McAfee: Microsoft ‘taking security risks’ with long-delayed, oft-pared-down Windows Vista

“Microsoft is taking security risks with its forthcoming Vista operating system, says software firm McAfee,” BBC News reports. “The security specialist has taken out a full-page advert in the Financial Times to alert readers to its concerns.”

“It feels the tech giant is increasing risks of hacks and viruses by locking out third-party software firms from its in-built security system for Vista,” The Beeb reports. “The row also involves the European Union, which is watching Vista’s release for signs of monopoly abuse. ‘With its upcoming Vista operating system, Microsoft is embracing the flawed logic that computers will be more secure if it stops co-operating with the independent security firms,’ wrote George Samenuk, McAfee’s chairman and chief executive in the advert.”

“The European Commission is involved in the debate after it fined Microsoft 497m euros (£335m) in 2004 for anti-competitive behaviour,” The Beeb reports. “Security firms such as McAfee and Symantec believe Microsoft’s actions around security for Vista amounts to a similar anti-competitive stance. Last month the European Union competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, accused Microsoft of orchestrating a “co-ordinated campaign” to discredit her.”

The Beeb reports: McAfee and Symantec have both stated that the core security systems for Vista have already been breached by hackers. ‘These new technologies, along with Microsoft’s unwillingness to make compromises in this area have serious implications for the security industry as a whole,’ Symantec said on its security weblog. It added: ‘If Microsoft wants to make Vista more secure, it should provide equal access to the platform that its own developers have to ensure that security vendors can continue to innovate on the platform, and to ensure that consumers and manufacturers can continue to choose the best security solutions for the platform.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “twelveightyone” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: If Microsoft really wanted Windows Vista to be secure (and why would they when they’re now selling a $50 annual “protection” racket for Windows?), then they’d have taken all of the billions of dollars they’ve dumped into Windows XP SP3, er, Vista and instead simply paid Apple said billions to license Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and re-branded it as “Windows Vista.” Problem solved. Vista would then be extremely secure, and actually would look and work just like Mac OS X instead of some typically Microsoftian insecure, backwards and upside-down Mac knock-off.

Related articles:
EU antitrust regulator expand Windows Vista probe; could prompt yet another delay – October 02, 2006
Apple Macs are far more secure than Windows PCs – September 26, 2006
Oxymoron: Microsoft security – August 12, 2006
Symantec details more security holes in Microsoft’s Windows Vista – July 26, 2006
Symantec: Microsoft’s ‘improvements’ to Vista could cause instability, new security flaws – July 18, 2006
Symantec researcher: At this time, there are no file-infecting viruses that can infect Mac OS X – July 13, 2006
Sophos: Apple Mac OS X’s security record unscathed; Windows Vista malware just a matter of time – July 07, 2006
Sophos Security: Dump Windows, Get a Mac – July 05, 2006
What Microsoft has chopped from Windows Vista, and when – June 27, 2006
Microsoft botches another copy job: Windows Vista Flip3D vs. Apple Mac OS X Exposé – June 26, 2006
Apple: ‘Get a Mac. Say ‘Buh-Bye’ to viruses’ – June 01, 2006
Unix expert: Mac OS X much more secure than Windows; recent Mac OS X security stories are media hype – May 03, 2006
Spate of recent Mac security stories signal that Microsoft, others getting nervous – March 06, 2006
Mafiasoft: Microsoft to charge $50 per year for security service to protect Windows – February 07, 2006
Security company Sophos: Apple Mac the best route for security for the masses – December 06, 2005
Hackers already targeting viruses for Microsoft’s Windows Vista – August 04, 2005
16-percent of computer users are unaffected by viruses, malware because they use Apple Macs – June 15, 2005

IT Managers: Do you need Windows Vista or should you ‘Get a Mac?” – September 11, 2006
Infoworld: Microsoft’s WIndows Vista not so revolutionary after all – September 11, 2006
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Analyst: Apple’s new Mac OS X Leopard sets new bar, leaves Microsoft’s Vista in the dust – August 08, 2006
Windows Vista rips-off Mac OS X at great hardware cost (and Apple gains in the end) – June 13, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006
Thurrott: Microsoft collapsing under its own weight, Gates has driven Windows Vista into the ground – April 20, 2006
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Thurrott: Microsoft going to get eaten alive over Windows Vista’s resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X – March 09, 2006
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Analyst: Windows Vista may still impress many consumers because they have not seen Apple’s Mac OS X – January 05, 2006
Thurrott: many of Windows Vista’s upcoming features appeared first in Apple’s Mac OS X – September 26, 2005
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  1. Lets face it. Symantec and McAfee want to sell you their software. And rather than revamping it to actually work with whats outthere, they want inside the guts of you software. Given their track record, I am not too sure I would trust them.

    But hey, thats JMHO. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />


  2. Look on the bright side: We’ll have so many more years to laugh at the total disaster known as Vista.

    Of course, what’s scary to me is I’m wondering how much of my pension and investments are being managed by firms using XP and soon to be Vista? I’m just a little more concerned about that than I am being blown up the next time I go the mall.

  3. Of course if they just made the damn thing secure in the first place there wouldn’t be the need for security software. It is a bit disconcerting that they feel obligated to include antivirus and anti-spyware software. It’s pretty much an admission that they haven’t fixed the underlying problem. And as MDN observes, there does appear to be an inherent conflict of interest here. Why do people bother? I really just don’t get it.

  4. Just think of the advertising opportunities for Apple. This should make it even easier to distinguish between MacOS and Windoz: The Mac is designed to be a great, secure operating system, while Microsoft has designed windows to be so insecure you need to pay them $50 per year to try to overcome this bad design!

  5. Walking with two co-workers to the lunchroom last week… Both have Windows computers at home. Both are so plagued with malware that they are barely usable. The discussion turned to what to do… 1 – take it into a computer repair shop and have them fix it (expensive), 2 – buy some software solution to try to fix it (not sure will help), 3 – buy a new PC (too expensive, besides their both only 2 years old) or 4 – keep using them as is (frustrating but the decision reached for now)…

    I told them to buy a Mac as I never have to worry about such things but they thought I was being smug and didn’t really believe me. So I explained… The are interested but somehow afraid of not being on a Dell/PC box.

    What will it take to get people to wake up?!??

  6. Most of the windows users will never wake -up. Mac users are the people who get it, who are In, Hip and just Cool. Does anyone expect every one on the planet to be cool? It will never happen. Windows has a certain common man aspect to it. “Trailer Park,” seems to fit in here somewhere.

  7. Do I undestand correctly that Symantec wants M$ to release an insecure system so they can stay in business ? They’re not complaining about Apple fixing their OS flaws themselves.

    Well I wouldn’t worry too much about M$ releasing a swiss cheeze OS if I were them. An insecure Vista is goanna be like death and taxes. (unavoidable).

    Working around malware isn’t gonna be any more difficult that writing the malicious software itself and M$ need not cooperate to do it (or is implicitely doing so depending on how you look at it).

    MDW MW: last. hoping M$’s last OS is indeed the last they make (and that it doesn’t last)

  8. I just wanted to point out to the people that are annoyed with us Brits for apparently having a pro-MS anti-Apple Media. Can you see from this article that it’s not the case at all.

    Basically as I have said before. The British media thrives on scandal. It sells newspapers and gets web hits.

    As proof, here are the beeb scandelising Microsoft….
    Some of you guys were trying to say that the beeb were in cahoots with Microsoft over some lame technology deal. Well I happened to have read off Apple UK’s website a while ago that Apple use Macs and X-serves to put together a lot of their TV programming using Final Cut Pro none the less.

    So as far as the British people are concerned. If it’s a scandal, it usually gets read out of interest then it’s old news. We move on. That’s what we are like. It isn’t personal. It just sells. Deal with it guys and let us stick together as a united front for Apple and Macs worldwide.

    A P P L E R U L E S O K ! ! !

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