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Mundie's Dream

Week of April 22, 2002
'The dream is that you could actually get a patch propagation rate that's faster than a virus propagation rate.'
 - Craig Mundie, Microsoft

Microsoft's CTO for advanced strategies and policies was recently questioned about his take on the new Trustworthy Computing initiative in Redmond. Get the patches out there faster, said Mundie.

But network administrators unfortunate enough to work in a Microsoft environment have no hope in keeping up with the current patch propagation. If left to do only patches - and struggle with those that don't work as well - they would have no time for the tasks they were hired for in the first place. The only pragmatic strategy for corporations locked into Microsoft technology is to hold one's collective breath until a new version of the software is made available, pay for it and upgrade to it, and get all the patches at once. Microsoft upgrades cost money - more for each upgrade - while patches cost nothing, and yet it is the volume of patches for Microsoft products which makes their satisfactory use nigh on impossible.

This is something neither Craig Mundie nor Bill Gates are unaware of. An industry-wide suspicion that the Trustworthy Computing initiative is just another cash cow scheme on the part of Gates is growing. Information is slipping deliberately out of Redmond about Microsoft's plans to abandon backward compatibility.

Which leaves only two interpretations to Mundie's Dream:

  1. Mundie doesn't get it. He's so snowed in by the corporate atmosphere that he really doesn't see it's zero bugs and not a faster patch propagation rate that's needed.
  2. Mundie does get it, because Bill explained it to him, and he's readying the market for the next coup from Microsoft: customers paying for the security they thought they were getting in the first place.

Either way you look at it, Mundie's Dream is the Microsoft User's Nightmare.

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