Shortly before Windows 2000 was launched, Microsoft was disputing suggestions in a leaked company memo that the product contains 63,000 bugs.
Keith White, director of Windows marketing at Microsoft, doesn't dispute the authenticity of the memo sent by Windows development leader Mark Lucovsky.
An excerpt from the memo reads in part, "Our customers do not want us to sell them products with over 63,000 potential defects. They want those defects corrected. How many of you would spend $US500 on a piece of software with over 63,000 potential known defects?"
White insisted that the Windows 2000 code has been extensively vetted by 750,000 beta testers and security analysts for potential bugs and asserted that "the claims are taken out of context and completely inaccurate".
According to White, the memo was intended as a "motivational statement" for the Windows development team based on an automated scan of the source code with a tool called Prefix. He said the analysis flagged code in Windows 2000 that could be made more efficient in the next release, detected false positives and analysed 10 million lines of test code that weren't included in the release.
White likened running Prefix on code in Microsoft's Raid development database to running a grammar-check tool on F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic The Great Gatsby - the tool may underline unfamiliar words but doesn't change the content of the novel. "Our customers, analysts and technical reviewers say this product is rock solid," said White.
"This is the most reliable version of Windows ever."
Shanen Boettcher, product manager for Windows 2000 security services, noted earlier last week that the product leverages security strategies from Windows NT with new features designed to centralise security management to keep corporate data and network traffic secure. "We needed to provide a better starting point with the [operating system]," said Boettcher. "Historically, it's been OK to leave [the software] relatively open and have people lock it down over time, but as things became more interconnected in the network, we needed a more locked-down starting point."
The features adopted from Windows NT include single sign-on administrative tools for security policy and account management, plus tight integration with Microsoft BackOffice application services. Microsoft's adoption of standards-based security protocols for Windows 2000 is also intended to enhance cross-platform interoperability with other systems in a user's environment.
According to Microsoft, one of the most important security features of Windows 2000 is integration with the Windows 2000 Active Directory, a standards-based directory service where customers can store information about network elements such as user privileges, machines and applications. Instead of requiring users to repeatedly log on as they move through applications and systems, Active Directory stores network information in one location, allowing for swift updates and a single checkpoint for access to network resources.