December 19, 2003

Damn the eco-system! Full speed ahead!

Chuck Talk writes "In a move that will no doubt irritate many of their long-time partners, Microsoft has decided to include (read tie) a real firewall within their Windows XP SP2 release due out soon. Seeing as their first antitrust trial was brought as a result of their efforts to tie the Browser to the Operating System, will this bring a resulting flood of cries of foul from the security vendors? Will Symantec be so cozy with Microsoft given this fact? What about Network Associates or CheckPoint who just recently acquiredZone Labs, a manufacturer of personal firewall technology, for $113 Million? Seeing as the acquisition was just yesterday, how will this affect their business going forward?

It will be interesting to see the reaction of the security vendors to this announcement. Will their products have a place in the market anymore? Who will actually buy their products when the Operating System itself performs these tasks? Further, as the Firewall is there and is active, wont those developers now have
to rewrite their entire product lines to make them more capable, or simply drop those products altogether?

I have been saying that Microsoft would tend to go after its own eco-system of vendors, and this is just the first step in the game-plan. The security companies can only be looking at this and wondering what the hell they are going to do with their products now. If you dont believe they are going to try to kill those products, you dont have your eyes open to the obvious.



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