In an email message to the company's 40,000 employees yesterday, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced a major strategy shift across all the company's products--emphasizing security and privacy over new features. Gates described the change as "trustworthy computing" and said that it was now the company's highest priority. Microsoft has come under fire recently for the number and severity of its products' security and privacy problems.
"This is more important than any other part of our work," the email reads. "If we don't do this, people simply won't be willing--or able--to take advantage of all the other great work we do. When we face a choice between adding features and resolving security issues, we need to choose security. Our products should emphasize security right out of the box."
Interestingly, employee compensation and bonuses will now be tied to how secure products are, probably the clearest sign that Gates is serious about the new plan.