McAfee Joins Anti-Microsoft Security Chorus

McAfee took a full-page advertisement in Monday's Financial Times to level charges that Microsoft is locking security companies out of the Vista kernel in an attempt to "hamstring" them. McAfee says it is the first time that Microsoft has made such a move.

Security firms, such as McAfee and also Symantec, have complained Microsoft has locked down Vista to support its own entrant into the security space, Windows Live OneCare. However, neither company has filed antitrust complaints, and governments like the EU have taken no action as of yet.

By denying security firms like McAfee and Symantec access to the operating system's core files, it becomes harder for these companies to protect users to viruses and malware, they charge. Similar allegations were levied by Symantec in a recent interview with the Associated Press.

In the ad, McAfee said that Microsoft wants to not only control the operating system market, but also the security industry as well. "Only one approach protecting us all: when it fails, it fails for 97 percent of the world's desktops," it charged.

McAfee also said computer users know that serious flaws in security exist because of weaknesses within Windows itself. "Microsoft is being completely unrealistic if, by locking security companies out of the kernel (core), it thinks hackers won't crack Vista's kernel. In fact, they already have."

Microsoft defended itself by saying that "partners are at the core of [its] business model," and it would continue working with them throught the Vista development process. Noticeably absent, however, was any kind of denial that the Redmond company was locking security firms out of Vista's core.

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