I am metaphorically challenged. One of the best ways to communicate difficult concepts quickly and succinctly is in the form of a metaphor. Four years as an industry analyst did little to help me overcome my inability to generate metaphors on the fly. I have to think about them long and hard.
I have observed that there is a real struggle to come up with a good metaphor for Microsoft selling security products. The concept is simple. Stand on the show floor at RSA in San Francisco this week and look around. Here is the security industry. Aside from the access control and encryption people we all have Microsoft to thank for creating a universal computing platform that is consistently insecure.
So it is obvious to all that there is irony and even an evident conflict of interest for Microsoft to get into the security business. I am waiting for the perfect metaphor to describe this. In the mean time here are the best efforts of some industry pundits!
"It's like they're a power company and they're also in the business of selling flashlights and batteries for emergencies," Neil Macdonald, Gartner. San Francisco Chronicle
"This is a challenge for Microsoft: the inherent conflict of interest in that Microsoft has had to constantly struggle with this need to fix problems in their own products," says Neil MacDonald, a Gartner research analyst. For Microsoft to sell antivirus and anti-spyware products is akin to "the water company, which has smelly water, selling filters to take the smell out," he says. PCWorld
Pescatore has a favorite analogy to describe the situation: "When I buy bottled water, if it tastes like eggs, I'm not going to buy the anti-egg pills from the bottled-water guy," he said. SeattlePI
Originally published at www.threatchaos.com