Microsofts Response

By Matt Hines  |  Posted 2006-10-03 Print this article Print

"A fundamental issue in providing security for the Vista OS is the need for the industry to have unfettered access to the software to provide comprehensive security, and we havent received the keys Microsoft said we would have to do this," Heron said.

"It appears as if Microsoft is not only trying to lock out the bad guys, but also the good guys, the very people who have provided protection for the OS software Microsoft has built over the years."

In response to McAfees claims over having its latest Vista engineering proposals denied, Microsoft officials said that they have been working with the company for over two years to find alternative product integration methods.
As with all of the firms developer partners, said Adrien Robinson, director of Microsofts Security Technology Unit, the company has made every effort to balance the concerns of its partner with its work to create a more secure OS for its customers.

As evidenced by some of the changes Microsoft has made in beta versions of Vista, Robinson said, the software maker has taken feedback from its partners to heart and has already used the information to improve the available beta versions of the OS.

Among the alterations Microsoft has already made to that end include its decision to allow third-party software makers to turn off its new Windows Defender technology, which aims to protect users from spyware and adware programs, she said, along with adding security companies corporate logos to Windows Security Center and making Vistas malware remediation process more interoperable with other companies products.

"We absolutely have considered all feedback, and the more formalized requests, and have had engineering teams between McAfee and Microsoft working together to improve Vista for over two years," Robinson said. "The two areas highlighted by McAfee represent instances where decisions have been made based on our goal of balancing the interests of customers and our partners alike, and creating the most secure operating system for our customers as possible."

On the topic of software development keys, Robinson said Microsoft has supplied its partners with tools it feels are effective in balancing access for third-party developers with improved security for users. Microsoft recognizes that losing access to the 64-bit Vista kernel will force McAfee and others to rethink how their technologies interface with the OS, but that work will be necessary to create the most secure computing environment for customers, she said.

"Were trying to be as responsive as we can be in addressing the concerns of our partners, while balancing the security interests of our customers," Robinson said. "We really want the security industry to evolve its products, and in the case of PatchGuard use technologies that are more supportive of protecting the kernel, to ensure that we can provide customers with the most secure OS possible when Vista is released."

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.


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