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October 18, 2006

McAfee, Symantec disdain Microsoft Vista data delivery

Posted by David Hunter at 1:29 PM ET.

Microsoft’s partial delivery of EU placating Vista security APIs is drawing fire from competitors McAfee and Symantec:

A statement from McAfee worldwide corporate communications vice president Siobhan MacDermott said:

We did receive a document from Microsoft yesterday that contained the SDK for Windows Security Centre only. We continue to have questions pertaining to this document and have asked Microsoft for meetings and/or additional clarification about what MS has sent us. To date, we have not had any cooperation from MS and no response on McAfee’s repeated requests to review the information.

Contrary to what it says publicly, Microsoft has not cooperated with the leading security providers. In fact, we have not received anything at all from Microsoft concerning PatchGuard. …

And Symantec:

With regards to Microsoft and their announcement regarding security provisions in the Windows Vista operating system, Symantec has yet to actually see the final detailed information needed to address our concerns regarding Windows Security Centre or PatchGuard. While we are encouraged by their statements and are hopeful their actions will indeed lead to customers being allowed to use whatever security solutions they would like on the Vista operating system, the operative question is exactly when will the final detailed information be made available to security providers?

It is important to note that the Vista operating system is slated to ship to OEM within the next few weeks. Therefore, security providers would need to have the final detailed information to address their concerns about Windows Security Centre and PatchGuard provided to them in a timely manner.

You have to admit that it’s rather a dirty trick on Microsoft’s part to announce on Oct. 13 that they have resolved the issue, deliver part of the promised APIs on Oct. 16, and then expect the security vendors to rework their products in timely fashion when Vista RTM is now generally expected to be on Oct. 25.

Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer returned fire:

“I don’t know anything about allegations of McAfee. We have gone ahead with the release of APIs consistent with the directions we have taken to put Windows (Vista) in the marketplace on schedule and we are absolutely executing on all of the plans properly,” he said.

More broadly, Ballmer said of complaints by security companies: “We are through that … We’re prepared to release our product.”

Uh Oh! I think someone just paged European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, but then her appearance is inevitable anyhow.

Update: That was quick:

Microsoft will brief security software companies on-line on Thursday, after firms McAfee and Symantec complained it was delaying promised cooperation about their security concerns.



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

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One Response to “McAfee, Symantec disdain Microsoft Vista data delivery”

  1. Vista Security API dispute turns nasty -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Microsoft did deliver some Security Center documentation on Monday, but was stung by complaints from McAfee and Symantec that it was inadequate and had scheduled a conference call yesterday to clarify matters. Unfortunately, the call did not go smoothly: This meeting was under NDA, so what was actually discussed I can’t say.  [...]

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