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Location: United Kingdom

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Lack of security is down to competitors - Bill Gates

The Financial Times interviews Bill Gates at the RSA conference
in San Jose.

"FT: Did anti-trust considerations figure in your decision not to bundle anti-virus software with Windows?"

"BG: Yes. The decision to leave AV outside there's so many factors that weigh into it. But certainly, we looked at that as one factor, how people will respond"

Perhaps the main reason is the first occurrence of a virus on Vista would leave considerable egg on face.

"the whole notion of improving software and making it better for users has been attacked because it makes it tough for competitors"

Lack of security in Windows is caused by [our] competitors? Like how? When has any competitor criticised Microsoft for improving security. The whole notion is nonsensical .

Besides I thought that Vista with its TPM module and least privilege user model would be immune to viruses. According to Marcus J. Ranum the AV model is defective as it relies on Enumerating Badness where a virus signature has to be in the database in order to be recognised instead of Default Deny where everything is denied access except what is explicitly allowed.

"we're kind of saying if we put new things in and don't raise the price, it's there, that's competition"

You mean like bundling Media Player and not charging for it for which they are still in court in the EU. How was RealNetworks supposed to earn a crust from selling its RealPlayer without a desktop monopoly. Was Real also being anti competitive here?

Microsoft has persuaded RealNetworks to withdraw from the case in return for some Vista licenses'.

MS also doesn't seem to concerned by a March 2004 EU decree that it must unbundle its media player and allow other parties information to allow full interoperability with Windows. Not only have they not complied with the ruling but have decided the Commision was in error and decided that releasing technical documentaion and some source code would do instead. The Commision has the temerity to insist that they will decide whether Microsoft is compliant and not Microsoft.


"other people are saying no, let's protect us competitors"

What ?

"That's a tricky framework. Clearly if that was all we thought about we wouldn't have put all this new stuff in, but we have."

What ?

"FT: You have talked about building a trust ecosystem”.. Would this be a closed system, or an open one?"

"BG: It's totally standards-based and totally open."

No ..

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