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Adobe and Symantec voiced their concerns about Vista to the European Union

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 more secure.

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.

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Oh the irony
By Lord Zado on 9/21/2006 12:29:02 PM , Rating: 4
Microsoft is bashed for years for lackluster security features and now they are fined millions of dollars for putting them in.

I understand that Symantec wants to be able to compete, but the biggest problem today is that inexperienced users don't go searching for security products. MS is right to have that built it so these types of users don't have to worry about it.

RE: Oh the irony
By alexsch8 on 9/21/2006 12:41:52 PM , Rating: 4
I also found that Symantec's products have become more and more bloated and people have started to shy away from it because of that. There are also plenty of free alternatives to paying for Symantec's stuff.

Symantec should come up with some new innovative security software - not forcing Microsoft to take out their security so that Symantec can sell their bloatware.

The integration of needed features is just not gonna stop. Some of these features are extremely necessary.

Linux comes with all kinds of security stuff included and add-ons are usually free as well.

I don't see a security concern for the customer driving these EU sanctions, I see the money concerns of companies that are too lazy to come up with new stuff.

RE: Oh the irony
By Hakuryu on 9/21/2006 2:18:23 PM , Rating: 2
I'm one of those users that has finally stopped using Norton AV after 6 years of using it. The bloat and problems with automatic updates had me researching other products, of which I finally decided to go with Bit Defender.

Instead of refining their product and making it less bloated, they seem to be rushing to expand it's features in an effort to increase their product line. Reading about them wanting MS to remove security features just reinforces my decision to move to another product.

RE: Oh the irony
By cgrecu77 on 9/21/2006 12:46:55 PM , Rating: 2
microsoft cannot give for free things that other charge, but others are allow to give linux for free (which arguably is a bigger threat to MS than Vista is to Symantec/Adobe)

RE: Oh the irony
By Ringold on 9/21/2006 2:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
See, this is what gets me. Really, we DO pay for an OS. Now, my view of an OS is software to stick on my computer that does a whole lot of basic things out-of-the-box. Basic anti virus, firewall, wordpad, internet browser and so on are essential services. Hell, every guide out there for n00bs tell them to do what? Install AV and make sure a firewall is up before even thinking of connecting the Ethernet cable from the router to the NIC! That makes it pretty clear it's essential.

So nothing included with the OS is 'free'.

Of course, MS is out to make profit, so only the most basic services will be offered. Improved AV, firewall, etc they'll charge for, just like everyone else in a competitive market. Therefore, no foul play.

Only European anti-american zealots have a definition of an OS as nothing but an empty shell apparently. Nevermind they turn around and DL Linux distro's so damned bloated that they fill entire DVDs (and thats compressed!).

RE: Oh the irony
By mindless1 on 9/22/2006 7:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
Not at all, I'm in the US and my definition of an OS is also pretty close to an empty shell, CERTAINLY NOT antivirus and firewall. The browser, maybe, since it has been intertwined with everything else but not necessarily the email client.

I feel the OS should cost far far less, then let the consumer buy add-on packs for the rest, from MS or Adobe or Symantec or whoever (but frankly, there's no way I'd install anything from Symantec even if free). Adobe is a shame too, a shame that some of us have to install it to support PDF.

RE: Oh the irony
By ccmfreak2 on 9/23/2006 2:27:01 AM , Rating: 2
But,if MS strips their OS down, do you really think they are going to charge any less? They already know people will pay the amount they want. That's what made them a multi-billion dollar company. If they strip it down, it won't cost much less. So, if they are going to charge the money, I want to get my money's worth out of it.

Besides, MS is constantly under fire from the media as it is over security issues, despite the fact that literally no computer on the face of this planet is un-hackable if it connected to the net. It just annoys me that Symantec and Adobe has to wine about every little thing they don't like. "Microsoft is competing with us!" WELCOME TO THE BUSINESS WORLD MORONS!

RE: Oh the irony
By mindless1 on 9/23/2006 8:24:08 AM , Rating: 2
Your post already contains the essence of why they're doing it. MS being able to charge whatever they want is due to the monopoly. Bundling free features that devalue others' work is anticompetitive in these other (Non-OS) areas as well.

I can simultaneously find their complaint has some merit while also finding their alternatives poor.

RE: Oh the irony
By Randalllind on 9/29/2006 7:38:11 AM , Rating: 2
We really have no choice on price it cost millions of $$ to delay products and take our promise features. You don't think Microsoft is going to pay for that right?

RE: Oh the irony
By RogueSpear on 9/21/2006 1:30:37 PM , Rating: 1
There's even more irony to be found here in that Symantec puts out the crappiest software imaginable these days. Four years ago they were right at the top IMO, but they've steadily slip into this habit of putting bug fixes and stability on the back burner. Now all they do is throw in more useless and half broken features.

If Symantec is looking to blame anyone for any sort of difficulties they may be experiencing, a mirror should work just fine.

RE: Oh the irony
By Vertigo101 on 9/21/2006 6:41:53 PM , Rating: 2
I agree for their consumer line, but I'm still loving the corporate versions.

RE: Oh the irony
By peternelson on 9/22/2006 10:32:49 AM , Rating: 1
In MY opinion, Microsoft do have the right to bundle improved security.

However what REALLY concerns me is that they are not bundling it all for free.

What you are currently enjoying as windows DEFENDER for XP for free WILL BECOME CHARGEABLE ON A MONTHLY BASIS (after a certain date).


IMO, it's bad enough being charged a lot for the OS, and paying it. If I additionally have to arrange monthly billing on an ongoing basis for the security, that's just too much hassle. If they want to go that route they should offer a premium cost OS which includes lifetime defender updates.

If things go down this monthly route how long before they just do it all that way: Windows is FREE, we just bill you for every month you use it: $50/month.


At the moment as defender is pretty much the only way to secure windows xp it's important to have it.

Monthly service fees will just increase cost of ownership further, and strengthen the case for linux.

I'm not a great fan of symantec bloatware, but I have a *choice* to use their pay-for-keeping-up-to-date service either by subscription or keep buying new product boxes every few years.

With MS bundled software that is chargeable I don't appear to have that choice. If my OS in insecure, and I didn't subscribe to defender, MS will say "don't come crying to us".

IN THIS CONTEXT I think the EU is right to probe MS practices.

RE: Oh the irony
By clementlim on 9/22/2006 1:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
I think Adobe and Symantec wants EU to force MS to charge people using their antivirus/antispyware/watever. Because it's free and it's bundled, Adobe and Symantec have less grounds to grow their business. So in the end, MS have no choice (if EU determined to follow Adobe's and Symantec's argument) but to charge it's users... Also, Adobe and Symantec don't want them to bundled it so that they can have **equal** ground to compete...and then, they will ask EU to force MS to reveal all of their codes so that MS will not have an **advantage** in selling their antivirus/antispyware/watever since it's their OS and they know you better than everyone else...

I say STOP WHINING Adobe and Symantec!!! GO MAKE YOUR OWN OS!!!

RE: Oh the irony
By Randalllind on 9/29/2006 7:35:09 AM , Rating: 2
Symantec products are awesome if you hate fast machines. If you want a fast machine to slow down just install Norton. I use AVG free edition because it is faster and doesn't slow now my machine like norton.

I really don't see why Adobe is complaining. Why tell Microsoft to do away with save to pdf?

Pathetic abuse
By Chillin1248 on 9/21/2006 12:42:48 PM , Rating: 5
These lawsuits are, in my view and opinion, pure abuses of the Judicial system.

Capitalism is about the item the consumers choose to go with win, whether or not it is superior is not the question. If Symantec feels that Microsofts security features might be better than their own software that can be bought then they should strive to convince me, the consumer, that I should pay extra for their [Symantecs] features over what I can recieve as part of my package from Microsoft when I purchase Windows Vista.

What I still can't get around is this fact:

Let's say I am a automobile manufacturer called Wonderful and I have a host of accessory makers, one of which is a tire maker called Nuisance. Now my previous auto lineup had a major defect in the tires of which Nuisance was quick to capitalize on and offer a upgrade for my cars default tires. Now I am coming out with a new lineup of cars whose tires no longer carry nearly as much of a deficiency as my original lineup, though not fully impregnable. Now can Nuisance tell me that, "Hey, you can't do that and fix your own cars problem since it impairs our business. Keep putting out a faulty product so we can still sustain a profit from your own platform."

Becuase that is exactly from where I am sitting Symantec is doing. If Symantec thinks that Windows Vista default virus protection scheme is foolproof, then they should come out with a anti-virus system that gives you more control and options, or is easier to control in order to target a market. But this is pure anti-Competitive behavior of which I disavow.


RE: Pathetic abuse
By dwalton on 9/21/2006 4:08:46 PM , Rating: 5
I plan on starting a company selling bottled air, then im going to the EU and pay them to have all the European countries' trees chopped down and vegetation removed and put an air tight glass dome over Europe.

Then I am going for the big bucks and start an oil company and a light bulb company and have the EU blackout the glass dome and thereby removing the suns ability to heat the earth suface and provide light during the day.

Boy, I'm going to make a killing.

RE: Pathetic abuse
By NullSubroutine on 9/22/2006 4:49:33 AM , Rating: 1
wait...wasnt that the 2nd highlander movie?

RE: Pathetic abuse
By peternelson on 9/22/2006 10:36:49 AM , Rating: 2
No I think it was in Total Recall.

Fresh air was a precious commodity on Mars.

RE: Pathetic abuse
By NullSubroutine on 9/23/2006 1:15:43 AM , Rating: 1
yah but they did something similar on earth in 2nd highlander movie...i think i saw it when i was like 10 years old or at least back before i realized how crappy movies can be, so id ont remember

RE: Pathetic abuse
By Noobsa44 on 9/21/2006 8:35:28 PM , Rating: 4
Robert A. Heinlein said it best many years ago in Life-Line:
"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back, for their private benefit."

Not good
By jazzboy on 9/21/2006 12:40:52 PM , Rating: 4
I know microsoft hasn't exactly been a saint in the past but I'm actually starting to feel sorry for them.

They're damned if they do and damned if they don't.

By othercents on 9/21/2006 12:48:58 PM , Rating: 3
Customers want easy to use system that they don't have to think about. Firewalls and virus software without having to spend more money to get it. What if Pioneer sued GM because GM is putting stereos in cars or Duracell sued Apple for putting batteries in iPods?

Where do you think Symantec makes its money? Most of these companies make their money from other businesses that buy computers. Dell has been giving away Adobe 6.0 in every new computer I have purchased for my business. I'm sure that Adobe has an agreement with Dell too. Plus now they are loading trial versions of Norton on every Dell desktop so that you are compelled to purchase it when the trial is over.

Adding firewall and virus software to the OS isn't going to make a major difference to their bottom line. Most users don't even have virus software on their computers, or if they have some they purchased the cheapest thing they can find (McAfee $9.99 at Sam's Club). Not only that, but most home users don't even purchase Adobe 6.0 or 7.0 for home. Most of my friends actually use to convert documents into PDF instead of paying Adobe. I use for my virus software on my home computers because it is FREE.


By FXi on 9/21/2006 8:44:16 PM , Rating: 3
Adobe is the biggest money grabbing company. They charge a literally outrageous fortune for their products. And while they perform superbly, they desperately need a lesson in humility. They made the pdf open platform, and they benefited hugely from the success of that. To now claim that it's open platform but not for everyone, is cynical, greedy and outright unjust (even considering this is MS they are after).

Symantec has its share of greed too. It's not like they aren't making money hand over fist as well, but to then add in the entire product activation that bombs half the time and causes a world of registry damage along the way, is pathetic. They too, need some competition, to spur them to do better.

MS's venture into these markets is a threat. But don't whine to judges when your coffers are plenty full! Get down and compete. Of course, the problem is, Symantec and Adobe long ago forgot HOW to compete. So when you can't innovate you litigate.


Into the ring!
By mindless1 on 9/22/2006 7:42:38 PM , Rating: 3
I want MS, Adobe, and Symantec all represented on the Celebrity Deathmatch show. Let's see claymation Gates asking to change a $1000 bill so he can throw pennies, Symanetc buried under a pile of it's own manure, and Adobe taking half a minute just to load up a punch while it runs around the ring asking to see everyone's licenses.

By Phynaz on 9/21/2006 12:42:07 PM , Rating: 2
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.

If this is true, I'm switching AV vendors. Any company that would complain that they can't modify a running kernel doesn't deserve my money.

Terribly Short-sighted
By Flunk on 9/21/2006 12:45:52 PM , Rating: 2
I can see how certain Vista features might be ssen as hampering third-party developers but Kernel PatchGuard is a really important security update. This protects windows users in a way never before allowed. Also, since this protection is now there, there is no reason for Symantec or any other company to have to run virus-protection software in the kernel.

I say they roll out all the changes and integrate them into the -N editions of windows they already sell in the EU (although no one actually buys them) that come without media player features. They can call it Windows - Horribly Crippled Edition.

ok .... sooo....
By das mod on 9/21/2006 12:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
i wouldnt be in the last bit surprised if symantec were the one behind the sudden "blooming" on security flaws and eploits purposedly bombarding windows OS ...

" Symantec Business Plan - Job Security 101 "
- discover and/or develop an specific OS flaw
- distribute it to other security companies and let them publish the exploit structure
- overhype flaw to push MS into developing a patch
- wait for patch to fail
- offer in-house solution to fix exploit

Posittive thinking
By crystal clear on 9/21/2006 1:12:45 PM , Rating: 2
"New technology such as Windows Vista and IP v6 may solve some security problems but will bring new security threats as well, according to a senior Cisco security expert"

Symentec & Adobe should concentrate on the future and build on the Vista ,new software ,rather than block MS at every instance .
Negative attitudes dont help in the long run.
The EU commision tactics will only backfire on them,when its own community nation will rebel against the commision.
It only puts EU at a disadvantage-one step behind the rest.

By UzairH on 9/21/2006 2:30:04 PM , Rating: 2
The Kernel PatchGuard thingie just makes perfect sense. MS or any other OS vendor has full right, nay, the obligation to make its OS as secure as possible. These claims by Symantec are ridiculous to the point of childishness. It is surprising that the EU antitrust commission entertained them at all.

I have gotten to tired
By S3anister on 9/21/2006 3:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
Of companies like Adobe and symantec always trying to make more money off of making something else crap. I mean REALLY!? taking out security features that make the OS more stable?! why don't they go attack linux while they're at it. lmao.

dont sell it to them then...
By kattanna on 9/21/2006 4:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
really..i'd love to see MS take the stand..if you dont like the product..ok..we willnt sell it to anyone in europe.

that would last maybe tops a month before they would be DEMANDING they resume shipments to europe..

Beat it Symantec...
By SGTPan on 9/21/2006 7:54:23 PM , Rating: 2
You've outlived your usefulness. Long live AVG Free.

By Duwelon on 9/21/2006 8:06:51 PM , Rating: 2
For someone in IT, Symantec is a huge money maker. For someone in IT to use as an AV for their own PC, Symantec is to our PC's as Satan is to God.

Hypocracy in action
By trullyrully on 9/22/2006 12:08:55 AM , Rating: 2
Poor Symantec. They buy Sygate Firewall last October and then close it down in November. (That's not anti-competitive, true. They just didn't realise they didn't want it until after they had bought it.)

Now they complain that they're being squeezed out.

Sad really. They should keep suing though. With the crappy product line they're touting it's about the only way they're going to make a buck.

By pakigang on 9/22/2006 6:51:22 AM , Rating: 2
The subject

Here is a whole lot of money
By Trisped on 9/22/2006 11:23:58 PM , Rating: 2
Here is a whole lot of money. Now, Microsoft is not playing fair. They are shipping a product that is more secure and easier to use, and that is JUST NOT RIGHT. The EU must prevent them from shipping this product or else we will go out of buisness. It just isn't fair. I make a second rate fire wall and security suit and Adobie over there makes a really crappy PDF document veiwer which is the bane of the internet with its stupid interface, inablity to save changes with the reader, reasorce hogging, and long load times. If we have to start making a good product we will go out of buisness.

Stupid companies, and stupid polititions for lissening to them!

By Hare on 9/24/2006 9:17:08 AM , Rating: 2
So now it's two American companies lobbying for certain features to be removed. I'm curious to see how people are going to turn this into another "Mafia EU anti MS" flamewar. The situation is a bit more tricky now, but I don't think that will stop ignorant people from posting without any background information. Oh, could someone finally post a link to the alleged "EU wants to remove the firewall" claim? Looks like that wasn't really the case, huh...

Let me just get some popcorn. Okay, continue... now!

what's the adobe/symantec share?
By Pirks on 9/21/06, Rating: -1
Not again...
By Apprentic3 on 9/21/06, Rating: -1
RE: Not again...
By Phynaz on 9/21/2006 12:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't even read the article, did you?

RE: Not again...
By shamgar03 on 9/21/2006 3:01:40 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Not again...
By clementlim on 9/22/2006 1:41:34 PM , Rating: 2
You like to bust MS for no particular reason... I bet you are one of those that think Gates Foundation is a secret sect lead by Pinky and the Brain (Gates) trying to take over the world...

RE: Not again...
By ccmfreak2 on 9/23/2006 2:43:17 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, give me a break! You probably also believe that just because people become successful and get off their butts and work, they should be taxed 85% to pay for the lazy people who abuse the welfare system! Just because a company becomes successful doesn't mean they are horrible people! The topic is not whether or not MS has too much money! No one every twisted anyone's arm to buy MS products! WE CHOOSE TO BUY MS PRODUCTS!

Next time, READ THE ARTICLE before you make a fool out of yourself!

RE: Not again...
By mindless1 on 9/24/2006 5:54:11 AM , Rating: 2
Just because a company is successful, it doesn't make them NOT horrible either.

We don't actually choose to buy Windows based on it's merit like we do anything else in a free market, we are forced to buy because there is no other alternative, because their business practices have resulted in a market that is non-competitive.

This is applicable to the article!

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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