UPDATE: Gates Pushes Smart Cards

LAS VEGAS (05/09/2000) - Bill Gates, Microsoft Corp.'s chairman and chief software architect, said today that security issues are key for the development of the Internet, and pushed smart cards as tools that can help improve companies' security procedures.

At a keynote speech at the NetWorld+Interop 2000 conference here today, Gates urged widespread adoption of smart cards as a major tool in efforts to stop burgeoning lapses in companies' security systems.

"Over 99 percent of security problems are related to the fact that it is difficult to administer (security policy) specifications," Gates said, adding that most security mistakes revolve around password and policy implementation.

"The answer is moving away from passwords and other ideas."

He called on the industry to produce cheaper and simpler smart cards and biometric security features.

Five OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) will build Windows smart cards for network authentication, secure corporate transactions, health care information, electronic cash and other uses, Microsoft said today in a statement.

Microsoft will host its second annual smart card summit June 29 and June 30 at company headquarters in Redmond, Washington, the company said.

Gates also made a reference to the ILOVEYOU virus that has swept the world since last Thursday, testing the security systems of companies and users' knowledge of security procedures. "Recently I've been getting a lot of e-mail that says 'I Love You.' It's just filling up my mailbox. It's like an IQ test -- am I going to open it or not?," he said.

Gates also touted Windows Reliability 2000 Online, a free Web-based service that allows customers to receive free workarounds and troubleshooting tips to resolve problems with Windows. The service, he said, will lead to the elimination of "blue screens."

Gates also announced the availability of Microsoft Windows Services for Unix 2.0 (SFU), which now supports Linux. It is designed to let users share files among Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Unix-based systems via the Network File System (NFS) protocol.

Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, is at http://www.microsoft.com/.

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