I feel it's more of a image building measure than a security amendment from Microsoft's end. Keeping in mind the Liberty vs Money battle of software hoarder and open source advocates, it's hard to purue hackers - the actual driving force of OS phenomenon. May be M$ can gauge some kids from the league but I still say Gates is not offering real money yet, ZD! Just read this again:
"This could totally backfire," said Richard Williams, strategist for Summit Analytic Partners, a research firm that focuses on software. "Virus writers are very much driven by the same motivation that makes people climb mountains. To put a bounty on their heads will just increase their notoriety and increase their ego."
On the side note: If you've hailed India's recent progress enough, try to look around, chances are you may find some small Island making waves in the IT ocean! BusinessWeek