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October 16, 2006, 5:06 am
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Symantec and McAfee, are you feeling satisfied? Probably not, but Microsoft
is doing its best to appease you (and avoid antitrust accusations).
On Friday, the company held a press conference announcing that it would open
the Windows kernel to third-party security companies. By offering an
extended, kernel-level API (Application Programming Interface), Microsoft
will give anti-virus makers a way to access the Windows kernel, potentially
avoiding conflicts with Vista's PatchGuard technology. Only available in
the 64-bit version of Vista, PatchGuard protects the kernel from being
modified by a third-party.
Microsoft is hoping that the APIs will dispel fears that Vista would force
customers into using a Microsoft-provided security solution. At the
conference, Microsoft Senior Vice President and General Counsel said, "We
felt that this was again the right kind of solution that meets the needs
and obligations that we have under competition law, whilst also meeting the
needs of computer users around the world."
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