updated 11:40 am EDT, Thu October 19, 2006
Microsoft chides Apple
The man in charge of Microsoft's product release virus scanning has chided Apple for trying to blame Microsoft after it was discovered that a small batch of the Cupertino-based company's video iPods shipped with a worm. "It's not a matter of which platform the virus originated [on]. The fact that it's found on the portable player means that there's an issue with how the quality checks, specifically the content check, was done," wrote Jonathan Poon, who oversees Microsoft's efforts to scan products for viruses before they ship. Apple yesterday issued a statement via its website, admitting that some of its iPods shipped with a worm and stating that "we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it." The worm does not damage data on infected Windows systems, but can lower the security settings of an infected system.
James Abrams, who held Poon's position for more than 10 years at Microsoft agreed with Poon. "The Apple iPod incident was not about Microsoft having a hardy operating system, it was all about security and process," he said. "I released software in an environment surrounded by Windows machines. Many machines on the corporate network were infected. We never introduced a virus into the software in the release or manufacturing processes because we had a professional understanding of what it took to release what we were supposed to."
"That Apple would blame Microsoft demonstrates a lack of understanding of remedial security and manufacturing processes. Virus was only a symptom of the problem. Apple didn't know what they were shipping," Abrams said.
Greg Joswiak, vice president of iPod product marketing at Apple acknowledged that roughly 25 systems were infected by a particular Windows compatibility testing station, according to InfoWorld. Joswiak defended Apple's manufacturing and quality control procedures, and reinforced the company's statement about Windows hardiness.
"It was an exception to our process," he said. "We believe we have a good process and we're going forward," Joswiak added. "We tried to be open and explain what's going on. We're not trying to dismiss our role."