Microsoft and McAfee accuse each other of being driven by commercial factors

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There’s a war of words between Microsoft and McAfee over security products, with both sides accusing each other of being motivated by commercial factors and not security concerns.

McAfee decided to take out a full page ad in the Financial Times stating that Microsoft’s aim was to see “a world in which one giant company not only controls the systems that drive most computers around the world but also the security that protects those computers.”

McAfee say that they haven’t been granted access to the 64-bit kernel of Vista, which means they can’t tell if there’s malware present. Everything would then rest on Microsoft’s PatchGuard.

Microsoft refuted this, saying that McAfee’s security systems would work on 64-bit Vista.

Symantec have also muscled in, saying that the Microsoft Security Centre will not provide users with a choice of security product vendors.

Microsoft also say that the large security firms are complaining about the Security Centre because they are afraid it could help smaller security firms to compete with them.

To be honest, it’s all a tad confusing, with various companies saying different things, and all with their own motivations. Is it too cynical to agree that most companies that produce security software for profit are doing it for commercial reasons? I don’t think so. It may not be their only reason, but it’s the primary motivation.

As to Microsoft locking out other people? Well, that’s happened before and it wouldn’t surprise me if it happened again, but I think in the current anti-trust climate they’d be very foolish to make it deliberately difficult for other vendors to offer their products.

As to whether Microsoft can offer a reliable enough security option in their next OS? Well I wouldn’t rely solely on their system. What do you reckon?

Andy Merrett

One thought on “Microsoft and McAfee accuse each other of being driven by commercial factors

  • I do not remember anyone complaining about ABS and other security systems built in to a car. Who knows, maybe McAfee will soon go after the car companies as well? We have been complaining about Microsoft’s weak security in their operation system for quite a while now, let them improve their own product.

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