One of the Windows Vista concessions that Microsoft promised the European Union antitrust regulators in October was that they would provide kernel level APIs for third party security software vendors to work with the PatchGuard kernel protection code in 64-bit versions of the operating system. The timeline for creating and delivering those APIs kicked up quite a ruckus, but today Microsoft released a draft and reiterated the promised availability by the time Vista Service Pack 1 ships:
Microsoft Corp. today released draft application programming interfaces designed to allow third-party security products to get around a contentious kernel protection technology in the Vista operating system called PatchGuard.
The draft APIs will be available to security vendors for testing and comment through the end of January. A final version of the APIs will then become available when Microsoft releases Service Pack 1 for Vista sometime in mid-2007, according to Ben Fathi, vice president of development for the Windows Core Operating System.
Microsoft today also released a separate criteria evaluation document that details the processes Microsoft used in evaluating vendor requests for APIs to the Vista kernel. As with the draft APIs, Microsoft is seeking third-party security vendor feedback on its criteria evaluation processes.
McAfee officials said they would comment on Microsoft’s move Tuesday afternoon; Symantec won’t talk about the decision until Friday.
Update, Nov. 22: McAfee is pleased, no comment yet from Symantec.