Microsoft bugs: Shape up before you ship out

New operating system, same old security holes... Microsoft's latest OS, Windows ME, has been shown to contain a serious bug just one day after its launch.

New operating system, same old security holes... Microsoft's latest OS, Windows ME, has been shown to contain a serious bug just one day after its launch.

An Australian discovered that a flaw in the code allows malicious hackers to crash PCs running WebTV for Windows, and initiate denial of service-style (DoS) attacks. It's alleged that Microsoft knew about this in mid-August, but still shipped the product on Thursday. Windows 2000 had over 63,000 bugs in it when it was launched. Some weren't that serious, but the issue remains: is it acceptable that Microsoft knowingly releases flawed products? When these flaws allow highly-damaging actions like DoS attacks, then the answer has to be yes. It's an old, old analogy, but engineers wouldn't let people walk on a bridge without it being 100 per cent secure (unless you're talking about Norman Foster and the Millennium Bridge). So why should Microsoft get off scot-free for this? The answer is it shouldn't. If the company did know about this hole months ago, then it's little better than a second hand car salesman who knows his vehicles aren't quite what they seem. It's time consumers voted with their wallets and waited a few months before buying any new Microsoft product. If we all did that, then Gates and co would have to get it right first time.