Symantec CEO encouraged by MS moves on Vista

The head of Symantec said Thursday that he is encouraged by recent moves by Microsoft to work with security software companies and provide access to Vista.

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The head of Symantec said Thursday that he is encouraged by recent moves by Microsoft to work with security software companies and provide access to Vista.

Symantec chief executive said Thursday that he is encouraged by recent statements from Microsoft that it plans to work with security software companies and provide them with more access to the Windows Vista operating system.

The vendor and other security software companies have been complaining recently that steps being taken by Microsoft in the name of security would actually hamper their ability to compete with Microsoft's recently launched antivirus software.

"The fact that they have made very positive moves is an encouragement," Symantec CEO John Thompson told reporters at a briefing in Tokyo. "But we have to see them follow through on the statements that they have made."

The chief target among the complaints is PatchGuard, a kernel protection technology in the 64-bit version of Windows Vista. PatchGuard would stop modification of the kernel by third parties – including security vendors like Symantec. The security companies say it would put them at a disadvantage because they would not be able to offer certain technologies for virus detection and intrusion prevention that require modifications made to the kernel.

The security vendors also want the ability to switch off alerts from Windows Security Centre because they fear they would duplicate those from their own software and confuse users.

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