Microsoft on Monday handed over application program interface (API) code to security vendors to enable them to deactivate the Security Center management console within its upcoming Windows Vista operating system (OS), representing the first move by the software giant to address the concern of rivals in the security space that it was making it difficult for others to tailor their products to the Vista OS, the IDG News Service reports via InfoWorld.com.
The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant has come under fire from security rivals McAfee and Symantec in recent days for security features included within Vista. Both firms expressed concern that without being able to deactivate Vista’s Security Center, they couldn’t properly build their antivirus programs to function with the Vista OS, according to the IDG News Service.
Microsoft released its first computer security offering in June, called Windows Live OneCare.
Adrien Robinson, a Microsoft Security Technology unit director, said Microsoft is releasing the APIs through a number of its security partner initiatives, such as the SecureIT Alliance and the Microsoft Security Response Alliance, the IDG News Service reports.
Another concern security vendors have expressed is a technology included with Vista and dubbed PatchGuard, which is designed to block various software from accessing the kernel, or core, of the Windows OS, according to the IDG News Service. Both McAfee and Symantec say such technology will decrease the efficiency of their security offerings in conjunction with Vista. Though PatchGuard affects only users running the 32-bit version of Vista, it can block a variety of software, such as Symantec’s, from accessing the core of the 64-bit version, according to the IDG News Service.
Security vendors have already called on Microsoft to allow them access to the 64-bit Vista kernel, and the firm has agreed to release APIs to do so; however, Robinson told the IDG News Service that such code is extremely complex and will likely take some time to develop.
In related news, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer yesterday said he thought the security tweaks made to Vista satisfied the concerns of antitrust regulators in Europe and South Korea, and that the company would likely avoid additional legal action related to such concerns.
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