Vista Security: Microsoft vs. Anti-Virus Firms: Page 2

Posted November 17, 2006

Rob Enderle

Rob Enderle

(Page 2 of 2)

64-Bit Vista: the Empire Strikes Back

Eventually our house builder, Microsoft, got really upset and stopped looking at the Security firms as their protectors. Instead, Redmond started viewing them as part of the problem and redesigned their houses to more closely emulate the castles (Vista) which still existed and had better weathered the barbarian Virus attack.

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Suddenly our fence builders/Security Firms are screaming foul because, if Microsoft builds castles, buyers will no longer need to buy fences. Had these firms stepped up to their duties as protectors and helped address the threat without attacking Microsoft in the process, this wouldn’t have happened. But they chose another path and, as a result, our house builder is building castles.

The strongest castle is the 64-Bit version of Vista. Configured with Microsoft’s own anti-malware offerings it is, on paper, vastly more secure than any other third-party protected earlier version of Windows.

This is a good lesson: don’t pass the responsibility for security for your products to any third party. The Romans leaned this the hard way when they used mercenaries who eventually switched sides. Microsoft repeated that mistake. We are now seeing a correction which has many of the security firms screaming.

As one of the folks who repeatedly warned them that they were breaching the implicit contract in their symbiotic relationship, and forecast of this result, it’s hard for me to feel sorry for them.

So the war, at least from my perspective, resulted not from Microsoft going after the security firms’ business but from the security firms taking the short-term lucrative path of attacking what they were supposed to protect. With the long-term result that they are no longer trusted to protect it.

As a result many may have to find another business because our new castle builder, Microsoft, has put everyone on notice that they plan to take back security, and has realized that they never should have given it up in the first place.

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