Microsoft CEO says security woes challenge innovation

Security woes threaten innovation in the computer industry, but they also offer an opportunity to innovate that the industry should seize, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said on Monday. "Today we're faced with another new and growing challenge to innovation. That is the need for the highest levels of security in a world that, frankly, is full of thieves, con artists, terrorists and hackers," Ballmer told an audience of Silicon Valley businesspeople at a luncheon organized by the Churchill Club in California.

Microsoft and the industry should not surrender but fight, he said. "Our company and our industry have to hit on all cylinders to meet this new challenge." Ballmer compared the threat of hackers and virus writers to that of bank robbers in the Old West. "In the Old West, the banks did not shut down because of the bank robbers. They improved the banks, they improved law enforcement and went after them," he said. The comments come just days after Microsoft warned of another serious vulnerability in its Windows software – one that is similar to the flaw exploited by the widespread MSBlaster worm a few weeks ago.

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