10 Reasons Why Windows Security Is Better than Ever

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-11-11 Print this article Print

News Analysis: Although some folks like to rail against Microsoft and the state of Windows security, the company's operating system is arguably more secure than it ever has been. That's in no small part due to the many new features that make Windows 7 a robust operating system.

Windows isn't very well known for providing the kind of security users really want. Windows has long been the favorite target of malicious hackers that have run amok in the operating system. Over the past few years, things have only gotten worse for Microsoft. Until Service Pack 2 was released for Windows XP, users were subject to a slew of security problems. Even Windows Vista didn't protect users as much as they would have liked, causing some folks to move to Apple's Mac OS X, which is generally believed to be more secure than Windows.

But with the release of Windows 7, Microsoft has done a fine job of retooling its operating system. No longer is it the danger-prone operating system that users once joked about. Today, Windows is more robust and secure than it ever has been. Although it won't stop every major outbreak that affects the Windows ecosystem, you can bet that it will stop several potential threats.

Here's why:

1. Microsoft Gets It

More than ever before, Microsoft now understands that it can't simply rest on its laurels, expecting both consumers and the enterprise to fall in line behind another new operating system. Microsoft finally realizes that in order for customers to want to switch to the new operating system, they must want to switch. Microsoft has proven that it understands that. Finally.

2. No
More Click Fatigue

In Windows Vista, User Account Control was awful. Users would see the UAC box pop up randomly and after a while, they stopped reading the messages and just clicked on the confirmation box to get rid of it. In the process, the feature that Microsoft hoped would reduce security issues, might have caused more problems. By not reading the warnings, users often allowed malicious files to run on their computers. In Windows 7, users can determine how aggressive UAC is. That should help it serve its purpose far more effectively than it has in the past.

3. Security Essentials

Microsoft's decision to add Security Essentials to Windows 7 is extremely important. The software helps safeguard users from spyware, viruses and any other kind of malware that can wreak havoc on a PC. Microsoft even made the software available to Windows XP and Windows Vista owners. It should be noted that Security Essentials by itself won't solve all the security woes that impact Windows, but most security experts say it will do a fine job of addressing many of them. That should translate into a safer, more secure Windows.

4. Biometrics for

Although biometric technology has been a part of the Windows platform for years, Windows 7 has brought biometric drivers to the operating system. That will allow developers to simply use Windows' biometric drivers without worrying about creating their own. It's no small addition. Aside from the obvious security advantages of biometric technology, Microsoft's decision to provide the drivers reduces the possibility of a malicious hacker gaining access to the PC through the third-party developer's software. The less software running on a computer, the better.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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