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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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Fiscal responsibility?
By FXi on 10/2/2006 7:14:12 PM , Rating: 2
So now that MS is taking on kernel protection all on its own, does that mean they'll take fiscal responsibility if it is cracked and harm comes?

This certainly makes legal ground for same. It's not open and shut, but it's a pretty bold move. In the past there have been so many possibly responsible companies that blame would have been impossible to assign. Now, if this protection fails, there is only a single company responsible for the failure. And if that failure costs money, you can expect that there will be parties with the legal muscle to expect to be compensated.

Good luck MS. You are definitely not the only corporation with a competent legal team...

RE: Fiscal responsibility?
By MrDiSante on 10/2/2006 7:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
No. It expressly states just in every single EULA that Microsoft does not provide any guarantees as to the functioning of the product and that any damage direct or otherwise that is caused by any flaws in the system are not their problem; they're yours. Furthermore if Microsoft or any other company got sued every time a piece of software got cracked and harm ensued (forgive the pun), we would have precious few pieces of software and even few companies.

RE: Fiscal responsibility?
By Strunf on 10/3/2006 7:22:16 AM , Rating: 2
"we would have precious few pieces of software and even few companies."
Not really, we would probably just as much... companies release bugged software cause there's no problem for them, many even take the final for a beta tester... also just look to all the other industries they are responsible for what their products do and have to pay for any malfunction, the software companies are just too lucky, they make a nice EULA taking any responsibility out of their shoulders and since all the software companies do the same we don’t really have a choice.

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