10 Ways Windows 7 Will Be More Secure than Vista

News Analysis: With Windows 7's Oct. 22 release just one day away, the focus in the debate over whether the new OS is better than its predecessor is turning to security. Will it be more secure than Windows Vista? If the sheer number of security features is any indication, you bet.

Windows 7's Oct. 22 launch is just a day away. But whether or not it will be more secure than Windows Vista is still up for debate. Will it be as secure as Vista? Will it be more secure? At this point, the opinions are flying.
I believe that Windows 7 will be more secure than its predecessor. In some cases, Microsoft simply updated previous security features. In other cases, it added new features. But either way, Windows 7 stands to set a new benchmark for Windows security.
Here's why:
1. User Account Control
When Vista launched, User Account Control was annoying and, based on most estimates, not all that helpful. It certainly helped limit spyware applications from launching, but "click fatigue"-users clicking on warnings without reading them because they popped up so often-caused more security problems than Microsoft bargained for. In Windows 7, User Account Control isn't so annoying. It's also more intelligent. That can only mean one thing: better security.
2. Backup focus
In previous versions of Windows, Microsoft didn't spend nearly enough time reminding users to back up data. It also failed to point out how important backing up data is when security issues do arise. In Windows 7, a backup tool is placed prominently in the Action Center, making it a nice reminder to folks that backing up a computer really is part of keeping data secure.
3. BitLocker
Although it's only available in high-end versions of the software, Windows 7 now features a significantly improved drive-encryption tool called BitLocker. The feature encrypts the user's hard drive, making it inaccessible without proper credentials. It's a feature that's available from free, third-party tools, but having it running natively in Windows is an added bonus.
4. Let's see your fingerprint
Although some computers running Vista featured biometric technology, all of the drivers and support applications were delivered by the third-party developer. In Windows 7, Microsoft has added biometric support, allowing computers with biometric support to work without the need for third-party software. It's a major security advancement. A Windows PC is typically more secure with biometrics. At the same time, Windows 7's biometrics feature means there will be fewer third-party applications running in the environment. The fewer the third-party apps, the greater the chance of improving security. Security is still very much a numbers game.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...