Ballmer beats security drum

Thursday, 2 September 2004, 12:12 AM EST

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer believes the software industry will create more positive change in the next 10 years than it did in the previous 10 -- provided that security threats are effectively handled.

"Security is the one issue that could stand in all our ways," Ballmer said in an address to the Massachusetts Software Council today. "To the degree that people don't feel they can rely on [applications] is a major impediment."

Beset by a wave of recent code flaws, Microsoft has made security its top priority, Ballmer said. It derailed its Longhorn OS development plan to issue Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), shifted some programmers onto other security projects and began analyzing glitch feedback from users to spot trends.

"[Security is] a little thankless," Ballmer said, comparing it to Y2K preparations. "The best anyone is going to say about security is, 'We didn't have a problem.'"

By Colin C. Haley at internet.com

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