Vista: Anti-spyware, Yes. Anti-virus, No
Despite this seemingly straightforward (at least in our minds) delineation, company watchers were all in a tizzy this week over Windows head honcho Jim Allchins recent proclamation that there would be no anti-virus software bundled with Vista. Several days later, were still trying to figure out why anyone was surprised by this simple statement of fact.
Microsoft has a lot of new security technologies in the pipeline. Windows Antispyware, which Microsoft renamed Windows Defender late last year, was part of the latest (December) Vista Community Technology Preview test build. Microsoft seems to be moving steadily toward baking into Vista at least some base level of anti-spyware software.
Microsofts consumer anti-virus offering, known these days as Windows OneCare Live (code-named, way back in the day, "A1") was not expected to be integrated into Longhorn/Vistaat least not since Microsoft floated a trial balloon about the viability of such a plan back in 2003 or so.
In fact, the beta of Windows OneCare only works on Windows XP with Service Pack 2 installed. Microsoft has been saying for a while now that the OneCare service wont be compatible with Vista. Company officials havent spelled out explicitly why it wont; our guess is Vistas two-way firewall is incompatible, among other reasons.
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