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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Microsoft to open parts of Vista Code to Anti-Virus Developers

Microsoft has ostensibly caved into the demands of security firms wanting better access to the core kernel code of Windows Vista, as the company said starting Monday it would make such data available. Vendors such as McAfee and Symantec had earlier accused the company of locking them out of Vista.

McAfee and Symantec have publicly complained in recent weeks that Microsoft has locked down Vista to support its own entrant into the security space, Windows Live OneCare. However, neither company has filed legal actions.

The application programming interfaces (APIs) released Monday would allow for the security companies to stop Microsoft's own security alerts in favor of their own. Meanwhile, Microsoft says it will still continue to work on Windows Live OneCare and Windows Defender.

CEO Steve Ballmer told Reuters that the code is now available, and he felt it would satisfy the terms of the 2004 antitrust decision in the EU as well as additional concerns that have surfaced since then. The European Commission told reporters it was up to the companies themselves to say whether they are happy with the changes.

The APIs would be made available to security providers through a Web site the company has set up for them, Microsoft said.