DailyTech has been on top of Microsoft's battles with the
European Union (EU) over the course of the past few months. Microsoft was
slapped with a $634 million USD fine in 2004 by the EU and was then hit with another $357 million
USD fine this past July for not complying with antitrust rulings. And just
last week we learned that the EU was once again after Microsoft to remove the included
security features from Vista which are there to make the operating system
Today we have learned that two companies are the driving
force behind the EU inquisition: Adobe and Symantec. According to The Wall Street Journal, the two
companies have been lobbying the EU to strip Vista of features to help them
compete better in the marketplace.
Adobe is concerned that Microsoft's XPS (XML Paper
Specification), which is freely available to use and create, will be going
toe-to-toe with its PDF creation software which Adobe charges for. Adobe
already won the first battle in this war as Microsoft agreed to remove native
support for “Save to PDF” and “Save to XPS” options from Office 2007. The
two features are available, however, for download from Microsoft’s Download Center.
Symantec, on the other hand has a whole host of issues with Vista. Windows IT Pro reports:
The firm alleges that
Microsoft's Security Center console in Windows Vista should be replaceable by
third party software, despite the fact that Security Center can be populated
with links to third party products, including Symantec's. Microsoft is even
allowing Symantec and other third parties to brand Security Center with their
own logos and icons. Symantec has also complained about a new security feature
called Kernel PatchGuard that prevents software--malicious or otherwise--from
altering the Windows kernel at runtime. In the past, security companies have
been forced to patch the Windows kernel because so much malicious software does
so as well. That process will not be possible in Windows Vista, which should
make the system more secure. Symantec wants it removed.
It all comes down to money in the end. Adobe has been
providing its Acrobat Reader software for free for years making PDF the
dominant standard online for electronic documents. As a result, its profitable
Acrobat creation software could come under fire from Microsoft XPS format.
Symantec has also profited heavily over the years from customers with Windows-based
machines. Vista's beefed up security somewhat blunts its ability to provide an
over abundance of security software for the platform. In the end, it should be
interesting to see who flinches first.