Vendors time updates for end-of-month Vista release

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Top security vendors will release updated versions of their products to coincide with the consumer launch of Microsoft's new Vista operating system, the software giant and security firms have announced.

The fully tested and Vista compatible solutions, for small businesses and consumers, will be released on 30 January, when the new operating system (OS) is available to home users.

Companies committing to the launch include McAfee, Kaspersky Lab, Panda Software, Symantec and Trend Micro. Last November, when Vista was released for businesses, only one major security company, McAfee, was ready.

"A more secure computing experience, including protection from online threats, viruses and hackers, is more important than ever before for businesses and consumers alike," Ben Fathi, corporate vice president of the Security Technology Unit at Microsoft, said in a statement.

"Windows Vista is the most secure operating system we have ever built, and our security partners continue to play a vital role in adding layers of protection onto the Windows platform."

In October of last year, Microsoft and third-party security vendors bickered because the software company blocked access to its OS kernel and embedded its own security centre in Vista.

McAfee chairman and CEO George Samenuk even posted an advertisement in the Financial Times voicing his concerns.

"With its upcoming Vista operating system, Microsoft is embracing the flawed logic that computers will be more secure if it stops cooperating with the independent security firms," the advert claimed.

"Microsoft seems to envision a world in which one giant company not only controls the systems that drive most computers but also the security that protects those computers from online threats."

The software giant's new OS boasts a plethora of new security features, including user account control, improved firewall, Internet Explorer 7 protected mode and phishing filter, parental control and Windows defender.

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