Symantec sees an Achilles' heel in Vista

This CNET article covers the recently released “Windows Vista Network Attack Surface Analysis: A Broad Overview” paper from Symantec. The paper covers the flaws uncovered by Symantec in the freshly rewritten Vista networking stack. To me, that's not too interesting. Vista is still in beta, and bugs are common in completely rewritten components. The fact is, sometimes old sections of code no longer make sense in the current framework and need to be replaced. It happens in Linux regularly and it is painful, but it's the right thing to do (sometimes). What is interesting to me is that Microsoft has clearly lost what has traditionally been a close business partner and ally. With the release of Windows Live OneCare, Microsoft has directly encroached on the cash cows of Symantec and McAfee. It's suddenly in these companies best interest to make Microsoft look bad, almost incompetent. It's a tenuous line though, as unlike some companies they can't just jump ship to another OS. Why? For the most part, the ills they cure just don't exists on Mac or Linux. Add the small desktop penetration to the mix and these companies are now forced to sleep with the enemy. One has to wonder how things will turn out long term though. I'd guess the fat days are coming to an end for Windows virus providers, despite the proliferation of malware, viruses and their ilk. Once Microsoft shoe horns themselves into an industry like this, prices are sure to plummet. I for one am interested to see how the companies in question react.
–jeremy
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