Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates has outlined his company's security strategy for the coming year.
In a letter to customers, Gates said security changes will be included in Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and in server applications.
The long term will see the introduction of caller ID-style technologies for email and behavioural monitoring of software.
"Given human nature, evolving threat models and the increasing interconnectedness of computers, the number of security exploits will never reach zero.
"But we can dramatically blunt the impact of cyber-criminals and are dedicating a major portion of our research and development investments to security advances," wrote Gates in the letter.
SP2 will be released by June. It will strengthen the Windows firewall, block unsolicited downloads from websites and will include software to work with the new generation of processors, such as the AMD FX 53, which have some antivirus capability built into memory systems.
Windows Server Service Pack 1, to be released by the end of the year, will support these changes on the server side and will concentrate on reducing the control of IT staff to lock down changes.
Patch management will be changing slightly with improved software. By the end of the summer, Gates predicted, most patches will be uninstallable to encourage systems administrators to at least try them.
In addition, Microsoft has set up a Security Guidance Centre.
The full letter can be viewed here.
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