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Longhorn, gives antivirus programs access for better protection

Microsoft is working behind the scenes with leading antivirus software vendors to improve the way desktop security software works with its next major operating system, code-named Longhorn.

Under enormous pressure from customers, partners, and competitors to clean up its security act, Microsoft plans to open up Longhorn by providing 100 or so APIs that antivirus software developers could use to get a more direct path into the operating system and applications running on it. Longhorn will be client desktop software and, according to Microsoft, isn't expected out until late 2004 or early 2005.

"When Microsoft gives [developers] these APIs, it will be easier to scan for viruses," says Bruce Hughes, content security lab manager at ICSA Labs, which tests antivirus products.Those familiar with the plan say Microsoft's effort to work with antivirus software vendors should result in products that are less prone to interfering with operating systems and applications.

"Antivirus, for Microsoft, is a nuisance," says John Pescatore, a security analyst at Gartner, pointing to part of the company's incentive to work more closely with antivirus companies.

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News source: Bink WindowsXP

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