I wanted to talk a little more about going to the Worldwide Partner Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to meet partners and get feedback on how they think we’re doing around security. The feedback was very positive, particularly around the progress we’ve made on security since the same conference two years ago, when Steve Ballmer made security a top priority for Microsoft.
On Sunday morning, as I blogged before, Security Business and Technology Unit Vice President Mike Nash gave a comprehensive update on the progress Microsoft has made on security in the last two years. In a departure from the standard speech format, Mike really showed the competitive advantage of Microsoft’s security efforts vs. open source with his ‘Red Hot’ demonstration comparing Windows Server 2003 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 vulnerabilities corrected by bulletins in 2005. For the demonstration, two partners came up on stage and held out their hands. One partner received a hot tamale candy for each Windows Server 2003 vulnerability over the last 6 months, while the other received one hot tamale candy for each Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 over the same period. In the end, one partner was holding a manageable number of 38 hot tamales representing the Microsoft bulletins, while the partner receiving hot tamales for the Linux vulnerabilities had too much to handle with 234 candies flowing over the sides of his hands. Definitely enough to give you an upset stomach!
Mike also spoke extensively about Microsoft’s Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) process and its impact on the overall security quality of our products. The SDL is really informing everything we do when creating software that will touch the Internet, be used with customers or handle sensitive information. To date, over 15,000 developers and engineers have been trained and the results are really showing!
All in all, it was a great trip to the heartland for the Worldwide Partner Conference.
– Debby Fry Wilson
*This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.*