Microsoft’s Allchin: Vista won’t need antivirus software

“During a telephone conference with reporters yesterday, outgoing Microsoft co-president Jim Allchin, while touting the new security features of Windows Vista, which was released to manufacturing yesterday, told a reporter that the system’s new lockdown features are so capable and thorough that he was comfortable with his own seven-year-old son using Vista without antivirus software installed,” Scott M. Fulton, III reports for BetaNews.

Fulton reports, “Allchin’s statement came in response to a question about his relative level of confidence that Vista would be more secure than Windows XP SP2. In response, he noted there were key security features added to Vista which could not be added to Windows XP SP2 even though, he said, his people apparently tried to do so.”

“Two such features — namely Vista’s new parental controls, and Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR), which renders the object code of the system kernel in memory differently each time to thwart the designs of malicious code — render his son’s Vista machine comfortable enough for him to use, even though production-quality anti-virus software for the unit has yet to be completed,” Fulton reports.

Fulton reports, “Allchin continued, ‘Please don’t misunderstand me: This is an escalating situation. The hackers are getting smarter, there’s more at stake, and so there’s just no way for us to say that some perfection has been achieved. But I can say, knowing what I know now, I feel very confident… ‘Windows Vista is something that will have issues in security, because the bar is being raised over time… But in my opinion, it is the most secure system that’s available, and it’s certainly the most secure system that we’ve shipped.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course Allchin’s “confident,” he’s on his way out and free of any concerns about accountability. He’ll be lucky to make it to the 9th hole on his first day of retirement before Vista sufferers get hit with their first of many exploits. Windows Vista is not “the most secure system that’s available,” Apple’s Mac OS X is clearly the system to beat. And, when it comes to security, Microsoft is not even in the same universe, much less the same league, as Apple. “Microsoft security” is an oxymoron. With his statements above, Allchin takes the “oxy” out of “oxymoron.”

For a Microsoft short-timer to claim Windows Vista is “the most secure system that we’ve shipped” is a joke. How hard is to improve on Windows’ absolutely miserable security record? Microsoft does this every time it inflicts a “new” Windows on the world. Promise, promises, promises… unfulfilled.

What about security? Bill Foundstone says that, “Windows XP can provide the strongest network security available.” Now why is that? Well, there are many things that we added to the system — Internet firewall, so that when you install a product you get instant protection from attackers trying to get into your system. We added a bunch of other capabilities to the system for security, but we also worked with the industry, the anti-virus vendors, the consultants to ensure that their products, together with Windows XP, created a holistic experience. We also came up with a new advanced technology that let us scan all the source code in the system to look for potential security issues, and we removed them before we shipped. We also put Windows XP on the Internet and we didn’t have a single compromise, and we left it on there for a very, very long time.Jim Allchin, Windows XP launch, October 25, 2001

The bottom line: If he’s not trying to royally screw Microsoft before he takes his hike, then Allchin is crassly trying to sell Vista to the ignorant. Who’s going to buy it this time around?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Microsoft’s oft-delayed, much-pared-down Windows Vista hacked at Black Hat – August 07, 2006
Symantec researcher: At this time, there are no file-infecting viruses that can infect Mac OS X – July 13, 2006
Sophos: Apple Mac OS X’s security record unscathed; Windows Vista malware just a matter of time – July 07, 2006
Sophos Security: Dump Windows, Get a Mac – July 05, 2006
Windows chief Allchin: Buy Windows Vista for the security – January 30, 2006
Hackers already targeting viruses for Microsoft’s Windows Vista – August 04, 2005
Windows czar Allchin says Apple copying Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn – April 27, 2005


  1. So a seven year old that is using a limited account, with parental controls enabled, who frequents doesn’t have anything to worry about.

    I have a bridge for sale, CHEAP!!

  2. Actually…..

    No version of windows REQUIRES antivirus protection.

    you have a choice. It is an option. You can get infected with a virus. You don’t have to protect yourself. No one is forcing you.

    Aslo, Windows works fine as long as the computer is not hooked up to the internet. His son is probably not allowed to go online. He has given his son MS Encarta which has everything important on the web.

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