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May 2005

Perspectives: Windows Server 2003 security stands up

Even the most die-hard Linux enthusiasts must give Microsoft credit for improving its security. Hugh Thompson knew the tallest obstacle to his research would be explaining the link to the company that bankrolled his controversial report that concluded Windows was more secure than Linux. Thompson and research partner Richard Ford didn't mention during their entertaining presentation at the RSA Conference that Microsoft funded the study, which determined that Windows Server 2003 had a better patch record than different distributions of Red Hat's Enterprise Linux 3.0. That was all the ammo Linux enthusiasts needed. "People have come back and said [the report] automatically must not be relevant, fair and balanced," says Thompson, whose company, Security Innovations, prepared the report based on a methodology created by Ford, a professor at Florida Institute of Technology. That's a shame. Even some of the most ardent Linux advocates now admit that Microsoft's security reforms have led to more carefully constructed code and ...

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