Microsoft looks for 'protection' money

Microsoft has spent billions of dollars in recent years to secure its software. Now it's payback time.

Until recently, security was just something that the software company got hammered on--a perennial headache, with no upside. But now, four years after Chairman Bill Gates launched his Trustworthy Computing push, Microsoft is starting to see security as a potential selling point.

Last month, Windows chief Jim Allchin pointed to enhanced security as the top reason customers should move to Vista, the update to the operating system due this year. The software maker estimates that a third of its engineering time for the new Windows was spent on protective measures.

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