DALLAS --\u00a0Microsoft\u00a0will whittle down its stable of patch management tools from eight to two by the end of the year, according to the software giant\u2019s chief security strategist.During his keynote at Microsoft TechEd Tuesday, Scott Charney put it simply, \u201cpatch management is broken.\u201d Charney, who served as cybercrime chief at the Department of Justice for eight years, then vowed to repair the damage and ease the headache of patch management.Patch management has become a problem for end users, not only because of the number of patches Microsoft issues, but also because of the number of different tools organizations have to deploy.Microsoft has eight installer technologies available to users. Charney said that number would be reduced to two by the end of the year \u2013 one for the operating system and one for applications.\u201cWe will eventually have one tool across the entire platform,\u201d said Charney. He added that the appearance of the tool would coincide with the release of the Longhorn operating system, which is\u00a0expected in 2005.\u201cOne or two tools would be manageable,\u201d says Velda Wooten, supervisor of the client support group for American National Insurance in Galveston, Texas. \u201cWith several different tools, the tools themselves become hard to manage.\u201d Wooten manages some 1,800 desktops and is currently working in-house to design her own tools to help with the patching process.Others say cleaning up the tool glut will likely result in better-patched systems.\u201cOne tool for the OS and one for applications probably means that more admins will do patch management,\u201d says Cary Shufelt, Windows network architect for Oregon State University. \u201cIt\u2019s about time Microsoft did this.\u201dBut there are other hurdles to get over.Charney admitted it would not be easy to fix the problems and there is a lot of work to be done. \u201cBut there will be improvements,\u201d he said.\u00a0When he joined Microsoft last April, Charney tapped every product team in the company to create a 30-person strong working group to repair the patch management problem.\u201cNow that we know the problems, we can fix them,\u201d he said. Those fixes will include enhancements to Software Update Services and Windows Update.Charney spent the bulk of his keynote pushing Microsoft\u2019s\u00a0Trustworthy Computing initiative, which Microsoft chief software architect Bill Gates kicked off early last year. Charney said the initiative must insure the protection of confidentiality, integrity and availability of data.\u00a0Charney also announced that Microsoft and VeriSign would partner on several security initiatives based on the public key infrastructure included in Windows Server 2003, including auto enrollment of VeriSign certificates in PKI, and interoperability between certificates and mobile devices.Microsoft also announced a new security certification program that will begin immediately for Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers and Microsoft Certified Systems Administrators.