Vista Lockdown: McAfee Learns the Meaning of Proprietary

eWEEK’s Matt Hines offers coverage Oct. 3 on the latest chapter in the mini-saga in which Microsoft’s efforts both to tighten Windows security and to cash in on the security add-ons aftermarket have placed the Redmond giant at odds with various security vendors—most recently McAfee.

The stickiest sticking point appears to be Microsoft’s move to modify its Windows operating systems—beginning with the x64 versions—to limit the sort of kernel access on which both malware and anti-malware coders depend.

These moves make life more complicated for security vendors making a living patching holes that shouldn’t exist in Windows in the first place. Tightening up Windows security is Microsoft’s job, and is certainly more important than protecting the business models of McAfee, Symantec and others.

The cries of foul from affected vendors have been particularly mournful, no doubt, due to the fact that Microsoft has begun competing directly with these vendors, with OneCare.

It may not seem fair that Microsoft gets to make all the rules, but Windows is and has always been a closed, proprietary platform. If the security vendor community doesn’t like it, they can either begin stumping for open operating system alternatives, or try to stoke new interest in the matter over at the Department of Justice.

For more information, this blog post, while written with an undisguised pro-Microsoft bias, is worth checking out, if only for the informative links that its author, Robert McLaws, has compiled.

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