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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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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.




"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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