Since Microsoft Corp. launched its Trustworthy Computing initiative in January 2002, the company has substantially improved the security of its products, its security chief said this month.

However, some Microsoft users at The Security Standard conference in Boston were less charitable in their assessment of the company’s progress. Most of those attendees concluded that it’s too soon to deliver a verdict on Microsoft’s security efforts. During a panel discussion, Ben Fathi, corporate vice-president of Microsoft’s security technology unit, gave the security capabilities of today’s Microsoft products a grade of B+. Five years ago, he said, that grade would have been a C- or a D. The improvements are the result of a “cultural shift” at