Joined: Jun 15 2003
Location: New York
|Post subject: Gates Says Microsoft Cutting Virus Combat Time
Posted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 5:40 pm
|SYDNEY (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. is cutting the time it takes to blitz viruses but needs personal computer users to turn on their auto-updating features to help it combat potentially dangerous attacks, Bill Gates said on Monday.
Computer security experts said a virus designed to steal financial data and passwords from Web users rippled across the Internet on Friday, exploiting a vulnerability in servers using Microsoft's IIS software.
Known as the "Scob" outbreak, the attack has been termed more dangerous than the recent "Sasser" and "Blaster" infections.
"We will guarantee that the average time to fix will continue to come down," said Gates, the software giant's chairman, who was in Australia for a charity launch.
"The thing we have to do is not only get these patches done very quickly ... we also have to convince people to turn on auto-update."
The Microsoft Windows auto update feature, which is not turned on by default, allows security and other software to be updated and installed automatically.
Gates also said Microsoft would revamp its Internet search site in July with a new search engine, using its dominant industry position to take market share from Google Inc.
"In July the format of the site will change and so the quality of what you get and the way it'll look is dramatically improved," Gates told reporters.
"It'll be later this year that we actually roll out what's entirely our own back-end driving the search."
Google has raised the stakes in the war for Internet market share with its Gmail service, which gives one gigabyte of free e-mail storage, far more than Yahoo Inc or Microsoft.
Microsoft said last week it would give paying customers of its Hotmail e-mail service two gigabytes of storage and boost the size limits on free accounts, matching similar moves this month by Yahoo.
Microsoft also said that it will roll out free e-mail and anti-virus protection to all 170 million users of its consumer Web services worldwide. The protection will both scan and clean incoming and outgoing e-mail for viruses and worms before they can enter a customer's inbox.
A recent U.S. survey, commissioned by Standard & Poor's, showed 48 percent of Web search engine users preferred the soon-to-be public Google over its rivals, with 14 percent saying they preferred Microsoft's MSN, compared with 20 percent for Yahoo. ($1=A$1.43)
? Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.
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