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McAfee: Yeah, We're Angry, Too!

Symantec isn’t the only security vendor making noise about Microsoft participating in unfair business practices.

In other completely unsurprising but related news, Microsoft is appealing its raft of fines from the European Union.

Incidentally, a couple of good e-mails came in over the issue of Microsoft closing the Vista kernel and possibly making development harder for third parties like its security rivals.

Rocky, possibly out of breath from running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, says: "I've used Norton security for years and it runs like a dog. I think protecting the kernel is a good idea as with most 'real' operating systems."

Rees isn’t too happy, either:

"Symantec has been so focused on acquiring new companies that it has forgotten about its customers. Symantec Mail Security for Exchange (SMSME) version 5 is hideous. Version 4.5 and 4.6 were better. I have always assumed that it wants me to give up on SMSME and switch to Bright Mail, which costs more. The flagship product, Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition Version 10, kills performance when installed and no amount of excluding programs and tweaking seems to fix it. We have lived through numerous problems and updates to version 10. Each update requires a manual uninstall of the previous copy and a complete reinstall of the product. I have done both eTrust and Trend Micro installs lately and found that they are easier to use and don’t greatly impact performance. Don’t get me started on the equally hideous Backup Exec and its 'cosmetic errors' that seem to persist version to version. After years and years of Symantec loyalty, I am bailing out. The cost of researching new products and developing best practices for installation is a bitch, but I can’t install Symantec products and keep my customers happy."

Mark, on the other hand, has what sounds like a useful suggestion:

"IBM developed a way to do this at least two decades ago. The MVS OS used to be open. IBM eventually closed it by going to OCO (object code only). However, users still legitimately require a process to handle exceptions, modify responses, etc. What IBM did was publish 'exit' points, locations in the code where you could insert your modification and then return control to the OS. Of course different exit points related to different OS functions, so there were limits to what each exit could accomplish. Thus IBM kept control of the OS, prevented indiscriminate hacking and still allowed users to enhance or customize the OS. Perhaps some similar process would satisfy both sides to the open/closed debate on any OS."

Perhaps, Mark. Perhaps.

Thanks to all for your contribution. Keep those thoughts pouring in at [email protected].

Posted by Lee Pender on 10/03/2006 at 1:19 PM


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