Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. today launched a Windows Vista version of its flagship ZoneAlarm firewall and blamed the delay on a switch to the new operating system's application programming interfaces (API). The Vista version of ZoneAlarm, a two-way firewall that will continue to be given away, is the first from a major security vendor to apply Vista's Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) API, said Laura Yecies, the general manager of Check Point's consumer security line.
"This is a bit later than we would have liked," said Yecies, noting the four-month lag between Vista's retail release and ZoneAlarm's appearance. "We underestimated the schedule impact of WFP. But long term, WFP will give us more support and more stability on Vista. It was a lot of extra work, but we'll have to do fewer hacks in the future." WFP, a new Vista architecture that lets developers tap into the TCP/IP processing path, was a hard row to hoe. "At times, it seemed like we were an extension of Microsoft QA. They patched and made changes based on what we found while we were developing," Yecies said. Microsoft used WFP to create its own Windows Firewall, which is bundled with Vista.