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In the ongoing challenge to deliver a safer, more secure computing experience for PC users, Microsoft is continuing to make investments to achieve the highest level of quality in Microsoft software, and to deliver security technology innovations in the platform, security products and hosted security services.

Over the past 12 months, Microsoft has made significant progress in delivering technologies across three key areas: fundamentals, threat and vulnerability mitigation, and identity and access control. These have resulted in greater customer awareness of the existence of spam, viruses, spyware and other security threats, as well as the availability of more effective and powerful software protections against software attacks and security breaches, which has resulted in improved security for Microsoft customers.

Jojo Ayson, senior product manager, business marketing organization, Microsoft Philippines, says, “Over the years, Microsoft has proven its commitment to execution excellence somewhere down the line. The company’s commitment to customers in the area of security is to ensure the highest degree of quality in Microsoft software and to invest and develop security products and services that will eventually meet future needs of our customers.”

According to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) Cyber Security Bulletin, out of the 5,198 reported software vulnerabilities between January 2005 and December 2005, 812 were Windows operating system vulnerabilities. The rest were Unix/Linux (2,328) and Multiple operating system vulnerabilities (2,058).

Given the increasingly sophisticated nature of software attacks and security threats, however, Ayson says that while 2005 was a positive year in terms of industry advancement in security, there is more work ahead.

“We’re very focused on protecting customers from current and emerging security challenges,” he says. “Our strategy is to make the right technology investments, to provide clear guidance to our customers about how to stay better protected, and address industry-wide challenges through partnerships in the public and private sectors.”

Microsoft will build on the achievements reaped with industry partners in 2005 for a more secure 2006. This will require continued investments in technology, educational outreach and work with industry partners to help increase customers’ trust in computing.

"Microsoft will continue to pull all the strings to achieve our goal of trustworthy computing, but it will take a strong and focused effort from industry partners, government and law enforcement. We want to ensure that every one of our customers can get secure and stay secure,” adds Ayson.

One major technology element in the 2006 security picture for Microsoft will be the release of Microsoft Windows Vista. Specifically, customers of the Windows Vista platform will experience security improvements in everything from user account control, better support for smartcards, enhanced firewall protection, and improved security and privacy capabilities in Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0. Customers will also benefit from enhanced information protection functionality in Windows Vista such as BitLocker Drive Encryption, a hardware-based feature that addresses the growing concern over corporate and customer data on lost or stolen machines.

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