Feeds

Ballmer: Microsoft helped security partners on Windows Vista

Lack of knowledge

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Steve Ballmer has pitched into the row over Microsoft's willingness to cough up vital Windows Vista APIs for partners to lock down the operating system against attack.

The Microsoft CEO said his company had done everything necessary to help security partners and to get Windows Vista out on time in Europe next month. He added he doesn't know anything about specific allegations made by vendors such as McAfee.

His words come as McAfee and Symantc, both said Microsoft had not gone far enough in releasing Windows Vista security APIs. Symantec claims the problem lies in defining which Windows Vista APIs are exactly ”available.”

With the clock ticking on Windows Vista's release, McAfee, Symantec and others have gone public in airing their grievances, saying that Microsoft has denied full access to the Windows Vista kernel. Instead, they must work though PatchGuard, which grants only partial access.

Last week, Microsoft announced two updates to Windows Vista's security in response to prodding from European Union anti-trust officials concerned about the operating system's potential effect on the competition. The Windows Vista Security Center will now not send security alerts to users who have installed security consoles from rivial security companies. Additionally, Microsoft claimed to have devised a "new security approach", allowing access to the kernel but retaining PatchGuard.

These changes, plus concessions in the browser upgrade process and an agreement to submit Microsoft's Adobe PDF rival XML Paper to a standards body (our money’s on Microsoft favorite - the European Computer Users Association) led Microsoft's top legal eagle Brad Smith to conclude: "We feel that we can move forward [with Windows Vista] in compliance with EU law."

Microsoft watchers, though, will be more than familiar with the company's policy of taking a drip-drip approach to releasing clear documentation on Windows APIs, with information only released either as a last resort or under pressure from judges.®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.