Feeds

Microsoft in 64-bit Vista lockdown

Kernel ganders? cock-a-doodle-don't

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

RSA Europe Microsoft will operate 64-bit versions of Windows Vista as a tabernacle, with the kernel as the holy of holies, where only its own high priests of security may venture.

There's going to be a kybosh on naughty developers mucking about with the 64-bit kernel; patching will be banned. McAfee and others seem to have already learned of the new deal at Microsoft. Speaking at the RSA Europe conference in Nice, Microsoft security technology unit corporate VP Ben Fathi said the 64-bit kernel will be a "black box".

He compared developers insisting on the ability to patch the code to a Sony Walkman user invalidating their warranty by opening up the device. He said: "It's just not the way the box was designed...we're putting a stop to that."

Fathi conceeded for 32-bit systems the firm will never have the amount of control over security. He said: "That train has left the station."

For 32-bit versions of Vista, it'll be mostly as you were on security. Developers will be able to patch the kernel, only now they'll have to compete with Microsoft's own brand anti-spyware, encryption, and anti-spam offerings. Fathi lamented Microsoft had "missed a great opportunity" last time round.

Whether Microsoft top brass see that "great opportunity" as one to secure systems or to swallow the security market whole remains to be seen. The final version of the Windows Defender free anti-spyware program went live today. Fathi said Defender has already become the most popular download ever from Microsoft, though he was obviously choosing to omit patches from his reckoning.

Fathi trumpeted the firm's plan to make its database of malware more readily available to security developers. "We believe it is important for them [vendors] to have early access," he said, a statement that will doubtless have McAfee wondering why they're splurging so much on legal fees chasing access to Vista APIs. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.