Microsoft and its security rivals are feuding over a key piece of Windows Vista real estate. The fight is over the display of technology that helps Vista owners manage the security tools on their PC. Symantec, McAfee, Check Point Software Technologies and other companies want Microsoft to change Vista so their products can easily replace the operating system’s built-in Windows Security Center on the desktop. But Microsoft is resisting the call.
Rivals Skirmish with Microsoft Over Vista Security
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2006-09-19 11:06 pmBnonn
I completely agree. If Microsoft has built in low-level security integration to Vista, then asking them to remove it so that other companies can replace it with arguably worse offerings seems entirely insensible. It’s not like Symantec has a good track record with its security products; they invariably cause massive system overhead and are bloated as all get-out.
It seems to me that security companies are just concerned that, now that Microsoft has started really securing its OS, they’re going to be out of a job. Well too bad! What would you like Microsoft to do? Keep designing insecure OSes so that other security companies can continue to make record profits?
This security center argument is just a case of greedy companies seeing their opportunity for profit being reduced, and trying to prevent it by piggybacking off antitrust. Sure, Microsoft is a monopoly. Sure, it should be penalized for its actions in the past. But arguing that they should remove the security integration in Vista so that companies like Symantec and McAffee can better compete makes about as much sense as arguing that they should remove the Aero Glass integration so that Windowblinds can better compete. There is a point to integration. In fact, that’s what a modern operating system is: an environment which integrates various different technologies so that they work seamlessly together. What security companies are asking just doesn’t make sense in a closed-source world. Even for an open source OS it would be weird.
2006-09-19 11:16 pmSouthern.Pride
In my opinion they will have to make it friendly as in being disabled in Vista where you can install your own suite of security products. I think Vista is an improvement over the current Windows XP platform, the key is stability and security. If they get this right and just have a few minor problems their image will really turn around. If you compare XP to Win2K Professional – XP Pro is better overall locked down.
The competition of Linux nipping at its heals will drive innovation they probably would not have been thinking of and drive better end user applications. I say bring it on and the let time serve as the common factor.
2006-09-20 12:28 ameMagius
In my opinion they will have to make it friendly as in being disabled in Vista where you can install your own suite of security products.
You can already install your own suite of security products. That’s not what Symantec/McAfee/etc. are complaining about — they want to be able to control the security manager that lists what security software is installed on your machine (i.e., to make it more difficult to switch products and thusly promote lock-in).
I say let the finished product speak for itself, it will be another 4 months at least before it is released. A lot can change by then, plus I think it is a step in the right direction to lock down the operating system from viruses/malware instead of letting them run wild full throttle.
Consumers are the final voice, if MS pushes it to far belive you me they will be correcting it. No different than the program to set which programs play music ect.
They are actually trying to gear more towards security, they have to since 9/11 security is priority number 1 in any Enterprise or Corp that deals with data. I have to give them a little credit, but the real test will be when it is released in final form.
2006-09-20 8:31 ambailey86
>>Consumers are the final voice, if MS pushes it to
>>far belive you me they will be correcting it. No
>>different than the program to set which programs
>>play music ect.
Except that consumers don’t have a choice – MS is effectively a monopoly – and one which is prepared to pull any number of dirty tricks to stay that way.
Think of the people in communist East Germany – the only car they could have was was the Trabant – two-stroke, unreliable, basically a crap tin shed on wheels. That was because the Trabant car maker was a monopoly. If they decided to weld on the wheels then there would be no more market for companies producing alloy wheels.
(Meanwhile: in unix land we have slackware, debian, mercedes, BMW, solaris, AIX, apache, Audi, Ford, Toyota, Honda etc etc).
“A lot can change by then”
Vista is in release candidate stage which means it is feature complete–not too much will change between now and its release unless Microsoft RCs are really what many would consider betas.
2006-09-19 11:22 pmSouthern.Pride
So basically, some features that are annoying will just recieve minor tweaking even tho they may not have been well received by the testing community?
I would say that the groups at hand need to sit down and discuss all of the options and alternatives. This would lead to an effort lead by both parties, thus allowing a greater consenses of success in both markets.
It is always better to be working to an end goal than running in an arena not yet defined.
That huge windows security market wouldn’t even exist in the first place if windows XP wasn’t so horribly designed security-wise. And when they try to fix that and deploy their own (*visible part of*) system protection, it is expected that various antimalware companies will not be happy with security awareness getting a boost in Vista. Who will pay license for norton antivirus then, if everything is secure and *OS notifies user with a big bling about that*?
Well, if Vista is secure enough on its own not to need 3rd party security products and these 3rd party security companies go out of business, who gives a shit? I certainly don’t. Like another post, I have a lot of ill will toward Symantec for killing Sygate, which was certainly better than anything they ever offered. If MS were to offer an easy way to programatically disable its default security tools, I would imagine that crackers would find a way to exploit it.
If Vista is secure out of the box, that’s probably the best thing that could happen for people who are using the OS. If that means that Symantec and their ilk don’t have a market anymore, then good riddens. If the default Vista stuff doesn’t turn out to be secure at all, then there will definitely be a market for the 3rd party stuff, unless people get fed up and flock to Mac or Linux
I for one am no fan of MSFT, but I certainly use their products. I don’t have one person in my dealings either business or personal that doesn’t use Windows. I also own a Mac and from time to time fire up Ubuntu for fun.
Personally, these security products are a total pain. I hope that Vista is nice and secure and these 3rd parties are forced to lower prices/innovate. Without Linux and Mac’s gaining small footholds here and there, Vista wouldn’t be headed the direction it is in terms of security.
These firms are just worried that if something comes along that actually eliminates the need for their products, they’re screwed. And as far as I’m concerned, MSFT has every right to do whatever they can to make it more secure on their own.
This is like security people complaining that people putting locks on their doors will lower the crime rate thus put them out of a job. It won’t happen because there are still people who will want to steal other people’s property, but locks do make it harder for them to get in.
This is a non-issue.
What is wrong with you people? How can anyone believe that the ability to replace the default OS security package with a 3rd party custom security package is a bad thing? If Vista ties up Microsoft’s package and welds the bonet shut, who will win with this situation? The user? Of course not. Quite the opposite.
Let’s keep in perspective that this is not the first time that MS builds a security package. There already existed a MS anti-virus which was an appaling piece of software which was barely functional. Imagine that in those days MS decided to do exactly the same thing that it is trying to do now. Where would the Windows users be? In a world of pain.
Try to spin this every way you want but when someone is forced to use a single product mindless of it’s effectiveness and quality then of course that user will suffer. That will not happen if the user has a choice on the products that he can use. Microsoft should finally ship his security package (if you build a virus-prone platform then you better make sure you try to fight out virus infections) but it should also make it possible for the users to select whatever anti-virus software it wishes to use. By that, if in fact MS’s security package isn’t the best security package in the marked (who believes that will be the case?) then the users will be safer by having the possibility of choosing a better solution.
This is the exact same crap as the IE and Media Player problem that the EU is fighting. MS doesn’t want competition and therefore it is locking them out not in terms of quality but by limiting their access to the platform. It’s like a basketball team trying to win the championship by locking the rival teams out of the court. Who in their right mind supports that?
2006-09-20 7:48 amessdeekay
You’ve got it completely wrong. Have you even read the original article? Check the first paragraph:
“The fight is over the display of technology that helps Vista owners manage the security tools on their PC.”
So it’s not about the security tools per se, just the management of them. The way Microsoft have it set at the moment is that people are able to choose a firewall from one vendor, an AV program from another and an AS program from yet another vendor. It is this collection of packages which is then ‘managed’ by Windows.
Symantec, McAfee, Check Point want it so they control the entire suite of security tools. So you will ONLY be allowed to use a Symantec firewall, Symantec AV, Symantec Anti-Spyware. Is that what you really want? Rather than allowing people choice, your suggestion is limiting people’s choice as it will make it harder (if not impossible) to switch to a rival supplier for an individual security tool.
I don’t know what to think, but my first reaction is, GREAT – you shouldn’t make buissnes out of viruses and malware. But on the other hand, this is a monopoly act too. Like ie5 back in the days.
I can’t fight the image in my head, money hungry buissnes sharks, acctually smiling at the opportunity to make fat loads of money.
Gaaah! I give up. let them all burn in hell!
“All our concerns are about consumer choice. Consumer should be allowed to choose their security solution and if they are not allowed to make that choice…you risk a monoculture in security, which reduces innovation and diversity.”
Then give back my excelent sygate personal firewall mister symantec. I totally agree what the man is saying here, but the companies saying this aren’t anything better then the one they are acusing.
I think it’s really a question of where the point of integration should be. Symantec and other vendors have their own security control panels which integrate antivirus, firewall, malware scanning, internet filtering; so, obviously, they want to replace Windows Security Center with their own offering. Whereas, Windows Security Center lists a bunch of generic services (antivirus, firewall, etc), which can be replaced individually.
Personally, I think that Microsoft has the better approach here. The fact of the matter is that I don’t want to be forced to buy Symantec’s ENTIRE security package. I may want to buy Symantec’s antivirus, Zone Labs firewall, etc. If you choose Symantec’s vision, then you really kind of need to buy EVERYTHING from them. And, if you don’t buy everything from them, then Symantec (and every other vendor) needs to fully understand the points of low-level integration in order to expose other vendors’ offerings cleanly. Bad idea. I just don’t see Symantec, McAfee, and others implementing this capability sufficiently to expose their rivals’ offerings. I would hazard a guess that they will either not do it at all — or they’ll do it badly, in the hope that you’ll use all of their stuff.