Every once in a while, you read a news story about the tech world that stops you cold.
Here’s one that hit me this week: “Air Force turns to Microsoft for network security.”
The CNet news story noted that Microsoft has signed a five-year, $500 million deal with the Air Force for 525,000 licenses to Windows and Office, and, in the words of the article, to also “work with the Air Force to define security configurations for the agency’s desktop and servers.”
Let me get this straight - the company that can’t plug holes in its browser, or stop worms from crawling through Outlook, is going to provide security for the U.S. Air Force? The same U.S. Air Force that has all those bombs and missiles and nuclear weapons, and that has enough firepower to destroy the world over who knows how many times?
I recently rented the Cold War classic black comedy “Dr. Strangelove,” and I have to admit that the idea of Microsoft providing security for the Air Force is as frightening that movie’s Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper, ranting about the Commies desire to taint our “precious bodily fluids,” and then sending dozens of bombers on a nuclear strike of Russia.
Let’s update the movie with today’s news. Imagine this: A technician notices a blip on a Windows-based radar screen that may be an incoming missile heading straight for Washington, D.C.. Where’s it coming from? Who fired it? Is it a missile or a flock of geese? He clicks with his mouse to try get more information. Windows freezes.
He has to reboot. So he waits…and…waits…and waits.
I can see the headline now: “System Freeze Leads to Nuclear War.”
Kind of gives new meaning to the phrase “Blue Screen of Death,” doesn’t it?
Does the idea of Microsoft providing security for the U.S. Air Force make you feel all warm and fuzzy? Let me know.