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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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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!

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
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