by CIO Staff

Microsoft Hits Back at McAfee Criticism

Oct 20, 20063 mins
IT Strategy

Microsoft has hit back at criticisms from security vendor McAfee that it is dragging its feet in cooperating over Vista’s security readiness.

On Thursday, Siobhan McDermott, McAfee communications vice president, said questions pertaining to the software development kit document it received from Microsoft had gone unanswered.

She added: “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. It is not at all acceptable for it to wait until a service pack and not offer us kernel access until after the launch of Vista.” The criticisms come hot on the heels of the software giant’s promise to the European Commission last week to provide the security vendors access to the Vista kernel.

But Microsoft hit back Friday, dismissing the McAfee’s comments as “inaccurate and inflammatory,” pointing to the “months ahead” for the development and readiness of necessary software.

Clive Longbottom, senior director of analyst firm Quocirca, dismissed McAfee’s criticisms as media opportunism. “It’s a moot point,” Longbottom said. “But nice for McAfee to be able to say, really. It isn’t a major issue at this point because companies aren’t looking at implementing Vista. They will be reviewing it on systems that don’t touch the Internet to work out its potential impact on productivity, change management and training.

“They will also possibly be reviewing its security and taking to their incumbent providers. The security vendors can be up and running with Vista-ready packages within a couple of months of getting the information they need.”

Longbottom added that businesses will get Vista next month, while consumers will wait until the new year when these problems should be ironed out. “Microsoft’s stuck between a rock and hard place,” he added. “Although the security of Vista has been an area that has held them back, they’re damned if they release a system with holes in it and have to produce patches soon after, and they’re damned if they don’t and wait.”

-Miya Knights, (London)

Related Links:

  • Microsoft Vista Security Talks off to Bad Start

  • Rivals: Microsoft Locking Others Out of Vista Security

  • Microsoft Releases Vista Code to Security Firms

  • McAfee: Microsoft Not Keeping Vista Security Promises

This article is posted on our Microsoft Informer page. For more news on the Redmond, Wash.-based powerhouse, keep checking in.

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