features. The Windows Firewall, while very likely to be less functional than those already on the market, will be on by default and will dissuade many consumers from parting with the $20 to $40 asked by vendors such as Network Associates, Symantec, Trend Micro, and Zone Labs.

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