<font size="3">Microsoft ponders automatic patching</font>
Getting users to secure computers becomes higher priority
In the wake of a widespread Internet worm, Microsoft Corp. is weighing options to get more users to secure their computers, including automatically applying security patches to PCs remotely, the company said Thursday.
"We are looking at a range of options to get critical updates on more systems, from finding ways to encourage more people to keep their systems up to date themselves to where it is done automatically by default for certain users," said Matt Pilla, senior product manager for Windows at Microsoft.
Microsoft does not plan any immediate changes to the way it delivers security patches, but the company also does not intend to wait until the release of its next operating system to improve it, said Pilla.
"This is a priority for us. I think there are a lot of things we can do during the Windows XP time frame to help people make their PCs more secure," he said. The successor to Windows XP, code-named Longhorn, is expected to be out in 2005 or 2006.