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18 January 2007, 21:12

Numerous virus scanners available for the release of Vista

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Microsoft has announced that all major vendors of antivirus software will be able to offer a version of their own product for the official launch of Vista for consumers on January 30. McAfee was the only vendor to offer a virus scanner for Vista back when the new operating system was released for business customers in November. Free scanners, such as Grisoft's AVG and Alwil's Avast, are also already available for Vista.

When switching to Vista, users therefore need not worry about having to surf or e-mail without virus protection because no products are available. While Windows Vista does offer considerably better security functions that make it much more difficult for contaminants to penetrate a system, the operating system still cannot do without a scanner, especially because the integrated Windows Defender only provides protection from spyware. Microsoft also offers its own virus protection solution called Windows Live OneCare as a separate product.

While Symantec was still bitterly complaining in September and October that Microsoft was not providing any information on the new security functions, thus hampering competition, now the vendor of Norton Antivirus and Internet Security is praising the advances made in the new versions of its software. Now, its products for XP and Vista are able to recognize contaminants even without signatures thanks to the new Sonar technology. To do so, Sonar analyses the behaviour of programming code to see whether it is malicious.

Despite the concerns of the Gartner Group that security software may have considerable problems interacting with Vista to unfold complete functionality under current conditions, Symantec is promising its customers complete protection with its products for Vista. At any rate, criticism mainly concerned a 64-bit version of Vista, which prevented direct access to the kernel for the new PatchGuard. Access is also blocked for security products, which can only access kernel functions via an intermediate API.


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