According to a report in Government Computer News (GCN), at IT publication aimed at federal, state and local governments in the U.S., Microsoft has halted all new software development for one month so that the company's programmers can focus instead on fixing existing bugs. The revelation came during a privacy and data security summit in Washington that was sponsored by the Corporation of Privacy Officers.

"We are not coding new code as of today for the next month," Richard Purcell, director of the Microsoft's corporate computing office (whatever that is) is reported to have said at the summit. "It’s time to get the garage cleaned out."

GCN reports that Purcell said the company would examine all of the source code in its existing products before returning to new product coding. He likened the task to a 20-year spring cleaning. Purcell also noted that computing today is "unstable and unreliable" and that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates "is really annoyed by the incredible pain we put everyone through in computing."

It's surprising that this news was reported solely through such a niche publication, but I'm trying to track down more information, including the veracity of the quotes used above.