Microsoft Says Security Emphasis is Paradigm Shift

Security remains a hot-button issue for Microsoft, as Brian Valentine, senior vice president for Windows, touted Redmond's new “hard" approach to software development.

According to Valentine, who was a keynote speaker at Windows Server Devcon in Seattle earlier this month, Microsoft has done everything it can to make sure its new server operating system, Windows .NET Server 2003, doesn’t fall victim to the same security holes that have plagued the product in the past. During his keynote, Valentine said .NET Server represents a paradigm shift for Microsoft, in that it was “engineered for security.”

With previous versions of Windows Server, Valentine said security wasn’t a primary concern. “Originally, the focus was getting people on the network, not keeping people off it.”

But, after a number of security holes in Microsoft’s popular IIS Web-serving software were exposed by worms and hit by virus attacks, Valentine said Redmond realized it needed to reassess its security strategy.

Still, Valentine was quick to point out that Microsoft isn’t the only reason for security lapses within the enterprise. Citing a recent analyst report, Valentine said the Microsoft platform was no worse than leading Linux or Unix systems in terms of security flaws. “We all suck,” he said.

Valentine said a long-term, industry-wide commitment is required in order to limit security breaches in IT. “[Security] is not something just Microsoft can solve,” he said. “There’s no end point to this problem. It’s an issue we all have to tackle.”

[An unabridged version of this article appeared in News on Sept. 5, 2002, at—Editor)

About the Author

Matt Migliore is regular contributor to He focuses particularly on Microsoft .NET and other Web services technologies. Matt was the editor of several technology-related Web publications and electronic newsletters, including Web Services Report, ASP insights and MIDRANGE Systems.


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