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The EU calls for Microsoft to remove security features from Vista

It looks as though Microsoft and European regulators are butting heads once again. The European Union is asking Microsoft to remove new security features, including its improved built-in firewall, that have been added to Vista. Microsoft is urging the European to back off and has threatened to delay Vista’s European launch as a result of the latest calls for feature reductions. The new features, which make Vista a more stable and secure platform that its Windows XP predecessor, are seen as a stifling competition. "Less diversity and innovation would ultimately harm consumers through reduced choice and higher security risks," said Jonathon Todd, an EU competition spokesman.

Microsoft's Associate General Counsel, Erich Andersen, is trying to help the software giant walk the line balancing security with abiding by the law. "We are concerned that [regulators] might require the removal of some of the security features we've demonstrated. We want to launch Windows Vista in a fully lawful manner and we want to avoid regulatory decisions that could increase security risks for European consumers. One of principal concerns is that European concerns have access to the same new security features in Windows Vista as everyone else."

Making Windows more secure was a pivotal design point for Windows Vista. The Windows XP operating system has been the target of numerous attacks in the past five years and Microsoft saw fit to make its consumer operating system less of a target. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the European Union wants the company to leave those duties to 3rd party software developers.

Microsoft was fined $634 million USD in 2004 by the European Union for monopolistic practices and was fined another $357 million USD this past July for not complying with antitrust rulings.

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Too late?
By sdedward on 9/12/2006 1:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
Can someone refresh my memory? Has MS known of the EU concerns and just blown them off or has the EU known of all the integrated security features and waited until RC1 to ask them to be removed? From many of the sources, it sounds like the latter. I would guess both parties are to blame.

RE: Too late?
By zombiexl on 9/12/2006 1:46:53 PM , Rating: 5
I would guess both parties are to blame.

I tend to believe that the EU comes up with things just to fine MS. If the OS in insecure then they will find a reason to fine them, if its too secure (whatever the hell that means) they will fine them.

In a free market people have a choice to buy or not to buy, so I think MS is in the right on this one regardless of the timing.

RE: Too late?
By smitty3268 on 9/12/2006 2:53:39 PM , Rating: 5
In a free market people have a choice to buy or not to buy

It's not quite that simple - monopolies do exist in free markets. For example, I could choose not to buy power from my local power company, but then I'd be living in the Dark Ages. I certainly have a choice, but it isn't much of one.

As someone who has defended the EU several times on these forums, I have to say this is getting a bit ridiculous. Make sure competitors have access to the same APIs, etc., but don't force MS to make the OS less secure. If they want to add their own free security it should be up to competitors to come up with something better that people will pay for. Otherwise you are simply forcing consumers to pay 3rd parties for something they would have gotten for free.

RE: Too late?
By Loser on 9/12/2006 3:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
this is one of the best posts in a long time

RE: Too late?
By Madellga on 9/12/2006 3:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
I couldn't say it better :)

RE: Too late?
By djtodd on 9/12/2006 4:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
Well said indeed

RE: Too late?
By eskimoe on 9/12/2006 4:56:13 PM , Rating: 2
yop, well said, this is getting a bit ridiculous, especially since xp had the firewall, too, and ms had to improve that one as it really sucked (in my opinion anyway)

RE: Too late?
By dnd728 on 9/12/2006 5:27:12 PM , Rating: 2
Customs are not allowed by WTO, so they use this trick to keep American goods out and make money while at it.
Legal customs.

RE: Too late?
By cubby1223 on 9/12/2006 6:40:54 PM , Rating: 3
If they want to add their own free security it should be up to competitors to come up with something better that people will pay for. Otherwise you are simply forcing consumers to pay 3rd parties for something they would have gotten for free.

No, we are not getting these add-ons from Microsoft for free. We are paying them for the development of everything though the one bundled cost of the OS. Which in turns forces everyone else to provide their products for free, relying on donations to pay their programmers. Microsoft wins in all scenarios.

Example, if I want to support Zone Labs firewall software, I still am forced to pay Microsoft for the development of their integrated firewall software. Why must I be forced to always support Microsoft product development even if I do not want to use it?

RE: Too late?
By Visual on 9/13/2006 2:41:20 AM , Rating: 3
thats what i thought too...
there are so many versions of vista announced, with different prices etc. - so what if they make a cheaper one without the "free" stuff? only then is your point valid. else, ms will remove the firewall from all eu vistas but still charge the same, and we're back to "forcing consumers to pay 3rd parties for something they would have gotten for free"

RE: Too late?
By otispunkmeyer on 9/13/2006 7:49:39 AM , Rating: 2
well even if we do pay for it "included in the price" if they take it out now, they've already published the price list for vista, so now we'll be paying for something were not getting because of the chimps in the EU

dont worry the EU seem to medal in a lot of things...including how our country is run.


This place rarely works, what the hell is going on? surely a forum isnt that hard to operate.

RE: Too late?
By kilkennycat on 9/13/2006 2:02:23 PM , Rating: 2
"OOPS SOMETHING WENT WRONG" is a BUG in this forum software that has never been fixed. If you stay in edit mode for more than a few minutes (dunno how long, maybe 5 ?) and then try to preview or post, you will get this reply. I now always "Copy" my complete posting before attempting to Preview or Post, so that I can (er) avoid this bug.....

RE: Too late?
By THEREALJMAN73 on 9/13/2006 12:29:05 PM , Rating: 2
I still am forced to pay Microsoft for the development of their integrated firewall software.

No you're not. Just don't buy it.

RE: Too late?
By Christopher1 on 9/12/2006 8:57:51 PM , Rating: 1
That is exactly what they should do. Make all the new security features in Vista able to be turned off, and allow the people to choose who they trust more to protect their systems, Microsoft or someone else.

This is getting a little ridiculous, Microsoft is lamblasted all the time for their OS's being 'insecure' compared to OSX and Linux, yet when they try to improve...... they are kept from doing so!

RE: Too late?
By velma on 9/13/2006 12:20:51 AM , Rating: 2
I can choose to buy my power from at least 5 local power providers!

RE: Too late?
By AncientPC on 9/13/2006 10:43:07 AM , Rating: 2
Well said, I feel the same way.

RE: Too late?
By ttowntom on 9/13/2006 3:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
It's not quite that simple - monopolies do exist in free markets. For example, I could choose not to buy power from my local power company, but then I'd be living in the Dark Ages
Are you stupid? Local power companies don't exist in a free market-- they are a state mandated monopoly, just like most utilities. That's why you see no competition...the government doesn't allow it.

RE: Too late?
By FITCamaro on 9/12/2006 9:15:49 PM , Rating: 2
I think the EU is just trying to come up with crap. As with XP, if you don't want to use the Windows firewall, just turn it off and install your own firewall and antivirus suite. What about the European customers out there who don't want to have to go out and buy seperate antivirus and firewall software? I'm sure they're in the majority here since most people buy OEM POSs that don't come with anything but a 30 day free trial of either Norton or McAfee.

I'm really getting tired of the EU. If I were Microsoft I'd tell the EU f*** you and if you don't like it, don't buy our OS. The corporations there will still buy Windows.

Time for MS to pull out of europe
By RedStar on 9/12/2006 1:48:15 PM , Rating: 5
The EU has been a draconian monopoly as unfair as they say MS has been.

Enough is enough. Pull the plug on Europe!

By zombiexl on 9/12/2006 1:55:13 PM , Rating: 4
Then the EU will find a way to fine MS for not selling in Europe. In the article the EU says its up to MS to decide what is and isnt in the OS, but it seems from their demands that they (the EU) are the ones that are driving the direction of the OS.

MS should just add one SKU to their lineup. Windows Vista ICEUV (Incredibly crippled EU version).

RE: Time for MS to pull out of europe
By probedb on 9/12/2006 2:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
As someone in the UK I'm really p****d at the EU. You guys don't know half of the crap the EU pull over here....there are reasons why half the people I know want to leave the UK.

RE: Time for MS to pull out of europe
By Madellga on 9/12/2006 3:05:07 PM , Rating: 2
High taxes? Bad weather? Very Expensive Housing costs? Crime on the rise?

Please tell me how EU is responsible for that....

RE: Time for MS to pull out of europe
By caboosemoose on 9/12/2006 4:35:12 PM , Rating: 3
High taxes? Bad weather? Very Expensive Housing costs? Crime on the rise?

Well, the EU certainly consumes a vast amount of tax revenue. The common agricultural policy alone chews up billions upon billions to keep French farmers living in comfort.

And crime is not a huge issue in most developed European (it's far worse in the US, largely because of the silly, bigotted war on drugs).

But I agree, the EU are way off with this latest move on M$. Microsoft do plenty of nasty anti-competitive things, but making Vista more secure isn't one of them. What really galls me is that now M$ will legitimately be able to say "the EU have it wrong and are simply persecuting us."

RE: Time for MS to pull out of europe
By FNG on 9/13/2006 1:05:16 PM , Rating: 2
You mean "violent crime"... Theft, organized crime (sometimes violent), etc... is right on par if not greater in some cases. Not that I am bragging or anything about the "violent" part, but it is an important distinction to make.

I can see the future!
By brystmar on 9/12/2006 5:03:19 PM , Rating: 5
Here is a list of future events as I see them happening, in sequence:

1) EU forces MS to release Vista with only barebones security built in.

2) MS complies and releases Vista as requested, but includes disclaimers that people have to OK before installing the OS which says Vista doesn't have alot of security built in. MS highly recommends users install a security suite to accompany Vista.

3) Consumers ignore this warning just like we ignore every other superfluous warning or disclaimer when installing software. Many users run Vista for months without any additional security or protection programs.

4) Security flaws, vulnerabilities, and exploits are found in Vista. This was inevitable. The above customers get attacked, get viruses, or their computers become overwhelmed by spyware and other malware. Data is lost or corrupted. Said customers are furious and hire lawyers to sue MS.

5) MS faces a class action lawsuit in Europe for their gross negligence of releasing an OS without an adequate amount of built-in protection/security. MS points to their disclaimer that must be accepted before installing the OS, but the lawyers argue that their negligence was so great in this area that it supercedes the verbose warning shown to every user installing the OS.

6) MS loses and is forced to pay a ridiculous sum of money to in fees. They are also ordered to remove Vista from store shelves until an update for it can be released which provides a vaguely-defined "adequate" level of protection for the OS.

7) Much debate over the definition of "adequate" ensues when MS' first version of the update is rejected because it "stifles competition in the computer security programs market". MS is fined another ungodly sum for its non-compliance.

8) The CEO of MS pulls Vista from the shelves in all of Europe and tells them they can simply live without it. MS continues to sell unmodified versions of Vista around the world, most of which knows that they can simply not use the built-in features if they so choose. *

* Ok so #8 probably won't happen, but I'd be really happy if MS told the EU to F off and announced that it simply would no longer sell Windows OSes in Europe if this is how they would be treated. Anti-trust and monopoly prevention measures are one thing, but this crap is just getting ridiculous...

RE: I can see the future!
By dwalton on 9/12/2006 5:10:03 PM , Rating: 2
Highly unlikely. All MS has to do is point to the EU and say "Hey, they legally forced us to do this".

May a class action lawsuit against the EU would be a better choice.

RE: I can see the future!
By TomZ on 9/12/2006 8:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
More likely - EU forces to release a Vista "N" version, and allows European customers to decide to get, for the same price, the standard version or the "N" version. And by no surprise, 99% of consumers choose the version with the bundled features.

RE: I can see the future!
By xebax on 9/13/06, Rating: -1
RE: I can see the future!
By CSMR on 9/13/2006 12:13:14 PM , Rating: 3
Please do not take this person as representative of all people in EU countries. There are many people in the EU who are both sensible and law abiding.

RE: I can see the future!
By Crassus on 9/13/2006 1:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
a) There is no such thing as a class action law suit possible in any EU country's legal system I'm aware of.

b) In highly governmental regulated economies, as found in Europe, it is usually a perfectly valid defense against Product Liablility law suits to point to compliance with the applicable regulations. (=If it complies with the regulations, it's not defenctive)

c) Tort damages will only get you damages for actually caused harm/loss. There's no such thing as punitive damages (to some extend they exist in the UK, but if my memory serves me right, that would not be available in a case like the one envisioned here).

A Shame
By hansje on 9/12/2006 2:50:29 PM , Rating: 3
I'm realy ashamed to be European citizen with such an incompetent bunch of fools in control.

This latest anti microsoft move is nothing more then dirty politics driven by a complete misunderstanding of technical realities and business in general.

This is really sickening, and what's worse, there's not much ordinary people can do about:(

RE: A Shame
By smilingcrow on 9/12/2006 6:28:00 PM , Rating: 2
"I'm realy ashamed to be European citizen with such an incompetent bunch of fools in control."

Yep, it makes me want to move to the US which is governed by a wise and benevolent bunch of people.

RE: A Shame
By Xavian on 9/12/2006 7:28:05 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, there is no-where to run. Fools run the US and the EU, it sucks.....


RE: A Shame
By Strunf on 9/12/2006 7:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
Well you know where's the door...

RE: A Shame
By CSMR on 9/13/2006 12:17:18 PM , Rating: 2
Then stand up for your own country. Don't buy all of this "european citizen" rhetoric.

By MonkeyPaw on 9/12/2006 6:59:44 PM , Rating: 5
Can someone point me to a recent OS that doesn't feature a built-in firewall?

Which is more bloated and resource hungry, Vista or the EU?

RE: uhh....
By Fenixgoon on 9/12/2006 7:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
well both are probably pretty bloated, but at least vista has a firewall to prevent viruses/corruption =D

RE: uhh....
By Hare on 9/13/2006 4:46:53 AM , Rating: 2
Firewalls are not effective against viruses or corruption. :P

Flame bait.
By Meaker10 on 9/12/2006 2:58:05 PM , Rating: 2
This is a flame bait news post :/

1. Which security features are being looked at?
2. What about them makes them unfair?

All of you guys have failed to ask the question if Microsoft really is guilty (lets face it they are hardly angels) for all you know this "security" could mean that only microsoft could write for certain parts of vista where other companies make their livlihood (and no not the hackers).

RE: Flame bait.
By PAPutzback on 9/12/2006 3:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
They locked down the Kernel for one thing. This used to be how the security software developers got in to look for virus and hadnle networking. And which also allowed hackers to get in. Now Symantec and the other developers need to work again to find out how to protect the system and are just freaking lazy. All they have been doing since Nt is putting updates out. I'd love an OS that was secure enough that I didn't need antivirus, spyware detection and alternate firewalls. I don't think it make MS a monopoly, I think it is what should be expected out of the box from an OS.

RE: Flame bait.
By mforce on 9/12/2006 7:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
Well then try Linux . I've never had any problems with it myself and I don't have an antivirus or firewall . Despite not havinf any security software I feel quite safe . I might be wrong , I admit but it hasn't let me down so far.
Sure Linux is not Windows and that's mainly a software probleme ( Linux progs. aren't as good as Windows one sometimes ) but it gets the job done .
I suggest PCLinuxOS ( google it ).
And for those of you that like Windows that's OK . I use it one or twice a month myself :) .

RE: Flame bait.
By jtesoro on 9/13/2006 1:25:35 AM , Rating: 2
Well then try Linux...

You're not safe either. For their next salvo, the EU will ask the open source folk to stop distributing Linux since it stifles competition and prevents companies like Microsoft from making the good money they deserve.

More provocative flamebate news
By Hare on 9/13/2006 5:01:06 AM , Rating: 3
Funny how the tone was totally different @ Arstechica

"Is this just FUD on Microsoft's part? Quite possibly, though it seems to be grounded in the Commission's statements this spring that it would be casting a wary eye on Vista. The Commission continues to have antitrust concerns about Microsoft operating systems, mostly because of the additional software each new version includes.

With XP, the issue was Media Player, and the Commission eventually forced Microsoft to release a version of the OS without the player. Microsoft seems to be hinting that the Commission's worries about Vista center on security programs like Windows Defender , and it's already starting up the rhetoric machine, hoping to convince buyers that "European Commission inquiries" equal "less security for your computer."

RE: More provocative flamebate news
By Strunf on 9/13/2006 6:37:05 AM , Rating: 2
Usually 9 out of 10 posts about the EU posted here are plain garbage... from what I’ve read the comments in arstechnica about the EU/MS case are usually better, heck there was even a post reminding us about the Symantec worries.

RE: More provocative flamebate news
By Hare on 9/13/06, Rating: 0
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
By Suomynona on 9/12/2006 1:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
What does the EU want? There's too many features? Does this translate to other products too? "I'm sorry, you can't sell that car with your own engine installed. Stifles competition."

RE: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
By Spyvie on 9/12/2006 1:47:45 PM , Rating: 2
More like “you can’t sell that car with antilock brakes, we need to open the market for 3rd party ABS solutions”

Wow… just wow.

Damned if you do... Damned if you don't....
By vertigo1 on 9/12/2006 1:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like the EU Regulators need some money to waste! It's not fair that Microsoft be made to take away the very safe guards that they have been repeatedly critisized for not having in Windows XP. This is simply crazy and will in the long term harm the users.

By akugami on 9/12/2006 2:23:12 PM , Rating: 2
Better security is something I agree that MS should be bundling in. Not like the swiss cheese wall that is security in XP. You can literally get your PC compromised in less than 15 minutes after connecting to the internet on WinXP. While I'm sure Vista will not be 100% secure, so long as some remote computer scanning and running standard scripts can't easily get in, they (MS) should include what they need to secure Vista. The EU needs to reconsider it's stance.

By therealnickdanger on 9/12/2006 2:17:04 PM , Rating: 4
F the EU. Seriously.

question from a american redneck
By Suomynona on 9/12/2006 9:15:33 PM , Rating: 2
do you EU people vote for the people making these policies and laws or are they appointed?

By ronster on 9/13/2006 2:56:02 AM , Rating: 2
Some politicians (members of the European Parliament or MEP's for short) are voted for. A great number of EU Commission members are just appointed.

By afkrotch on 9/13/2006 8:04:39 AM , Rating: 3
I say an indefinite delay. Don't completely pull out. Just let them suffer for a while, until they allow M$ to sell Vista as is. Only allow WinXP Home EU version to be sold for the next 5 years or so and any Windows Server versions. No Vista, No CE, no anything but those two. I can almost guarantee that most businesses would start laying the smackdown on EU to allow M$ to do business.

I personally don't see any issues with M$ bundling every software they can into Windows. Is like that for OSX and Linux. Monopoly? What monopoly? Everyone has a choice in what they use. They can choose a different OS. They can choose a different browser. They can choose a different media player. They can choose a different AV software. The freedom of choice is there, it's just that most ppl in the world don't want to make that choice. If it's there, they'll use it. Does Dell get hammered by the EU for including a mouse, keyboard, and monitor with their computers?

The EU just wants to take money from a company that really hasn't done anything wrong and is bending over backwards to follow guidelines set forth. Hard to code software for Windows? WTF are you talking about? M$ already provided plenty of code so that other software developer's can more easily program for Windows. They didn't have a problem in the past, so exactly why do they have a problem now?

By androticus on 9/12/2006 4:36:05 PM , Rating: 3
This absurd demand by the EU further reinforces the lunacy of these allegedly "pro-consumer" types of intervention. They are saying that *not* puttting in a firewall (and similar features) will HELP user security??? For cripes sake, until MS bundled in a firewall in XP, most users never bought an extra firewall and millions of PCs were wide open on the Internet. Most of the spambots on the internet are caused by worms and viruses that have invaded unprotected Windows PCs -- if MS bundles in even basic firewall and virus protection, we would ALL be much better off! ANd premium offerings are always still available (MS has employed this strategy on a number of fronts, right from the DOS days.)

And look at that previous idiocy of forcing MS to sell a stripped-down version of Windows in Europe -- NO ONE is buying it! (What idiotic user would NOT want the MS media apps, at least as adjuncts to other ones they download or buy later???

These regulators claim to be protecting us from "monopoly" corporations. My question, is who will protect us from these monopoly regulators?????

By Locutus465 on 9/12/2006 6:41:50 PM , Rating: 3
Am I alone in thinking that Europe has it's heads up it's collective rears on this one? Seriously, just because microsoft offers utilities that are improved compared to what shipped with Windows XP (and subsequent updates) it doesn't mean compitition is suddenly going to go down the drain...

There's one key fact that everyone seems to forget, that is that if there is a better product out there people will use it. If there's a better firewall than the windows vista one (I have no doubts there will be) people will opt to use those instead of the built in one, same can be said for every other vista feature.

By Duwelon on 9/12/2006 2:06:05 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft should just scrap the EU launch altogether. See how that makes them feel about MS products then.

Ignore EU
By daniyarm on 9/12/2006 3:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
MS needs to ignore EU and not pay any fines. When EU gets completely p***ed off, threaten to leave the European market all together and see how people and businesses will respond. When they figure out that it will cost all of Europe hundreds of billions of dollars to switch from MS to something else, they'll beg MS to come back.

What does the EU want
By GreenEnvt on 9/12/2006 3:30:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'm no MS fan, but this is getting nuts.
Maybe for the EU, MS should ship a blank CD inside the Vista box, and all the citizens of the EU can write their own OS, that or ship an inanimate carbon rod :)

In consumer interest? Yeah, right!!
By dwalton on 9/12/2006 4:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
This smells of BS with EU pushing the interest of the European corporations instead of pushing the interest of the European consumers. This artificially creates more competition but not the sort of competition that results in better services or products for the consumer. This basically forces MS to remove a free feature from its OS. A free feature, which, more than likely would of, served as a point of reference for potential consumer of third party security products.

MS built-in security features would of forced third party vendors to offer products with more robust features and abilities. Who pays for a feature that can’t provide the same level quality that is offered for free and comes with the purchased product? Now Europeans can buy a third party security software suite for a crippled Vista that comes with half of the features or capabilities of the forcibly removed built-in MS security features. Yeah, that’s real competition for you.

How about the US gov’t forcing all European autos to be sold without brake systems, transmissions, suspensions and other systems other than the chassis, body and engine in order to increase competition and allow for profit opportunities for third-party auto part vendors.

By Montrevux on 9/12/2006 6:08:31 PM , Rating: 2
Windows is Microsoft's product. EU should not a single bit of say-so in its features.

Some options
By hellokeith on 9/12/2006 7:25:32 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure if there are any free firewall apps out there for Windows. Definitely some free antivirus apps. So Microsoft should ship Vista EU with networking disabled, and require very obvious and irritating popup screens with multiple steps necessary to enable a network adapter if no firewall/antivirus protection exists. Make the MS firewall an optional download from Windows Update, or if the EU is still upset, not allow it to be downloaded to EU IP addresses.

Not sure what the EU is trying to accomplish here. The multi-million dollar fines will never directly go to support local EU software developers.

It is doubtful Microsoft will ever pull the plug on Vista EU, but if the fines climb into the billions, then it would be a pretty easy business decision, although regretable.

I suppose they should get some comfort in the fact that Apple is getting hounded by the EU as well. Pretty soon, Europe will be running all open-source OS's, software, and hardware, and hollywood/american media companies won't distribute any downloadable content there due to impossible drm implementations.

EU greedy
By smokenjoe on 9/12/2006 7:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry now the EU is just looking like it is trying to make money and not help anyone. I am not a MS to say the least fan but this is crazy!

By blahblahyawn on 9/12/2006 7:46:39 PM , Rating: 2
Screw them... Don't send Vista to Europe. Problem solved. Let the end users complain to the politicians.

The EU is wrong
By Missing Ghost on 9/12/2006 7:48:05 PM , Rating: 2
In this day and age, every modern OS should have a built-in firewall. I don't see anybody suing Red Hat/Novell/Sun/Xandros/Linspire etc. because there is a firewall available packaged on the cds. It's like you can't include basic features only because the product is popular.

The EU doesn’t...
By Strunf on 9/12/2006 7:55:23 PM , Rating: 2
want MS to take their firewall out of Vista...
Here what the EU said about it
"The commission does not intend to prevent Microsoft from improving the security of its products. The commission understands Microsoft's desire to make Vista more secure than its predecessors. The commission, however, believes that computer security depends on diversity and innovation in the field of security software. Such diversity and innovation could be at risk if Microsoft was allowed to foreclose the existing competition in security software markets, where, as you know, there are several reputable security companies already existing. If Microsoft were to foreclose these markets by bundling its own security products into its own operating system, less diversity and innovation would ultimately harm consumers through reduced choice and higher security risks."

No mention of the windows firewall... the EC is just emitting some concerns about the security functions in Vista cause it may kill off the 3rd party companies and this will be bad for the users, just think if everyone has the same firewall, the same anti-virus and so on, it will be far easier for hackers and others to have their ways.

Sigh... here we go again.
By mixpix on 9/12/2006 8:17:02 PM , Rating: 2
All I know is that when I boot up Windows for the very first time I don't want to have to worry about some new Internet worm attacking the computer within seconds.

Firewall by default is a must. I think the EU is definitely wrong on this one.

Well well...
By beepandbop on 9/12/2006 10:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not surprised.
Socialism's downfall.

The Blame game......
By crystal clear on 9/13/2006 3:25:32 AM , Rating: 2
"The European Union is asking Microsoft to remove new security features, including its improved built-in firewall, that have been added to Vista. "

If I was at MS I would do exactly what the EU is asking-BUT
I would call it/ name it VISTA(E.U.VERSION),with a warning in Bold letters highlighted,prominently displayed all over.
Namely the box,CD,in the OS itself.The warning goes as follows-

As per EU regulations/directives all new security features including the built it firewall,normally available on Vista
O.S have been removed.MS will not be RESPONSIBLE for any damages/loss incurred by the user/buyer of this O.S.
The buyer/user buys/uses the Vista at his own risk.
All claims for damages if any should be directed to the EU.
We MS are only following EU directives/regulations.

Such a warning will shift the Blame/responsibility on the EU
& will face the consequences of that.
I can assure you that the EU will give in to public pressure
& allow all what VISTA OS offers(full version).

F*** the EU
By afkrotch on 9/13/2006 3:28:04 AM , Rating: 2
What Microsoft should do is simply remove every feature that makes Vista...well...Vista. I'm talking right down to something resembling NT 3.0. Then strip off anything that's also useful. TCPIP support and so forth. Then charge $100 for it and additional costs for anything extra. Aero, Flip3D, media player, IE, firewall, defender, defrag, etc.

When if customers do buy all the options available, it'll end up costing them around 1000 Euro (not US dollars) for the OS and everything, so that is exactly like Vista Ultimate edition.

That'll put a f***ing put a fire under their ass.

It could only happen with the EU
By Coltch on 9/13/2006 3:37:11 AM , Rating: 2
Once again the EU is being petty.

I'm sure that most people who will buy a PC after Vista is released will not even be told about third party AV or Firewalls.

What is wrong with having an OS that is complete out of the box?.

The basic issue here is
By Dfere on 9/13/2006 7:42:58 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft stifles competition, but so far, has been doing it with other applications that are NOT integral to an operating system. Like Realplayer, and Netscape. I'd argue (and I think this is the basic assumption most people are making without considering), is that security IS a basic part of the operating system.

I'd argue Microsoft should not be allowed to enter other software development areas, such as gaming. Period.

I ponder that the real reason is money, as some have somewhat indicated. If Vista has improved security, this means less money for antivirus, spyware, etc and it does put businesses out of business. I just wonder, how much money, Firms in the EU make for adding slap on anti-virus programs etc, that may evaporate if MS succeeds in making a much more secure operating system ( and I SAY "IF" here people, okay)?

Microsoft "threatened" to delay ???
By leousb on 9/13/2006 8:36:35 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder how delaying Vista " threatens " the EU?? In any case that would be a "threat" on themselves, since I don´t remember the EU population Dying to upgrade to a new OS. That would only harm their revenues in Europe and not the actual EU population.

Just my thoughts.

By kilkennycat on 9/13/2006 2:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
The EU's fundamental objection to Vista's built-in security features is the "bundling" of them with the OS AND how that is handled at the internal interfaces between the security features and the core of the OS. If MS agrees to level the playing-field by making these interface specs fully available to legitimate 3rd-party security companies, I suspect that the EU's objections will evaporate and they will not at all mind MS 'bundling' their own security packages with the shipping OS in Europe. Basically a re-run of the MS vs EU arguments on XP, which got so polarized by MS's obstinacy that the EU finally insisted on a fully unbundled version of XP, and eventually MS also had to cave in anyway on providing the requested interface specs after the huge fines.

BTW, the EU does not issue such directives to be bloody-minded. They are legally obligated to respond to any documented evidence of monopolism in Vista -- no doubt already being provided by the makers of 3rd-party security software and other applications-developers interested in legitimately accessing the core of the OS.

Let's make it clear...
By stmok on 9/13/06, Rating: 0
RE: Let's make it clear...
By bozilla on 9/13/06, Rating: -1
RE: Let's make it clear...
By mindless1 on 9/13/06, Rating: 0
There are many negative Vista reviews online
By cornfedone on 9/12/06, Rating: -1
By bbomb on 9/12/2006 7:23:14 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah The Inq is such a trustworthy and extremely reliable news source!!!!

By johnsonx on 9/13/2006 12:53:58 AM , Rating: 3
Ah, the other crap stream from Cornfedone. Anyone get the idea that Beenthere and Cornfedone are the same guy? Twins maybe? Probably Cramitpal's bastard offspring. I can hear it now...

Corn & Been: "Daddy, tell us another story about how you hated on Intel at Anandtech News. We hate on Micro$ucks at Dailytech just like you!"

Cram: "You're good boys Beenthere & Cornfedone. Remember to tell them that loading defective products from M$ like Vista on systems with the defective flame-throwing Intel Piss 4 Enema Edition CPU's will cause an instant, fiery death."

Corn & Been: "Ok Daddy, we will!"

By mindless1 on 9/13/2006 3:54:14 AM , Rating: 1
Yes you are right, it's a pity we have trolls that come along with the sole purpose of trying to bump posts down under the viewaable threshold. Perhaps the threshold control needs changed so it's not showing only all-inclusive over a certain #, but the other way around, showing exclusively under a certain number.

Know what the really funny part is? That tech geeks should, if anyone, be the ones who could appreciate how much the industry has lost out on by having an uncompetitive monopoly. It's just mind boggling how little we can do with systems unless it's an overbloated all-in-one everyting-and-kitchen-sink mess.

Now with Vista, it will be recommended to have 1GB to do office, email and surf the web. It's incredible, or really ludicrous is a better word, that with all the nonsense about security, we still can't even open an email with OE without risking virus infection (and not necessarily having to open an attachment either).

By PAPutzback on 9/12/2006 3:37:16 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm. And you have tried it. I am running it just fine. Instead of beign a griefer why don't you just download a Linux distro and move along.

By maxusa on 9/12/2006 4:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
The most profound pile of garbage I read in a year. Very amuzing too. European customers sheepish and naive fools! This is grand.

By mforce on 9/12/2006 6:58:54 PM , Rating: 2
Well I'm not much of a Windows fan myself and maybe a little bit of a Linux fanboy mysefl but this is really too much .
I'm happy with my Linux as it's always working great , don't need antivirus , firewall and all that shit but hey if people like their Windows Vista or XP that's fine by me .

By johnsonx on 9/13/2006 12:36:43 AM , Rating: 2
LOL, reading this article I was just waiting for the 'Beenthere' crap stream. This one is even dumber than usual. He really reminds me of the good old days of Cramitpal on Anandtech: any article about Intel or AMD, and you could count on a torrent of drivel about flame-throwing Piss 4's and the like. Always worth a laugh though.

By Crassus on 9/13/2006 1:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
O yeah, those were the days. I think some people are convinced that he actually IS cramitpal. The writing style certaily speaks for itself.

By johnsonx on 9/13/2006 3:51:37 PM , Rating: 2
yep, I've often thought that myself. More than once I've replied to one of Beenthere's posts with just one word:


Same goes for Cornfedone. Don't miss my reply to his post below!

an idea
By Drexial on 9/12/06, Rating: -1
RE: an idea
By SakuraChan on 9/12/06, Rating: -1
RE: an idea
By mgambrell on 9/12/2006 2:38:58 PM , Rating: 3
The security flaws make the OS more convenient in terms of usability and compatibility. In real life, sometimes mitigation is a better strategy than direct resolution.

RE: an idea
By michal1980 on 9/12/06, Rating: -1
RE: an idea
By ceefka on 9/13/2006 8:17:36 AM , Rating: 1
You guys can't even commiet to sending more troops to afganaistan. Like NATO is requesting. What good are you? leeching money from M$ is seems like.

Your mind is a wasteland. NATO is also a bunch of European countries, not just the US. We are not under George "Whatever" Bush's totalitarianism.

RE: an idea
By michal1980 on 9/13/06, Rating: -1
RE: an idea
By Hare on 9/14/2006 4:53:41 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's because of the situation in Kongo, the Balkan, Irak etc. Most european countries have a certain number of troops that can be sent and the Afghanistan is not the only place where they are needed?

RE: an idea
By FITCamaro on 9/13/2006 11:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
No you are under an organization that is too chicken shit to act on anything. They sign documents and discuss things to all hell and back. Then make a decision that all its members either ignore or blatantly disobey(France's oil for food anyone?). Then criticize the US for acting on what they themselves decided but weren't willing to commit to because it might conflict with someones views.

Bush may not make every right decision, but at least he's not afraid to do whats morally right regardless of the bad political outcome of it. I voted for Bush, and while I haven't agreed on everything with him (outsourcing and illegal immigrants), I support him. And unlike a lot of other countries in the world, in the US you have the freedom to complain, but also the freedom to get the f*ck out if you don't like the way things are(whining illegal immigrants, legal immigrants who think we should change our countries laws, society, and beliefs to be like your countries, and ultra-liberals).

And its OK for OS X and Apple's other products to be chock full of DRM locked down applications and formats and uncompatible file types. Their name isn't Microsoft and the EU couldn't make any money off cracking down on them. The EU only cares about companies they could get billions from.

RE: an idea
By FITCamaro on 9/14/2006 12:26:21 AM , Rating: 2
And NATO, like the UN, is primarily the US. Whats the ratio of USA UN and NATO troops in the various countries in the world vs all the other UN and NATO countries combined? 100:1? 1000:1? The UN, as its been since before WW2, is still a powerless, gutless entity unless the US steps up and takes the lead. It needs to be dissolved.

Yeah. We get shit done. European nations of the UN and NATO send a few hundred troops each, sometimes. The US sends thousands if not hundreds of thousands. Also what country is there with billions of dollars in aid when natural disasters hit not just our own country but others as well? The US. Enough said.

RE: an idea
By Laitainion on 9/14/2006 5:42:39 AM , Rating: 2
In what way was invading Iraq or Afganistan morally right? In both cases you went in without a formal declaration of war (in violation of the Geneva convention). Iraq was an even bigger debacle, the US claimed they biological weapons, of which there was no evidence at the time, and there still isn't. And just so we're clear on this, by what right are *you* allowed nukes, but no one else is? Let me remind you that the only country in the world to have ever actually *used* weapons of mass destruction is the US, and they were both on civilian targets!
Secondly, it is exactly the US's arrogant disregard to international law and opinion that are de-stablising large areas of the world. Iraq may not have been a garden paradise under Hussein, but it was safer than it is under US occupation! Israel is copying US militirism and just invading who the hell it wants because the US got away with it.
Then you have Quantanamo Bay, I don't care how you cut it, you are denying those prisoners their rights under the UN Declaration of Human Rights, or their Rights as POWs under the Geneva Convention (probably both). This is even before we bring in the American Constitution (which is why the prison is in Cuba, not on American soil). With all this lying and hypocracy, I wouldn't believe Bush if he said the sky was blue, or the grass was green! For the record, I wouldn't believe Blair either.
Thirdly, the major reason you don't know about the troops we deploy, as opposed to the US, is because we do different things. *You* tend to go in and blow stuff up, we go in afterwards and have to clean up the goddamn mess! Our military is designed to keep the peace, 2 devestating world wars have taught us that war is bad. Two world wars made you into a super power, so you still see it as a more viable solution.
As for the terrorist problem, the actions of the US military are only exacerbating the problem by reinforcing the belief in Muslem countries that the West are enemies of Islam. Heavy handed tactics never work against such people. Just look at Israel with the Palestinian problem, or in Northern Ireland to name but two. Although Ireland is calming down now because diplomatic efforts to stop the violence.

War is not the answer, violence solves nothing, it just causes further antagonises the situation, but that seems to be an alien concept on the other side of the pond.

RE: an idea
By Webgod on 9/14/2006 10:21:59 AM , Rating: 2
>In what way was invading Iraq or Afganistan morally right?
Afganistan was home to Al-Qaida and it needed "cleaning house", especially to prevent further attacks. Besides, the Taliban sells opium non-stop. In Iraq you had a corrupt regime that was contributing to destabilizing the region, and a leader using its wealth to help to do so. Saddam needed to go. He was also taking all the wealth and holding the populace back. The populace was incapable of overthrowing the regime, so it had to be changed by force. Now there are a bunch of homocidal/suicidal crazies, and they aren't the coalition people that are there!

>the only country in the world to have ever actually *used* weapons of mass destruction is the US, and they were both on civilian targets!
That's really colored. That's hyperbole. You mean nukes? Nukes were used long ago, and it caused Japan to surrender, and they're a far superior nation now for it. But go back to your history class.

>And just so we're clear on this, by what right are *you* allowed nukes, but no one else is?
Sure, nukes for everyone. Nukes on the house. Just let me escape off into a fully colonized Mars base first. The US invented nuclear technology, it's the progress of science and technology. We also require nuclear weapons as a deterrent because aggressive nations like China and formerly the Soviet Union had them. India and Pakistan have nuclear power and nuclear weapons but they haven't been stupid enough to get mad enough to use them on each other. It's a lose-lose for India because fallout in Pakistan would drift westward and harm India anyway.

>Then you have Quantanamo Bay
Interrogating those prisoners has saved numerous lives in the civilized world. They were killers. They're not out killing causing problems while they're there.

>Two world wars made you into a super power, so you still see it as a more viable solution.
Go back and read your history. You don't have as much insight into the US government as you think.

>War is not the answer, violence solves nothing, it just causes further antagonises the situation, but that seems to be an alien concept on the other side of the pond.
Pacifism is an ideal we all dream of, but aggression comes out of our animalistic nature. You have to be a realist. You also have to thank the U.S. for having the bravery to end WWII. But what the hell kind of sense is there in a suicide bomber? Try, I dare ya to blame the U.S. for the whole 'murdering innocents makes me go to heaven' mentality.

Keep continuing your education on world affairs, but I would be more skeptical of anti-American biased propaganda. You might learn something from Bush's speeches which are all available at WhiteHouse.Gov.

RE: an idea
By xebax on 9/13/06, Rating: 0
RE: an idea
By CSMR on 9/13/2006 12:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
Note that the UK is in the EU. Note that the EU and individual national governments are separate. Note the troop contributions from the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany:,,3-2353444,...

RE: an idea
By Visual on 9/13/2006 2:49:19 AM , Rating: 2
"i mean if they know how current viruses act, they should know what they target. work on securing what they target"
mostly they target stupid users. you can't patch that, sorry.

and this isn't so much about viruses at all. nor about covering up security flaws. firewalls aren't "extra software", on the contrary - they are fundamental to security.

and they certainly should be built-in inside the os core, not provided by third-parties. all the functionality and APIs to use it atleast... i don't mind third-parties providing frontends and interfaces for configuration.

Grumble Grumble v_V
By SakuraChan on 9/12/06, Rating: -1
RE: Grumble Grumble v_V
By Ghostdog on 9/13/2006 6:44:08 AM , Rating: 2
How does forcing Microsoft to make the OS less secure help consumers? That´s the reason for anti-monopoly actions, right? So that "the consumer wins". Forcing us to pay extra for features we could get bundled while at the same time putting our electronic security at risk doesn´t seem like the right way to go. Those who want more features can buy 3rd party software if they so choose.

RE: Grumble Grumble v_V
By mindless1 on 9/14/2006 10:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
If you recall, shutting out some 3rd party software was part of the problem in the first place, so no, they are not necessarily forcing it to be less secure, they're trying to force interoperability with real security products instead of the limited MS lite versions that deprofitize the rest.

Also, if you recall MS has always touted security even to sell WinXP, but was it secure or did everyone need more tools, tweaks, and computing practices? No reason to believe it won't be the same with Vista!

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