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February 2002

Trustworthy Computing: Bill Gates vindicates security practitioners

In 2000, Microsoft removed the words "idiot," "fool" and "nitwit" from Word's built-in thesaurus. After reading Bill Gates's e-mail on Trustworthy Computing, I now know why. Gates's pie-in-the-sky security manifesto has left us searching for a new word to describe what Gates must take us for. Only the truly cynical security practitioner could read Gates's mantra and not feel at least partially vindicated. He finally put in words what we've trumpeted all along: "Trustworthy computing is the highest priority for all the work we are doing." Gates even goes so far as to emphasize security over functionality in software development: "[W]hen we face a choice between adding features and resolving security issues, we need to choose security." By George, he's finally got it. Still, you'll pardon me if I remain skeptical. I don't doubt that his intentions are earnest. Gates reserves these types of missives for only the highest priority issues, those he considers fundamental to the company's future. And if anyone can make Microsoft ...

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Features in this issue

Columns in this issue

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