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McAfee dismisses Microsoft's security overtures

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McAfee has dismissed Microsoft's release of information to allow security vendors to build products that will interoperate with Vista.

The security vendor says the information is not fit for purpose.

A statement from McAfee worldwide corporate communications vice president Siobhan MacDermott said:

We did receive a document from Microsoft yesterday that contained the SDK for Windows Security Centre only. We continue to have questions pertaining to this document and have asked Microsoft for meetings and/or additional clarification about what MS has sent us. To date, we have not had any cooperation from MS and no response on McAfee's repeated requests to review the information.

Contrary to what it says publicly, Microsoft has not cooperated with the leading security providers. In fact, we have not received anything at all from Microsoft concerning PatchGuard.

From McAfee's perspective, it is not at all acceptable for MS to wait until a service pack and not offer us kernel access until after the launch of Vista. We urge MS to give security vendors this access as quickly as possible and not wait until the eleventh hour so that we can offer our customers the best protection.

Meanwhile, Symantec released a statement condemning Microsoft for doing too little too late:

With regards to Microsoft and their announcement regarding security provisions in the Windows Vista operating system, Symantec has yet to actually see the final detailed information needed to address our concerns regarding Windows Security Centre or PatchGuard. While we are encouraged by their statements and are hopeful their actions will indeed lead to customers being allowed to use whatever security solutions they would like on the Vista operating system, the operative question is exactly when will the final detailed information be made available to security providers?

It is important to note that the Vista operating system is slated to ship to OEM within the next few weeks. Therefore, security providers would need to have the final detailed information to address their concerns about Windows Security Centre and PatchGuard provided to them in a timely manner.

Microsoft initially said it had already released enough information for security vendors to get their products working with Vista. Security firms disagreed. There followed some backroom dealing with the European Commission followed by the release of more APIs. ®

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