Antivirus and Vista

I’ve been thinking about the publicity that Jim Allchin attracted with his comments about Vista and Security.

I want to stress again that he didn’t say that Vista doesn’t need anti-virus. He said that Vista has more security barriers – and that’s true. He also gave the example of his seven year old son who uses Vista with limited Internet abilities – and that is really secure (as long as his son isn’t using email).

Following his example, I think I’ll buy and install Vista on my 65 year old mother’s computer. She’ll use a very limited number of Web pages and a few email addresses to send/read messages – and I’ll sleep better… until hackers find a Vista-compatible vulnerability and use it to infect remote machines 🙂

But what about my 15 and 18 year old sons, who are very active on the Internet, sending lots of emails, browsing the Web, using search engines, and chatting on ICQ? I’m not sure how much Vista is really going to offer them in the way of enhanced security.

As one journalist said “it would be extremely rash to think that Vista will be bullet-proof on release”. No matter how advanced Microsoft’s Defense-in-Depth programming is, there will be virus writers and hackers looking for holes – and they will find them. Which brings us back to the vicious cycle of vulnerability-exploit-patch that we know so well.

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