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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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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)?




"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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