April 12, 2006, 8:09 AM — Listen to the column "Nuking PCs".
In the most recent episode of "Open Corporate Mouth, Insert Corporate Foot," we quote Mike Danseglio, program manager in the Microsoft Security Solutions group. At the recent InfoSec World conference, Danseglio said, when talking about various malware, that "In some cases, there really is no way to recover without nuking the systems from orbit." Thank you, LapLink PC Defense press release, for the name and quote.
This means that either Microsoft has given up trying to keep their own systems clean, or that they are unable to work hard enough to recover them as you have to do every day. Either way, this sentiment depresses me for Microsoft's sake, and for all of us going forward.
Bizarre how the PC, which liberated us from the iron grip of mainframes in the 80s, has become a deterrent to work rather than an enabler of work. Some companies now support a new iron grip with thin clients, or at least computers so controlled by IT that there's no "personal" left in PC.
However, the value of this quote and implied surrender can be leveraged by three competing constituencies inside the typical IT department. The Macintosh and Linux fans will of course proclaim the Windows world permanently useless because of this attitude. The thin client powered by fat server fans will push for even thinner clients that can be essentially wiped daily, or have just enough power to connect to the company Web application portal (hello mainframe mindset return). And the mobility mob will declare the wireless PDA/smart phone/Blackberry platform the answer and advocate dumping desktop computers altogether. Think of them as a new mainframe group with much smaller wireless 3270 terminals in their pockets.
How can you leverage this to your advantage? If you can recover systems, you obviously deserve a raise. If you want tighter desktop policies and application control, you now have a Microsoftie on record admitting they have no clue, so tighten those controls.
Either way, your department better get creative, because Microsoft admitted they have no answer and offer no hope. This gives you carte blanche to check the non-Microsoft world for better options. You'll also find a more can-do attitude out there as well. And if you're hiring, at least one senior Microsoft executive may soon be sending out resumes.