Microsoft takes a giant step forward in making Windows more secure

BusinessWeek is reporting that Microsoft's next release of Internet Explorer, version 7, will not be integrated into Windows. Breaking nearly ten years of tradition, Internet Explorer was always very tightly integrated into Windows, allowing users to do such things as launch a website directly from any Windows Explorer window, or save a live web page as the desktop wallpaper.

Security analysts have been telling Microsoft for a while now though, that doing so would cause significant security problems for Windows. Indeed this has been the case. Windows itself has been under much scrutiny over recent years by the security industry as well as the hacking and virus communities. Exploits that were found to exist in current versions of Internet Explorer, were used to attack the core operating system because of the tight integration.

Microsoft itself had claimed that Windows XP is its most secure OS, and while it may be true in some respects, the claim sparked an onslaught of attacks from all sorts of malicious software. Despite ongoing security updates by Microsoft, analysts believe that removing Internet Explorer from the core of Windows will improve the overall security of the OS more so than many of its small patches combined. Despite the move to improve OS security by Microsoft, Internet Explorer will still ship with Windows Vista.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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