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Microsoft Working With Security Vendors

Symantec, McAfee and other security vendors to gain access to information needed to make their products work with Vista's security features.

(Brussels, Belgium) Microsoft Corp. said Monday it would give security vendors Symantec Corp. and McAfee Inc. some of the information they want to make their products work with the upcoming Windows Vista.

Microsoft spokesman Tom Brookes said the software interfaces for the Windows Security Center -- Vista's new "security dashboard" -- would shortly be uploaded to a Web site for software developers.

Both security companies have complained that Microsoft was withholding key information they needed to develop software compatible with Vista before it is handed over to computer manufacturers next month. Consumers should be able to begin buying the new operating system in January.

Microsoft also said it planned to talk to both Symantec and McAfee to discuss changes they want made to Microsoft's anti-hacking tool, Patchguard. Symantec wanted its software to be excluded from Patchguard's scope so it would not be wrongly identified as a threat to the system.

On Friday, Microsoft said it had changed key aspects of Vista to soothe European antitrust worries. But the EU antitrust office refused to back Microsoft's optimism that European concerns had been met. "The jury is out," EU spokesman Jonathan Todd said.

The EU and Microsoft have fought for years, and the 25-nation bloc levied a 497 million-euro ($613 million) fine on Microsoft in 2004.

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