Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Longhorn O/S vs. Security Software

The market for security software like McAfee and Norton packages is created because the operating system is vulnerable to attacks by viruses, trojan horses, worms, etc. What happens to these products and their host companies when the O/S becomes bullet-proof?

If Longhorn and future releases close the security holes in Windows XP, then what becomes of 3rd party security products?

It seems unlikely that any international court could decide that closing the security holes in Windows is anti-competitive and should be prevented. Even though it may put some companies out of business, there is no way to argue that Microsoft should be forces to leave flaws in their products just to retain the marketspace for McAfee.

If this is true, then what is the future business case for security software providers? They must remain nimble enough to conquer security threats faster than Microsoft can, making them a valuable partner on customer desktops.

This fight will probably mimic the impact of Windows Media Player on RealMedia products -- but without the benefit for legal protection.

Web Reference: Gates unveils Longhorn�s features, security enhancement


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