Windows Vista's half-term report: must try harder

Microsoft's middle-aged OS

Hard to believe, but Vista is nearly half-way through its life as Microsoft's top dog.

If the Redmond Mafia's Windows 7 launch plans come to pass (stop sniggering at the back), June 2008 will be Vista's zenith: 18 months after hit-and-missta limped on to the stage, it will be 18 months from obselence.

What to make of Vista?

It has, after all, inspired predictable groans about incompatibilities, and deeper gloom about resource gluttony. But having used Vista for a while, and tweaked it to tone down the foot-dragging bells and whistles, I like it.

There, I've said it.

Nonetheless, halfway up the hill, Vista isn't nearly as secure as it ought to be. Prior to launch we were told that User Access Control (UAC) was going to be the silver bullet for PC security. Then, when users switched off the nagging net nanny in their droves, Microsoft said that actually, UAC was meant to act as a prompt to software manufacturers to up their game. Latterly, the software giant fessed up that UAC hadn't worked out but, you know, Windows 7 will be a belter. No really.

Well, okay, but there's a body of evidence that suggests that Vista is, despite the popular, Microsoft-led view, no more secure than XP. PC Tools, for instance, recently revealed that when it scanned its 1.4 million-strong PC userbase, it found two thirds the number of threats on Vista PCs as it did on XP machines - an older, much bigger target. Malware follows market share, so Vista is currently protected by the 'Mac defence' ("don't hurt me, I'm little"). Not for long. PC Tools has already encountered more than 6,000 instances of the Zlob Trojan worming its way into Vista PCs.

So what? An OS isn't a security suite. But Microsoft told us Vista was a panacea. And Vista Security Center propagates the myth that no third-party protection is required.

Nonsense. Big green ticks are lovely, but it'll be a long time before I rely on Windows Defender to beat spyware, for instance.

Recently, Microsoft promised that we'll hear little about Windows 7 on its way to market. A smooth move. If Vista's half-term report reveals anything, it's that the pupil promises much, but must try harder.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Egan

PC Advisor (UK)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?