Oh, this is delicious. Taking a page from the pharmaceutical companies and their “objective” drug studies, Microsoft actually funded the security report from a few months ago which concluded that Windows is safer and more secure than Linux and other operating systems. Hah! How in the world can they think that nobody would notice or care about such a blatantly obvious conflict of interest? Of course the researchers are insisting that their results weren’t tainted in any way whatsoever by the presence of MS cash. MmmHmmm.
Two researchers surprised the audience at a computer-security convention last month with their finding that a version of Microsoft Windows was more secure than a competing Linux operating system.
This week, the researchers released their finished report, and it included another surprise: Microsoft was funding the project all along.
The researchers, from the Florida Institute of Technology and Boston-based Security Innovation Inc., defend their process and conclusions as valid. They say they had “complete editorial control over all research and analysis” involved in the project. Their report details their methods, and they invite other experts to examine and duplicate their work.
But their disclosure of the project’s funding source this week is stirring new debate over what had otherwise been viewed as encouraging news for Microsoft in an area in which it has struggled. The researchers had made the presentation at last month’s RSA Conference, which attracts some of the biggest names in the computer-security business.