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Vendors claim that being denied access to the core of Vista seriously hampers their ability to protect users

McAfee Inc. has thrown down the gauntlet in its dispute with Microsoft's decision to lock down the core of their Vista operating system. The security software vendor has a full-page ad in today's Financial Times which berates Microsoft.

McAfee argues that Microsoft is making its upcoming Windows Vista operating system far more difficult to protect by locking non-Microsoft processes out of the kernel. Symantec had a similar beef with this move by Microsoft which was reported on recently by Windows IT Pro:

Symantec has also complained about a new security feature called Kernel PatchGuard that prevents software--malicious or otherwise--from altering the Windows kernel at runtime. In the past, security companies have been forced to patch the Windows kernel because so much malicious software does so as well. That process will not be possible in Windows Vista, which should make the system more secure. Symantec wants it removed.

Microsoft claims that this will keep Vista more secure by allowing only certified programs to access vital components of Windows, but McAfee openly mocks this in its advertisement by challenging:

"Microsoft is being completely unrealistic if, by locking security companies out of the kernel, it thinks hackers won't crack Vista's kernel. In fact, they already have."

A Microsoft representative dismissed this accusation, citing a close relationship with security partners during the development of Windows Vista. On the other side of the coin, vendor Trend Micro currently has a beta release of their anti-virus software available for Vista, which may have prompted other companies to suspect preferential treatment.

A scan of the article was unavailable at the time of this posting.

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By bigboxes on 10/2/2006 3:36:26 PM , Rating: 0
So, in one camp you have those that don't like McAfee and Symantec. In the other corner you have those that like a competing product better. It's too bad that none of you addressed the complaint that they are not given access to the OS' kernel so that they may develop a working product. If I were either of those companies I would sue Micro$oft for yet another anti-competitive practice. The downside for these security companies is that they may lose considerable business. That may please many who are posting these comments, but doesn't really take into account the unfair practices that M$ is once again employing.

I don't hate M$. I just want to be able to choose how I use their product. And to use the software of my choice with their OS.

By exdeath on 10/2/2006 3:42:03 PM , Rating: 5
Unfair practices?

Should we require auto makers by law to use crappy materials in ther gas tanks so patch companies have a basis to exist?

*rolls eyes*

Lots of things to bust MS for but this isn't one of them.

If you want to choose a crappy OS, go back to 98. McAfee and Symantec will appreciate your business.

By S3anister on 10/2/2006 7:37:21 PM , Rating: 1
lol best saying ever, and yeah i would just LOVE to have my gas tank blow on me lol.

*eyes also roll*

By Hare on 10/3/2006 4:09:01 AM , Rating: 1
Let's just hope that MS won't start charging people for their defender service or offer other commercial solutions. That would be unfair to Symantec etc. With the current situation I'm not sure if MS has done anything wrong.

By exdeath on 10/2/2006 3:44:34 PM , Rating: 1
There is always email, spam and anti-virus software to be written. You just don't have to worry about kernel hooks anymore, so you can focus on other areas of your software.

By stash on 10/2/2006 3:54:37 PM , Rating: 1
OneCare has to follow the same rules that McAfee and Symmantec do. OneCare will not be able to modify the kernel anymore than the third-parties will.

By OrSin on 10/2/2006 4:02:17 PM , Rating: 1
MS is always in a no win sitution. IF thye implement security someone will say they are begin put out of business. They even get sued for having a video player in XP. This is getting little over board. If the product/ feature is free you should be not sued over giving it away. ANd please don't try to use the argue ment that they can always make us pay for it later. That didn't fly with IE 10 years agos its will fly now. I'm writing this on vista PC now and vista offers alot of nice features that double as security enhancements.

One think Microsoft should add to shut up everyone is, for every feature it gives you the option to download someone else free option too. Similar to how they do gadgets now.

By bobdelt on 10/2/2006 6:12:47 PM , Rating: 3
How exactly does Microsoft make more money by not allowing Mcafee full access to their kernal? Um, in order to use Mcafee's software you already had to pay MS anyway...

By PrinceGaz on 10/3/2006 3:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
Because in a few years time when McAfee and other third-party security software providers have been driven out of business or had their market share reduced to virtually zero by Microsoft having an unfair advantadge and giving their solution away for free with Vista, then Microsoft will start charging for it and you'll have no one else to choose from.

By Bonrock on 10/2/2006 3:55:44 PM , Rating: 4
"I don't hate M$."

Really? I'm sorry, but in my book, anyone who uses "M$" to refer to Microsoft loses any semblance of impartiality.

By RandomFool on 10/3/2006 9:20:39 AM , Rating: 2
You could give plain old MS a try, it's even faster! No shift key!

By Murst on 10/3/2006 9:38:53 AM , Rating: 2
So, you use caps lock to create the S? =p

By mindless1 on 10/3/2006 12:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
You too lack impartiality if you fail to recognize the state of the industry, that MS had in fact dominated and used monopoly position to their profit. That is not opinion, that is fact. Being impartial requires consideration of this, even if "M$" is a bit flavorful.

By Narutoyasha76 on 10/2/2006 4:02:23 PM , Rating: 5
Even having the latest McAfee and Symantec Updates to their respective Anti-Virus software doesn't guarantee my computer is safe from viruses. Worst of all the 2006+ versions of both programs comes with so much unnecesary additions (in other words..crap!!) that it makes boot time on my PC a hazzle. If I want an antivirus program all that I want is an antivirus program...don't need the addition of big brother firewall nor update/security center crap. If Microsoft wants to close their kernels let them, both Symantec and McAfee are going the wrong way with the do-it all antivirus/firewall/email/instant crap/security center/live center/kernel hogging/boot time sucking ..... need I say more?

By Clauzii on 10/2/2006 4:27:17 PM , Rating: 2
AVG Free does a fine job of being small and pretty effective. And they update allmost every day - ALL for free :)

By Hare on 10/3/2006 5:25:21 AM , Rating: 2
AOL active shield is a lot better. Basically it's kaspersky lite, and kaspersky it the most effective virus shield according to recent tests. F-security is close behind. AVG is "ok". Personally I would take Avast over AVG but since AOL offers free kaspersky I'm currently using it.

By FITCamaro on 10/2/2006 5:28:02 PM , Rating: 4
So McAfee and Symantec just don't have to worry about the kernel anymore. Its a good thing that Microsoft is making it as secure as possible. Jesus. People bitch that Microsoft has security holes. Microsoft tries to fix them and people bitch because now you can't do something you could before.

Microsoft will never be able to win an arguement. So I applaud them for saying "F*** you" to the other companies and doing what is best for their product. The same goes to the EU. If you don't like it, you're free to go to Linux.

And McAfee and Symantec don't give a damn about the security of Vista. They want it to be as security hole ridden as possible so they have a reason for their product to exist. This is just another example of someone not liking something so instead of doing something different, they'll just bash the other guy or sue.

They can still sell their product the same as before, it just won't do as much. I don't see the people at some of the smaller companies like AVG, who have products far superior than the crap that Symantec and McAfee put out and can be free, complaining. They're just going to build software that will further enhance the security of Vista rather than asking to make it less secure just to sell their product.

By dieArmys on 10/3/2006 7:46:33 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft will never be able to win an arguement. So I applaud them for saying "F*** you" to the other companies and doing what is best for their product. The same goes to the EU. If you don't like it, you're free to go to Linux.

If EU says "F*** you" to Microsoft, Vista sales will decline by more than 1/3...


By Saist on 10/3/2006 1:38:23 PM , Rating: 2
already went to Linux. I kinda like not having to run an A/V scan every morning and a spyware scan every night.

I guess my point would be is that Mcafee, Symantec, and "et al" believe that everybody is just going to "buy" Vista, or get it with their computers. Okay, granted when WindowsXp launched most versions of Linux weren't exactly, how we say, user friendly. Now, you have versions like Mepis, Ubuntu, Linspire, and PCLinuxOS that focus on being usable. Other distro's such as Mandriva, Red Hat, and Debian have also jumped light years ahead in terms of ease-of-use.

Now, you really do have a choice about what OS you can use.

Speaking for me, I'd much rather Independant Software Vendors like Mcaffee live up to that Independant tag, and actually platform Independant. Fine, okay, so Vista isn't what they wanted. Linux isn't what they wanted. Get over it, and work to make the product fit a square hole instead of a round hole.

By udontknow on 10/3/2006 3:23:09 PM , Rating: 2
MS wants to control and monopolize every industry. Myspace does well... Nope cant have that! Get Live Space out now and try to kill it! iPod does well... NOPE! NEVER!!! Kill it with the dumb Zune! Oh... wait.. whats this? Antivirus companies are doing better than our crap? OH NO! NEVER! Lock 'em out! Make it so that no one running windows in the future can run anything but our software. It's sickening. Its okay to be the best at one or two things, look, it has already made MS the god of computers. But why does it have to be EVERYTHING with these people. Too much greed and I hate them for it.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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