The fellows at Microsoft are no strangers to U-turns in recent weeks, with the change in heart about Windows 8, as well as deciding that restricting sales of pre-owned games for the Xbox One was a bad idea. Some would argue that there’s a bit of turmoil surrounding them at the moment, and others may say that they are making brave decisions at the right time. Either way, it is an interesting time for Ballmer, especially in the consumer market.
And there also seems to be a backtrack concerning Microsoft’s refusal to pay hackers for reporting security issues and flaws in their software. Both Facebook and Google are welcoming of hackers who can infiltrate them and report their methods to help plug the gaps in the system, and these “bug bounty” schemes have attracted some of the top talent in the world, who can now make a legitimate career out of attacking some of the biggest corporations in the world.
Microsoft have recently announced that they’ll offer up to $100,000 for vital information about security bugs that pose a threat to Windows 8.1 and all the operating systems beyond. They will also offer significant rewards to hackers that expose threats to Internet Explorer 11, up to $11,000.
According to many sources, Microsoft have been receiving a growing number of bug reports via other programs, and have been inspired by the impact made by hacker conventions such as Pwn2Own, where there has been a strong focus on exploiting gaps in the security of Microsoft products.
This change is an important development to ensure that Microsoft maintains its excellent security, and arguably makes them less of a target for hackers with more devilish intentions. It brings them more into line with some “fresher” companies that are embracing the abilities of freelance hackers and exploiting them to sure up their software.
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