After decades of being a punch line and punching bag for security professionals, Microsoft promised to improve its products. And, indeed, it is making progress. The company deserves recognition for putting its R&D money where its mouth is.
This InformationWeek piece on browser security doesn't say whether Firefox or Internet Explorer version 7 can claim the security crown. Even though it's not stated in the piece -- and even though the piece still seems to subtly favor Firefox security -- it's not impossible to see small hints that things are improving in Redmond.
The idea that Microsoft security is improving is more overt in a discussion of operating systems. Even the most vocal critics grudgingly acknowledge that the security of Vista is improved over XP and earlier OSs. While it is possible for experts to have problems with Vista, nobody seems to be arguing that it isn't a vast improvement over what came before.
This is good news -- for everybody. Whatever anyone thinks of Microsoft, the company's products are dominant -- even after significant losses to Firefox, IE still controls 79 percent of the browser market, for instance. If its products are insecure, the entire Internet suffers, including the companies against which it competes.