In a recent event organized by Microsoft, Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft gave a massive promotion to its new Cloud-based developmental projects. While most of the Microsoft’s products found mention during the event, what left several of the experts bewildered was Microsoft’s lack of addressing to the issue of software security. Most of us are aware of the fact that Microsoft has forever struggled with the security demon and even today has to keep updating the security issues. With most of the users hoping to have the security part mentioned, it was extremely disappointing to see Microsoft side-step the whole issue.
During the entire event, the major theme of discussion seemed to be “the Cloud” even as Microsoft’s software based on cloud technology, Microsoft Azure, also enjoyed ample lime-light. A few other terms and applications discussed profusely happened to be Windows 7, Widows Phone 7 and smartphones. However, only rarely did the Microsoft officials mention security or anything related to security. Even as there was mention of all the opportunities that cloud technology would open up and how Microsoft Azure would be much superior, security references related to these were only fleeting. Even the signage and pamphlets around the event had every product listed accept the security ones such as Forefront which is Microsoft’s network and endpoint security solution. Throughout the event, Forefront’s team was no where to be seen except in the back alleys of the exhibit hall.
Now the question remains to be answered is why did Microsoft play down on the security issue to such an extent. When asked, one of the Microsoft officials replied that so far the company is focusing mainly on developing the cloud technology and platforms for the PC and smartphones. Therefore, the entire event revolved around these particular themes. There are no new developments to be brought out when it comes to the security software like Forefront, at least nothing till the end of this year. Since they had nothing new to offer to the customers on the security Forefront, “security issues” did not find much mention in the event. Another reason being cited is the lack of time that Microsoft has got in developing the cloud technology, leaving no time to work upon the security softwares. When it came to choosing between security and cloud technology, Microsoft decided to choose cloud technology. Lastly, so far, Microsoft is of the view that its security issues are all addressed and are correctly placed, hence needing no special mention or immediate development.
The point to actually wonder upon is that Microsoft did discuss a lot of other softwares and products which were under the pipeline, though not ready so far. Then how is it possible for Microsoft to not feel the need to discuss any upcoming developments in the security sector?
However, for those still looking for a ray of hope, Microsoft did introduce Windows Intune, which is an endpoint management tool. Windows Intune did showcase several security features and functions, making experts hopeful that Microsoft has not entirely forgotten the security front. However, Windows Intune was rather positioned as a “Management tool” only. However, Microsoft officials claimed that security is now an integral part of all management solutions, merging management and security groups.
Now while Microsoft is riding on “clouds”, it will not be wrong to remind them of their responsibility towards developing better security solutions as well. After all, cloud security is one that is most discussed and leaving several others in apprehensions. Hence, it may be time for Microsoft to start balancing both – cloud and security – simultaneously.