Vista still requires anitvirus, Microsoft stresses

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Vista still requires anitvirus, Microsoft stresses

Windows boss Jim Allchin backtracks on security remarks.

Windows Vista does require antivirus stoftware after all, Windows chief Jim Allchin wrote on a company blog.

"I want to be clear, most users will use some form of antivirus software, and that will be appropriate for their scenarios," Allchin wrote.

The co-president of platform and services responded to media reports last week that quoted him as saying that the forthcoming operating system didn't need any antivirus software because of it's enhanced security. Allchin countered that the remarks were taken out of context.

"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 intended point, said Allchin, was that in certain situations, Vista would provide much better security for users.

The initial reports stemmed from a comment Allchin made during a conference call last week, when the company announced that Windows Vista had been released to manufacturing and would be launched on 30 January.

Allston was talking about his home computer, on which his seven-year-old son runs a Vista machine without antivirus software.

"Even if there is a remote exploit on one machine, and a worm tries to jump from one machine to another, the probability of that actually succeeding is very small. My seven year-old runs Windows Vista and, honestly, he doesn't have an antivirus system on his machine," Allchin was quoted as saying.

Allchin also siad that the machine used strict parental controls that limited access.

Allchin in his blog posting explained that the system restricted his son from downloading any files or receiving emails and instant messages. The computer also was configured to limited internet access to a list of pre-approved sites.

"The point I had been trying to make (albeit unclearly) is that Windows Vista includes new security features that can dramatically help improve our customers’ security for certain situations," he wrote.

Allchin recommends that users do have antivirus software on their Vista machines, and that the example he listed was an extreme and very specific situation.
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