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Microsoft pushes security on two fronts

FRAMINGHAM (02/02/2004) - Microsoft Corp. sought to advance its Trustworthy Computing Initiative last week, first announcing that it would devote more of its US$6.8 billion research and development budget to address security and then revealing changes to its Internet Explorer browser that are designed to protect consumers. Speaking in Prague at the World Economic Forum, Bill Gates, Microsoft's chief software architect, said security would continue to be the company's top R&D focus for years. Later in the week, Microsoft said it would release an update to its browser software. The update would disable a mechanism that lets hackers hide code in Web addresses that can direct users to bogus Web sites. The technique typically is used in scams to defraud Web surfers. The company did not say when the update would be available, but security experts hailed the move and said it would make Internet use more secure.