“The main lesson is, to coin an old aphorism: What goes around
comes around. It’s no wonder that people tend to believe the worst
about a company with Microsoft’s track record on security and
“Those accustomed to Microsoft’s ways take the company’s
statements, including its denials of misdeeds, with acres of salt.
As Nicholas Petreley, columnist and editor at several International
Data Group publications, put it so well a couple of years ago:
“(H)ow do you give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt when you know
that if you throw it into a room with truth, you’d risk a
“The final lesson in the NSA episode is a bit more ambiguous.
Proponents of free software, also called “open source,” say
that the alleged back door is proof of the superiority of software
in which the source code, or programming instructions, is openly
published for anyone to read, debug and improve. Microsoft
practices “security through obscurity,” critics insist, with
proprietary products that can’t be thoroughly tested by