In the wake of Superfish, Lenovo looks to spin damage control and provide cleaner PCs

Lenovo's looking to spin damage control into quest for security

In the wake of recent Superfish news, the publicly aware are bearing witness as to how fast Lenovo can move and pivot.  According to Lenovo CTO Peter Hortensius in his open letter today, Superfish had only begun rolling out onto Lenovo’s consumer branded PC’s in September of 2014. A mere 5 months later, Lenovo has been forced (quickly enough) to remove it amid reports of user frustration and security vulnerabilities.

With another quick pivot, Lenovo has gone from acknowledgment and apologies to a plan of action. Lenovo would like it if the topic of discussion was no longer about Superfish but about what the company is planning on doing in the future to prevent such another colossal abuse of trust. As part of their march towards restoring faith and championing the security movement, Hortensius has offered us glimpses of a plan the company has already begun to set in motion.

“We have communicated as rapidly as possible with customers, partners and industry watchers and influencers.  I hope that with every communication, we are better informed and more clear on what is important ,” he informs us and follows up with a few more details on how the company plans to achieve their goal.

Now, we are in the midst of developing a concrete plan to address software vulnerabilities and security with defined actions that we will share by the end of the week. What I can say about this today is that we are exploring a wide range of options that include:

  • creating a cleaner PC image (the operating system and software that is on your device right out of the box);
  • working directly with users, privacy/security experts and others to create the right preload strategy quickly;
  • and soliciting and assessing the opinions of even our harshest critics in evaluating our products going-forward.

Hortensius goes on to clarify that only the consumer notebooks were impacted and wants to reassure businesses that ThinkPads were not involved.

Whether or not your faith in Lenovo is ever restored, the idea of ‘cleaner’ installs on PCs should be promising for Microsoft and the entire industry.

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