Feeds

MS to omit anti-virus from Vista

Testing times for next-gen OS

Seven Steps to Software Security

Microsoft will omit anti-virus protection in Vista, the next version of Windows, which it plans to ship late this year. As with previous versions of Windows dating back to Windows 2000 at least, Redmond is promoting Vista as a landmark improvement in Windows security.

Jim Allchin, co-president of Microsoft's platform products and services division, told reseller magazineCRN that safety and security, improved user experience, and mobility features will be key additions in Vista. But there will be no anti-virus software, the Windows development supremo said during a questions and answers session with CRN. For unspecified business (not technical) reasons, Microsoft will sell anti-virus protection to consumers through its OneCare online backup and security service.

Symantec, though its assisted enquiries from investigators, has said it would rather take on Microsoft in the marketplace than cry foul to regulators over Microsoft's entry into the consumer anti-virus marketplace. McAfee has made no suggestion it's about to object to Redmond's encroachment on it traditional turf, either. So it seems Microsoft has either decided anti-virus technology is better delivered as a service or else figured out that's a better business model to pursue.

We're not sure which because Allchin ducked CRN's question on why anti-virus software won't feature in Vista by saying the answer was "complicated", but not based on technical concerns. Curiously, basic anti-spyware protection - via Windows Defender - will feature in Vista.

Vista will also include a major revamp of Internet Explorer (IE 7), features designed to thwart phishing, and group policy management features that make it easier to control the use of USB devices. Windows' built-in firewall will be revamped to filter malicious traffic originating from a Vista PC as well as ingress filtering, the half on the equation that came with Windows XP.

Allchin said security in Vista is far improved from Windows XP SP2, whose heavily touted security features include technology that has made computer worms (though not Trojans based on the recent Windows Meta File vulnerability) less of a problem. "SP2 was a very good system, but compared to Vista it's night and day," Allchin said.

In a separate Q&A session, Allchin was grilled by Redmond's local paper, The Seattle Times, during which he explained that Microsoft has changed its development program with Vista to include fewer release candidates for the operating system. New community-technology previews, with more frequent drops targeted at different audiences, will speed the development process, Allchin said.

The feature set in Vista has now been finalised and Microsoft's focus has moved on to quality assurance. "Between now and RTM we're doing nothing but listening to usability feedback, improving performance and quality," Allchin told CRN. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.