Microsoft celebrates 10 years of Trustworthy Computing

10 years ago, Microsoft's Chairman Bill Gates sent out a memo to all of the company's employees. In his email, Gates said that he wanted to launch a new initiative at Microsoft called Trustworthy Computing. He stated, "What I mean by this is that customers will always be able to rely on these systems to be available and to secure their information. Trustworthy Computing is computing that is as available, reliable and secure as electricity, water services and telephony."

10 years later, Microsoft is now celebrating that Trustworthy Computing effort with a new press release and a new infographic that goes over Microsoft's efforts at making its software more secure in the past decade. The company pats itself on the back a bit for its improvements. For example, it says, "Better instrumentation such as Windows Error Reporting has led to fewer system crashes, increasing productivity and alleviating user frustration. In the area of privacy, Microsoft was one of the first companies to publish privacy standards for developers and to provide consumers with layered privacy notices."

But has all of these efforts made Microsoft's software products more secure? chatted with some security experts on that subject and the answer seems to be, "Yes." One of them is Marc Maiffret, the founder and chief technology officer at eEye Inc. He discovered the worm Code Red in 2001, which was the first worm program made to infect a Microsoft platform. The worm managed to infect hundreds of thousands of web sites, including the White House web server. Now Maiffret praises Microsoft's security efforts, saying. "They went from being one of the worst companies in security to being one of the best."

You can also read our coverage of Microsoft's vision here, all the way from 2002 and the leaked memo story from January 2002.

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I have a lot more respect for Microsoft than I use to, but their security overall is still one of the longest-running jokes in history.

KingCrimson said,
Actually Microsoft "security" remains a joke in the industry. Even Windows 7 security doesn't hold a candle to any *Nix OS.

Yeah, even an unpatched 5 years old linux desktop distrib for which many exploits are available on metasploit will seem more secure than windows because no one care about exploiting OSes with sub 0.5% marketshare

on the other hand, microsoft has great server security (iis/ server much more secure than apache/php/oracle/mysql), rootkit protection (something that linux doesn't bother implementing, even though rootkits have existed on linux long before windows), browser sandboxing since vista/ie7, gpu driver isolation, first desktop OS to offer a fully sandboxed application framework (win8/winrt) not vulnerable to malwares/viruses (and yet viruses can exist on unix, contrary to a widespread myth)

And yet, there are still ignorant trolls who think anything unix is more secure than windows.

look on the mobile side, android and iOS are both based on linux and unix, and yet there has been a lot of security flaws allowing malwares to execute as root simply by visiting a malicious webpage or installing a supposedly sandboxed app. Should we conclude that windows CE/WP7 is the most secure OS ever since it has never been exploited?