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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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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?????




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