Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact|
How do you know when what you read on an Internet news site is accurate?
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
Take this story for example.
It claims that Microsoft has dedicated the entire month of February
(which just happens to be the shortest month) to hunting down and exterminating
bugs in its software.
The article allegedly quotes Richard Purcell, identified as the director
of Microsoft's corporate computing office, as saying "We are not coding new
code as of today for the next month."
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Even more suspicious is the claim that Bill Gates "is really annoyed by the
incredible pain we put everyone through in computing."
Surely no founder and highly positioned executive of a corporation such as
Microsoft would really be caught slagging off their own products to this
But wait -- it gets worse!
Apparently Purcell is openly admitting that Microsoft's software is "unstable
Now I don't know about you -- but in most companies, saying such things would
likely get you fired in double-quick time.
So is this a bogus report?
Well a check of Microsoft's own
gives no hint of credibility to the story. After all, you'd think that such
an important move (halting all development work for a month) would at least
merit some kind of press release right?
However, we do know that the alleged informant, Richard Purcell, does
exist at Microsoft -- as
So what about the publisher -- GCN.COM?
Well the site's "about" page
all seems kosher and checks using Google seem to indicate that it is legit.
So, if we accept the veracity of the story -- what does it mean?
Well it shows that, as
I suggested recently,
Microsoft really are well out of their depth in their understanding(?) of
what constitutes good security.
If they want us to believe that just a month's work (and a short month at that)
will go any way towards detecting and fixing the security holes and bugs in
its software then they under-estimate the average computer-user's gullibility
The statement that the move is like "a 20-year spring cleaning" is also a joke.
I strongly doubt that the company is going to look at anything other than its
currently available software packages and doubt very much whether we'll see
new bug-fix updates for MSDOS 2.11 or Windows 1.01 being released as a result
of this month's activities.
Given these incredulous statements, I still can't help but wonder whether
someone has duped the people at GCN.com.
I sure hope so -- because the alternative -- that Microsoft really expects
the world to accept such a ridiculous piece of PR spin, would shatter what
very little credibility the company retains in respect to its ability to produce
secure, bug-free software.
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