From the AP:
European Union officials warned Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday not to shut out rivals in the security software market as the company plans to upgrade its new Vista operating system with its own security features.
Todd said the Commission understands Microsoft’s wish to make Vista more secure. But he added that the EU head office believes “computer security depends on diversity and innovation in the field of security software, (and) such diversity and innovation could be at risk if Microsoft was allowed to foreclose the existing competition in the security software markets.”
He said that bundling its own security product as part of Vista, “its own dominant operating system … would ultimately harm consumers through reduced choice and higher security risks.”
Microsoft returned fire:
Microsoft, meanwhile, warned EU regulators to avoid attempting to block the in-house security upgrades it is making to Vista.
“We are concerned that (regulators) might require the removal of some of the security features we’ve demonstrated,” Erich Andersen, Microsoft’s associate general counsel told reporters.
Both parties seem to be a little cagey about describing exactly which security features are causing the problem, but:
Andersen told reporters the company was adding a pre-installed firewall in Vista.
We’ve mentioned previously this Microsoft TechNet article that describes how the firewall included in both Vista and Windows Server Longhorn is improved over the one in Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1, but frankly it is just catching up with the current state of the art in third party firewalls (even though Microsoft thinks even that may be too much for its users). But the Vista firewall is bundled and free which is always a red flag to any regulator. Wait until they notice some of the other bundled and free Vista features (e.g. , ) .