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Symantec and Microsoft Prepare To Do Battle

After trying to downplay earlier this week the problems it might have developing for Vista, Symantec is back to accusing -- and probably with some justification -- Microsoft of wanting to shut competitors out of the security market. Needless to say, this is going to be a battle on all fronts: legal, technological and psychological. Just keep in mind that Microsoft rarely takes serious losses in any of those kinds of battles.

The rest of the European security market, meanwhile, is understandably watching the scenario unfold with great interest and keeping a wary eye on Redmond. Here, by the way, is the money quote from the article linked in the last sentence:

"Steve Munford, CEO of Sophos, a security company in Abingdon, England says, 'As long as Microsoft allows equal access to the operating system, we can differentiate...We have to make sure that we have a broader and more comprehensive strategy than Microsoft.'"

Exactly. That really sums it up for Symantec, Microsoft and everybody else. Access to the Windows kernel, still an issue that’s up in the air, is what really matters here. If Symantec and friends can develop for Windows they way they have been able to in the past, they’ll be able to compete (although, it’s important to note, not necessarily win). But if Microsoft really does shut down development access in Vista, that really will be taking things a step too far and will be a negative development for competitors, partners and the industry as a whole.

You’ve been very good about e-mailing me on this topic, and I appreciate your responses. If you have any more thoughts, fire away at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on September 28, 2006 at 11:53 AM