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Microsoft Security

No Anti-Virus in Vista 444

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the left-out-in-the-cold dept.
truthsearch writes "Microsoft will omit anti-virus protection in Vista, the next version of Windows. Redmond is promoting Vista as a landmark improvement in Windows security. Yet Jim Allchin also told CRN in a recent interview that there will be no anti-virus software. For unspecified business (not technical) reasons, Microsoft will sell anti-virus protection to consumers through its OneCare online backup and security service."
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No Anti-Virus in Vista

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  • Two possible reasons (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RandoX (828285) on Monday January 30, 2006 @03:50PM (#14601322)
    1) Avoiding a possible unfair competition suit.
    2) To be able to sell the service on a monthly fee basis.
    • by jurt1235 (834677) on Monday January 30, 2006 @03:52PM (#14601356) Homepage
      3) Bigger profits!
    • Yes, those are the reasons likely, as they are allready in hot water for including things in the operating system and making more money with subscriptions is allways nice...

      The real question is however: How long until that thing bites them hard like the security problems they had with XP?

    • by darkonc (47285) <stephen_samuel@b ... m ['ree' in gap]> on Monday January 30, 2006 @03:59PM (#14601436) Homepage Journal
      If they cornered the market on both OS and AntiVirus, it might make it harder for them to avoid culpability when the next Windows pandemic breaks loose.
      • by Denyer (717613) on Monday January 30, 2006 @04:44PM (#14601936)
        If they cornered the market on both OS and AntiVirus, it might make it harder for them to avoid culpability when the next Windows pandemic breaks loose.

        It'll be interesting to watch... if there are periods during which their anti-virus defends against it, but patches don't, they'll be found to have acted in very bad faith.
    • by nbert (785663) on Monday January 30, 2006 @04:02PM (#14601478) Homepage Journal
      4) Since everybody would have this software pre-installed only a virus being able to circumvent the protection would have any impact, resulting in even bigger problems if there is a bug in the antivirus software (no doubt about that IMO), because most of the users would rely on the protection coming with Vista, so it would spread even faster/further than anything we have seen before.
    • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Monday January 30, 2006 @04:04PM (#14601493) Journal
      This is one of those areas where Microsoft is damned if they do and damned if they don't.

      If they bundle virus protection (ie, "Make it part of the operating system"), they're accused of unfairly using their monopoly status. If they don't, then they're greedy for trying to sell you extra services.

      Personally, I think it's good that they don't include it. If I decided I needed antivirus services--something that is generally in need of constant updates--I can shop around between Microsoft, Symantec, McAfee, etc. It also gives the hardware (eg Dell, Gateway, HP, etc.) and network (eg Time-Warner, Verizon, etc.) vendors the ability to provide this protection.

      As long as Microsoft doesn't start strong-arming these other companies ("Nice Windows license you have--it'd be a shame if something happened to it."), I don't have a problem with it. But it definitely should give our anti-trust monitors something to keep an eye on...
    • by muszek (882567) on Monday January 30, 2006 @04:07PM (#14601526) Homepage
      5) Vista will be a secure OS, thus it will not need any protection ;)
      • My machine will be very secure when Vista comes out. The installer disc will remain in the shrinkwrap, still on the shelf of some store, till some other sucker buys it instead. Now that's some good security. :)
    • 1) Avoiding a possible unfair competition suit.
      2) To be able to sell the service on a monthly fee basis.


      3) Be like OS X and be secure enough not to need anti-virus software.

      I'm not getting my hopes up though.
    • by shokk (187512)
      I believe they will be selling a service. Glad to hear that they are not thinking of the customer's safety first. *sigh* So much for Trusted Computing.

  • Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdot@jawthes[ ]k.com ['har' in gap]> on Monday January 30, 2006 @03:50PM (#14601328) Homepage Journal
    We wouldn't like Norton to go broke, would we?
    It at least looks like competition. ;-)
    • Actually, after playing with the OneCare beta, I went right back to Norton. Quickly. It doesn't hold a candle in terms of what it does. Sure OneCare does download patches, defrags your hard drive, and all that, but slows your computer down something fierce. Sure it might do all that, but at what cost, not being able to use your computer? If Norton could offer something like OneCare, but without the performanc hit, then Norton could really make some cash.
    • by Malc (1751)
      I think they'll find other things to scare users in to buying.

      So many people seem to think they need crap like Norton SystemWorks to be safe. I think they product name is an oxymoron. I cringe when I hear that people have that on their system - I *know* at that point they'll be having problems with their computer. Symantec's marketing has done a very good job.
  • by Rombuu (22914) on Monday January 30, 2006 @03:51PM (#14601330)
    Unspecified Reasons? Like not wanting to get sued for bundling again? So the EU doesn't make them release a "Vista Version V without Antivirus Protection" that nobody really wants to buy anyway?
    • Unspecified Reasons? Like not wanting to get sued for bundling again? So the EU doesn't make them release a "Vista Version V without Antivirus Protection" that nobody really wants to buy anyway?

      What a noble and altruistic reason for not bundling! Unfortunately it's obvious that the reason they're not bundling virus protection is because viruses are one of the top marketing tools for the Windows industry. As the average networked computer gets slower over time the consumer believes it's only comparitively
  • Antitrust (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dslauson (914147) on Monday January 30, 2006 @03:51PM (#14601337) Journal
    It sounds to me like they're trying to avoid antitrust cases from Symantec and other AV software venders.
    • God forbid they should just write a better OS so we didn't NEED to spend money on anti-virus software.

      I don't have a big axe to grind with Microsoft. I use some of their products because the business reality is that I must if I want other people I work with to be able to use my files. Fine, I can live with that. What I'm having difficulty with is that one needs to spend money on anti-spyware and anti-virus software at a bare minimum if they want to have any hope of keeping their net-connected Windows
    • Wouldn't that be like forcing a car company to produce crappy cars so 3rd party mechanics wouldn't go out of business?
      • "Wouldn't that be like forcing a car company to produce crappy cars so 3rd party mechanics wouldn't go out of business?"
        If you want to use a metaphor like that, I'd say it's more like forcing a car company to allow customers to choose their own mechanic rather than forcing the company's favorite mechanic upon them.
  • So OneCare = .Mac ? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tpconcannon (619066)
    Looks like this will be a .Mac clone for Windows. How original.
    • Looks like this will be a .Mac clone for Windows. How original.

      Actually, I believe Microsoft will be the first OS vendor to implement a .Mac clone into is product.
  • I would assume that packaging that software would hurt many anti-virus companies. They are probably doing this for legal reasons. Why cause more anti-trust headaches when you don't have to?
  • Way to spin it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy@tp n o - c o .org> on Monday January 30, 2006 @03:52PM (#14601343) Homepage
    Redmond is promoting Vista as a landmark improvement in Windows security. Yet Jim Allchin also told CRN in a recent interview that there will be no anti-virus software.

    Way to put a spin on that one. However, let's not forget MS is getting it's butt chewed off for monopolistic behavior in a few countries ( not that they have any danger of that in their home country ). If they were to include an AV as part of the base OS, AV companies would be lining up to take shots at MS.
    • I agree. While I do think that certain basic applications such as a web browser and media player should be bundled with any typical "PC" operating system these days, I think that adding antivirus would be going a little too far. Perhaps if there was more competition in the OS market it would be ok, but in this case it would just hinder antivirus competition.

      Selling an cantivirus application as an add-on is the way to go, and it looks like that's what they're doing. I still expect to see the other big ant
  • Symantec, McAfee et al would scream bloody murder if MS starting shipping AV software bundled into their OS. They're probably only able to ship an anti-spyware tool because the other primary Windows anti-spyware tools are "free."
  • EU reasons? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cnettel (836611) on Monday January 30, 2006 @03:53PM (#14601367)
    Ok, it's probably a bit stupid to connect the dots just because they occur together in time, but might this be a preventive move to avoid further troubles with the EU commission (and possibly the U.S. DoJ) for leveraging the existing semi-monopoly into related markets?

    Firewalls, media players and other stuff is generally included in distros and the other commercial desktop OS (MacOS X) now. AV isn't. Therefore, it could seem intrusive by MS to include it. (On the other hand, we are all quite aware why noone else NEEDS to bundle that.)

  • by BigBuckHunter (722855) on Monday January 30, 2006 @03:54PM (#14601374)
    I'm not certain what the big deal is. Most OS vendors do not ship with an AV solution. I'm not certain I would want to have an AV solution integrated into the OS. Can anyone comment as to why MS 'would' integrate an AV solution?

    BBH
  • ... thinking that the necessity for an Anti-Virus is the sign that an OS is not secure?
    I know that no OS is 100% secure, but if virii can find their way in on a regular basis...
  • by inphinity (681284) on Monday January 30, 2006 @03:56PM (#14601395) Homepage
    ... No anti-virus
    ... No new graphics engine
    ... No new filesystem architecture

    What, exactly are they upgrading??

    • that the visual upgrade from fisher price to MacOSX isn't enough for you? Cause I'm sure MS is going to charge about $300 for the desktop clock upgrade.
    • by luvirini (753157) on Monday January 30, 2006 @03:58PM (#14601418)
      Pricing and DRM.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      What, exactly are they upgrading??

      Vista: now with shinier and rounder icons.

    • You should read /. more often, Vista will have a new soundtrack [slashdot.org] from Robert Fripp !!

    • by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Monday January 30, 2006 @04:46PM (#14601950)
      First of all, I don't know how you can call WVDDM + WPF + DCE 'not a new graphics engine'. New driver model, new GUI system, and a new window manager - seems new enough to me.

      Second, Vista has a number of big new features:
      - Brand new networking stack that is 100% IPv6 internally
      - New ACPI subsystem including a hybrid STR/STD support, faster suspend/resume, and a more robust mechanism for dealing with bad drivers
      - New audio subsystem with per-application mixing
      - UAP support (not running as admin all the time) with automatic privelage elevation (with user approval) for installers and other programs that need admin access
      - Major memory manager tweaks
      - Kernel tweaks to improve streaming performance
      - New programming framework (WinFX) based on .NET 2.0, WPF, and a host of other new technologies
      - 3D accelerated UI / window manager
      - New Media Center and Tablet PC features
      - Fast User Switching on AD Domains
      - Integrated AntiSpyware
      - Integrated indexing / search (ala Spotlight) including extensive metadata and tagging support
      - New Windows Media Player
      - New version of IE with CSS fixes, phishing filter, tabbed browsing, native XMLHTTP, freform resize (ala Opera), and many security enhancements
      - Support for auxiliry LCD displays (windows SideShow)
      - New, faster install system (no more text-mode 'copying files')
      - New Windows Installer version
      - New printing system / PDF alternative (Metro)

      So, in response to your question, basically everything.
      • by aaronl (43811) on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:46PM (#14602544) Homepage
        There are a lot of changes coming along with Vista, but they aren't as startling as you imply. Many of the big features that MS is publisizing aren't a big thing, and many of the remaining will be made available to previous versions of Windows. After you take out all of that, there isn't a tremendous amount left. Worse yet, some of what is left won't see the types of benefit that MS is proposing (ie: account privs).

        - Brand new networking stack that is 100% IPv6 internally
        Might be useful, if people were using IPv6, or likely to do so any time soon.

        - New audio subsystem with per-application mixing
        Applications could do this today, but most just set the system mixers.

        - UAP support (not running as admin all the time) with automatic privelage elevation (with user approval) for installers and other programs that need admin access
        Could be nice, but users will just get used to typing in the password, so offers no real security. Doesn't fix all the broken apps out there that depend on improper permissions. Not useful in a corporate setting, and not used in a home setting.

        - Major memory manager tweaks
        This is an update, not a new feature

        - Kernel tweaks to improve streaming performance
        This is an update, not a new feature

        - New programming framework (WinFX) based on .NET 2.0, WPF, and a host of other new technologies
        Whee, *another* new framework. It will also be available on WinXP.

        - 3D accelerated UI / window manager
        Resource wasting

        - New Media Center and Tablet PC features
        Useless to a majority of users

        - Fast User Switching on AD Domains
        Useless to a majority of users

        - Integrated indexing / search (ala Spotlight) including extensive metadata and tagging support
        Available today, will be backported to WinXP

        - New Windows Media Player
        This does not need to be locked to the OS revision.

        - New version of IE with CSS fixes, phishing filter, tabbed browsing, native XMLHTTP, freform resize (ala Opera), and many security enhancements
        This does not need to be locked to the OS revision.

        - Support for auxiliry LCD displays (windows SideShow)
        Whee.

        - New, faster install system (no more text-mode 'copying files')
        Again, whee.

        - New Windows Installer version
        Will be available on other revisions of Windows

        - New printing system / PDF alternative (Metro)
        Whee some more.
  • by rumblin'rabbit (711865) on Monday January 30, 2006 @03:56PM (#14601399) Journal
    The new Taurus will have seat belts only as part of the optional FE (Family Edition).
  • by the computer guy nex (916959) on Monday January 30, 2006 @03:56PM (#14601400)
    ...but isn't it just the least bit ridiculous that a company cannot ship their own anti-virus solution with their OS? I'm sure they could make it an option similar to the firewall in SP2.
    • by oGMo (379)

      ...but isn't it just the least bit ridiculous that a company cannot ship their own anti-virus solution with their OS? I'm sure they could make it an option similar to the firewall in SP2.

      Not when the company that rightly disgusts us is a convicted monopolist. Convicted of abusing the monopoly by bundling software.

      Furthermore, any notion of "cannot ship their own anti-virus solution" being ridiculous is far outweighed by the ridiculousness of shipping a product that needs it so badly out of the box.

    • If they could ship an anti-virus product, why couldn't they just patch the issues that allow the viruses in the first place? I, for one, would be up in arms if a company took such an overtly-passive approach to the security of their software.

      It would be like parachute makers/packers offering body padding in case their parachutes malfunction. Yeah, maybe it'd work (), but it displays a distinct lack of confidence and effort with regards to the quality and reliability of their product.
  • Vista won't work (Score:2, Interesting)

    by boxlight (928484)
    I've working for computer security companies, and my experience is people don't buy security unless they *have* to.

    Vista will sell, sure, but only because it'll come with every new PC. But I can't believe Joe User running XP will spend the money to upgrade to a new version of windows for "security" purposes. Not a chance.

    Now, Joe Pointy-Haired-Boss may want to upgrade -- but his network admin will probably insist on sticking with the Win2k/ActiveDirectory system that is "good enough" right now.

    Botto

    • And yet.. in time as all new branded computers come with Vista... you will also most likely be running it unless you go for Mac or one of the Linux/Unix variants.
    • Simple reason is Vista doesn't need to sell a single retail copy for it to succeed. It will come pre-installed on 90% of machines sold, therefore it will be a success. And eventually, it will be the most widely used OS around. Give it about two or three years.

      It will still suck though.
  • Security does not have to come in the form of virus protection as the post has implied. This is a common misconception. BSD is considered a very secure OS, but it's not because it has a lot of virus protection software.
  • Microsoft never fails... To give me reasons to stick with XP.

    I have yet to read or see anything to make me want to jump ship to Vista when it comes out.
  • I don't see whats the problems. An anti virus is like rust-proofing your car. Its needed and its your own damn fault if you never had it made. And you can't accuse the manufacturer of not doing it for you either
    Microsoft claim that Vista is so secure, wouldn't it seem redundant to include an antivirus? You know, just like people (some of them, no one on /. of course) laugh at the built-in firewall?
    And beside, wouldn't they expose themselve to Anti-Monopoly law if they were to include an antivirus?

    (not
    • I don't see whats the problems. An anti virus is like rust-proofing your car. Its needed and its your own damn fault if you never had it made. And you can't accuse the manufacturer of not doing it for you either [sic]

      A flawed analogy. With the prevelence of networking in computing today, not having anti-virus is more like the manufacturer not including brakes on the car. Sure, you don't need them to drive in a wide-open dry lake bed, but if you plan on doing any driving on other roads with other cars they m
  • by db32 (862117) on Monday January 30, 2006 @04:02PM (#14601473) Journal
    Why would they ship a product that is likely to erase their own .dlls? What if it removed IE?!
  • It seems that virtually every new feature has been removed. So, what's Vista going to have in it?
  • and I've never once contracted a disease. I find that they spoil the experience too much.

  • by JTorres176 (842422) on Monday January 30, 2006 @04:06PM (#14601511) Homepage
    I know no OS is perfect, but why charge for a solution to end a problem that your OS causes in the first place? Hell, you have to be a "root" user to install anything on windows giving everything you install full permissions over the OS during installation of anything.

    • Make users able to install something in the C:\Documents and Settings\Foobar\ directory without affecting the entire system.
    • Take away user ability to affect the entire system. (such as connectivity/interfaces)
    • Allow a sudo type system to stop forcing people to sign in the system as admin every day.
    • Force the creation of at least one non-admin account for every day use during install.


    I know viruses/adware/spyware will still be able to be installed, but why not make it just a little bit harder. Hell, if a burglar wants to get in my house, he can kick the door in... that doesn't stop me from locking and bolting the door every night just to make it a little more inconvenient for Johnny Break-in to steal my stuff.
  • by RoffleTheWaffle (916980) on Monday January 30, 2006 @04:17PM (#14601623) Journal
    Okay, so first I'm going to have to choose between some seven versions of what amounts to a Mac-skinned Windows Server 2003... and then I'm going to have to pay to keep other people from screwing it up, when I can get FREE virus protection on my current XP box? Yeah, just keep piling on the upgrade costs. I LOVE IT.

    I don't think I'm going to be switching to Vista any time soon, that's for fucking sure.
    • >... and then I'm going to have to pay to keep other people from screwing it up, when I can get FREE virus protection on my current XP box?

      You're not getting any anti-virus software in Vista from MS. You didn't get any anti-virus software from MS in XP. So, what's the difference? If you're using free Avast (or whatever) AV for XP, you can use it with Vista (after an update probably).
  • Saying at the same time that will not bundle antivirus and that is more secure could imply people that will not need antivirus, or that be far safer than before to virus threats. While i'm not opposed to MS not bundling its own antivirus with it, i dont think the "improved security" will make Vista safe to virus, even maybe to old ones (think in the amount that is application related, even if that application if outlook or the user behind). Antivirus is still needed, and there are very good ones around, eve
  • Redmond is promoting Vista as a landmark improvement in Windows security. Yet Jim Allchin also told CRN in a recent interview that there will be no anti-virus software.

    I wonder if their anti-virus software will come with anti-virus software?
  • I think MS has made the right decision here. TGhere are several reasons for that. One is to avoid those pesky Europeans that keep an eye on the monopolistic practices MS keeps. Another reason is that some people don't need virus protection. Yes, there are people like that, although not many I'll admit. The third reason is the fact that it may be handy for MS to make a separate antivirus program. What if their OS-tied antivirus program is compromised by a virus? That may be hard to correct without breaking o
    • What if their OS-tied antivirus program is compromised by a virus? That may be hard to correct without breaking other things. Better to keep a separate program that's easy to upgrade.

      This would indicate a complete reversal of all previouse design decisions. Pardon me if I have trouble believing it. They never cared before why would they care now.

      Not that it's a bad thing if they did this. It's just historically they've demonstrated that architecture design plays less of a part in these decisions than market

  • Symantec, though its assisted enquiries from investigators, has said it would rather take on Microsoft in the marketplace than cry foul to regulators over Microsoft's entry into the consumer anti-virus marketplace. McAfee has made no suggestion it's about to object to Redmond's encroachment on it traditional turf, either.

    We promise that we won't object to you bundling your anti-virus software with Vista, go ahead and launch it. ***fingers crossed***

    We will however have a problem with it when you have
  • M$ doesn't include anti-virus NOW. As long as avast works for Vista/Longhorn, I'll still have my free anti-virus. And it's probably better than anything MS would write anyway.
  • Good news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by buddyglass (925859) on Monday January 30, 2006 @04:33PM (#14601795)

    I'm a big fan of maintaining a dividing line between operating system and applications. As far as I'm concerned, Microsoft should be free to bundle their apps with their OS, but those apps shouldn't be integrated with the OS in such a way that they can't be easily removed (and replaced by competing products). That principle should apply to media players, mail clients, web browsers, anti-spyware and anti-virus tools. I would love to see Microsoft ship Microsoft-brand anti-spyware and anti-virus tools with Vista. I would hate to see them be as tightly integrated with the operating system as Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player currently are.

    • I agree with this. I have no problem with MS not bundling their anti-virus software.

      But I am not sure they should even be selling any. I mean, the goal of windows should be to be resistant from viruses by itself without needing any additional protection. When they start selling antivirus software they will obviously have a conflict of interst... making vista secure from the ground up would greatly decrease the need for virus protection and therefore cut off an MS stream of revenue.

      MS would make a much stron
  • by BeatdownGeek (687929) on Monday January 30, 2006 @04:33PM (#14601798) Homepage
    In other news, MS announced that the new operating system will now be renamed to Windows Vista Millenium Edition.
  • by _Pablo (126574) on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:03PM (#14602137)
    It's probably for the best for users that MS do not include their own AV for few reasons:

    o A diverse population of AV is better for stopping virus epidemics
    o MS need to concentrate on securing the OS itself and not rely on AV to cure the cold
    o Some AV vendors manage to write exploitable AV and MS could too

    It's probably for the best for MS if they do not include their own AV for a few reasons:

    o Bundling & Anti-Trust
    o Selling AV subscriptions

    So this news is only really negative for Viruses.
  • Great (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dtfinch (661405) * on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:18PM (#14602300) Journal
    Now, if Windows Vista runs slow all the time, it'll be because of viruses/malware, not because of virus protection.
  • by Retired Replicant (668463) on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:35PM (#14602461)
    How much incentive would your roofer have to build you a solid leak-proof roof, if he new he could get you to pay extra to fix leaks in your new roof?
  • by 99luftballon (838486) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:28PM (#14602848)
    Sooner or later Microsoft is going to have to admit that it isn't interested in doing antivirus. It deals in boxed product and proto-web services within a rigid framework. Antivirus is primarily a signature service system with a dollop of heuristic programming. It looks like it has bought a few companies, looked at the depth of the problem and decided not to bother. Vista is looking increasingly toothless.
  • by gelfling (6534) on Monday January 30, 2006 @07:27PM (#14603186) Homepage Journal
    Let me see if I get this right. Implement a bad design that's vulnerable. Force people (more or less) to upgrade to it. Toss normal ecnomic efficiencies out the window so that price never goes down. Then charge folks a premium for a bunch of extra tools meant to overcome the badly flawed design vulnerabilities?

    This is like car companies charging you for brakes or airlines charging a premium for not crashing.
  • by CODiNE (27417) on Monday January 30, 2006 @09:50PM (#14603939) Homepage
    MS RowBoat (TM) Will NOT come with a bailing bucket as previously speculated, however their new SpoonCare service will send users a new BailingSpoon (TM) update every month. Those who decide not to subscribe to SpoonCare will still be provided with a free monthly CorkPlug Update.

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