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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 mindless1 on 9/12/2006 10:03:59 PM , Rating: -1
The situation with MS' monopoly is certainly bad for the market and consumers. Those who disagree should consider that MS would survive just fine with 1/2 the profits they had, and we could have had competing products too, to spur innovation.

It does seem just, though hard to legislate seizure of most of Gates' funds as well as those of others, but the larger problem is the subjective interpretations our legislature feels they are entitled to take, that justice is not blind, that laws are somehow mitigated if someone thinks it's important to do so, instead of changing the applicable laws.

Gates has done nothing that should deserve life imprisonment though, rather a cumulative penalty for deeds actually done. We cannot directly assign a prison term to others' lost revenue or stiffling innovation and prison can do nothing as a deterrant now, that era of computing has passed until we reach the present.

What is now necessary are open standards, open source Windows, not just open APIs, and a more thorough investigation into why the OEMs were trapped into the Windows-on-every-PC program even if indirectly.


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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