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Tech Talk: Microsoft offering $100,000 if you can find bugs in Windows 8.1

by Doug Delony / KHOU 11 News

Posted on July 3, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 3 at 11:37 AM

HOUSTON -- Microsoft is offering up thousands of dollars to anyone who can find security bugs in the upcoming update to Windows 8.

The offer is part of Microsoft's "Bug Bounty Program,” which aims to fix security flaws before software is released to the public.

Windows 8.1 is a free update to Windows 8 due out later this year, but you can download the preview now on Microsoft’s website. If you can find a big security flaw in it, Microsoft says it’ll pay you “up to” $100,000. If you can figure out how to fix it, you’ll get an additional $50,000.

The average user, myself included, probably won’t be able to figure out how to find these bugs, but if you know someone who’s computer-savvy, let them know about the challenge. Microsoft’s fine print reads that even smaller bugs can earn, at a minimum, $500.

Why the cash reward? Microsoft knows 8.1 is an important update to its popular operating system, and the company hopes it will help revive a struggling PC market. The last thing it needs is a big security flaw.

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