Issue: The Love Bug
Who could resist opening an e-mail that said ’I love you’? Millions of
people around the world couldn’t, and many organisations and businesses
- including the Pentagon, the House of Commons, BT and News
International - found their systems contaminated by the ’Love Bug’ virus
at the end of last week.
The virus, which sent itself to everyone in a recipient’s e-mail address
book, appeared to have originated in the Philippines and spread via Hong
Kong to Europe and the US during the course of 4 May through the
Microsoft Outlook system. Microsoft was also one of the companies hit by
It’s amazing how often companies in the headlines fail to update their
web sites quickly in response to current affairs, but Microsoft’s site
delivers a huge amount of information. The lead news story to click on
to on its home page is ’Find information and resources for the Love
This goes on to a ’special notice’ which spells out what the virus might
do, and then offers two options of further advice for general business
and personal users, and Microsoft Exchange Server administrators.
General users are directed to a bulletin in Microsoft’s TechNet area on
the site which gives easy to understand advice on how to best protect
themselves from this and other types of viruses. The bulletin also has
links to anti-virus companies where more information can be found on how
to get rid of the virus.
The bulletin for support staff is written in more technical language and
includes a downloadable file with instructions and tools to remove the
Love Letter virus and repair the damage.
The press release section within the corporate area of the site does not
communicate any of this separately in press release format. The press
room does give Microsoft’s point of view of the US trial which has
proposed to split the company up to prevent a monopoly of the
Elsewhere within the corporate area, there is information for investors,
and details of the company’s mission and history, its community
involvement programmes, and a link to Bill Gates’ own home page. There
is also information about jobs at Microsoft, and different areas for
different types of users.
Microsoft may be a controversial company, but its web site communicates
clearly, and in a tailored way, to a wide range of audiences. Mind you,
it would be more surprising if the internet giant didn’t have its own
on-line presence sorted.