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October 2, 2006

McAfee joins the anti-Microsoft chorus and the EU ups the ante

Posted by David Hunter at 1:50 PM ET.

Last week Symantec complained that Microsoft was being very stingy with information on the APIs they needed to join the Vista party. Now McAfee chimes in:

McAfee got in on the action today with a full-page ad in the print edition of the Financial Times. The ad accuses Microsoft of engaging in dangerous practices that are creating “inherent weaknesses” in Windows Vista. And by “inherent weaknesses,” McAfee means limitations on what their own products can do.

In the advertisement, McAfee CEO George Samunek is quoted as saying, “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.” The advert continues: “With its upcoming Vista operating system, Microsoft is embracing the flawed logic that computers will be more secure if it stops co-operating with the independent security firms.”

There are a few technical details on the complaints by following the link, but when you start hearing about Microsoft locking out other vendors, you know who won’t be far behind:

Symantec, McAfee and others are expected to use the European Union to place a check on Microsoft. The EU fined Microsoft in 2004 for anti-competitive behavior, and continues to monitor the company its products. If Microsoft’s actions are ultimately found to be anti-competitive, it would prove to be a major setback for Vista’s new Security Center.

And speaking of the EU:

European antitrust regulators have expanded their probe into Microsoft’s Vista operating system, raising concerns over plans to add encryption and handwriting recognition software to the group’s new flagship product, the Financial Times reported.

The new concerns are based on complaints from small European software developers who fear the bundling of these new functions into Vista will undermine their products in this area.

The Financial Times story is for subscribers only.

Filed under Antitrust, Coopetition, General Business, Governmental Relations, Legal, McAfee, Microsoft, OS - Client, Security, Symantec, Windows Vista

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