Allchin: Vista comments misinterpreted

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Allchin: Vista comments misinterpreted

Jim Allchin, co-president of Microsoft has spoken out against reports published last week that claimed he believes additional antivirus software is not required with Windows Vista, and has consequently apologised for being ambiguous with his comments.

Reports emerged last week claiming that Allchin believed the security platform in Windows Vista is so secure that customers don’t need added protection. He was also quoted as saying Vista is so safe, his seven-year-old-son can use it without antivirus software installed.

However, in his blog post on Friday afternoon he said the comments simply described a situation, which had been made out to sound different to what he had actually meant.

“I made a comment about how attacks on the Internet are getting more and more sophisticated, and some of the security features in Windows Vista really help our customers.

“This somehow morphed into people thinking I said customers shouldn’t use antivirus software with Windows Vista. The transcript [shows] that I didn’t say that users shouldn’t run antivirus software with Windows Vista.

“In fact…I explicitly made this point again, because I had realised I wasn’t as clear as I should have been,” said Allchin. “I could certainly see that what I said wasn’t as clear as it could have been and I’m sorry for that.”

Allchin described the unit his son uses as a computer with “locked down” security configuration and that’s why it has no antivirus software installed.

“[He] can visit websites on an approved list (approved through the parental controls feature in Windows Vista). He also has no access to email or instant messaging and he doesn’t run as an administrator of the machine.

“In fact, parental controls in Windows Vista requires that the user you apply controls to is not running as an administrator. Email, phishing, and other social engineering attacks are definitely among the most prevalent attacks that home users experience today,” he said.

Alchin said most users will have a form of antivirus software installed that will best suit their scenario and that some of Vista’s features encourage the use of antivirus software.

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