Microsoft finally agreed to unlock Vista’s kernel for software security companies.
As we informed in a previously, Microsoft faced some though accusations of locking access to the kernel of its upcoming Vista operating system. This decision by Microsoft meant that security software companies could no longer have access to Vista’s kernel thus preventing them from effectively protect Vista operating system against viruses and other kind of malware.
The group around Symantec and McAfee has especially accused Microsoft of implementing a new feature in Vista called PatchGuard which was designed to safeguard core parts of Vista against malicious code attacks. This feature, not only locks out of the kernel malicious code, but also prevents third party software from accessing it, thus making it impossible for anti-virus programs to effectively protect the kernel.
Recently, the matters were pushed so far, that McAfee even bought a full page ad in a prestigious US newspaper criticizing Microsoft’s security policy for Vista.
Finally, good news for anti-virus makers comes from Microsoft, as it announced that the Vista kernel will no longer be a candy behind a shop window for third party security software. Microsoft will also make it possible for security companies to disable certain parts of the Windows Security Center in Vista when a third party security console is installed.
The decision may be the result of the numerous debates Microsoft had with the European Commission regarding its monopoly over security software manufacturers. The pressure from the European Commission may have convinced Microsoft, that its better to give others a piece of the pie than to have no pie at all. Microsoft also announced it plans to ship Vista in Europe at the same time as the rest of the world.