Symantec slate Vista 'less secure than XP'

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Microsoft
‘s next generation of Windows, Vista, has been picked apart by Symantec, makers of PC anti-virus and security software, and their basic conclusion? Windows Vista could be less secure than Windows XP.

Anyone else feeling a little nervous?

Granted, they tested an old beta version of the system, but said that because Microsoft had written large portions of fresh code instead of taking ‘tried and tested’ code from XP, that Vista was more likely to be vulnerable to malicious attacks.

Microsoft refuted the claims, rightly saying that testing vulnerabilities in a beta version of a product are premature, and that the claims are unsubstantiated. According to Microsoft, Vista will be the first Windows OS to go through the company’s complete Security Development Lifecycle.

Do we need to look behind this exchange of words?

Though Microsoft and Symantec have worked together in the past, they are now somewhat competitors. Symantec have always been in the security/AV business, which Microsoft have recently entered with their Windows Live OneCare system, sparking a lawsuit against Microsoft alleging misuse of data storage technology it licenced to them.

So, no bad blood there then.

Having a go at Microsoft is an international sport, isn’t it? Some of Microsoft’s previous security issues have reached legendary status, but every new piece of software – particularly an OS – is going to have its problems. Let’s hope that MS really is on top of this one – Vista’s been delayed enough as it is.

Whilst we’re on the subject, are you going to be a Vista early adopter, or is it not worth the risk?

Andy Merrett