Windows Vista Security Not a Big Improvement

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The level of security and protection that Windows Vista offers over Windows XP may not be significant enough to matter to most users. BusinessWeek reports that many Windows security experts say the changes from the old Windows XP operating system to Windows Vista donit offer much thatis new for online activities and Web surfing.

The primary reason Windows Vista wonit do much thatis new for the security conscious is that many of the same features are already available in Windows XP Service Pack 2. Symantecis director of emerging technologies, Oliver Friedrichs, commented "Microsoft has made the core of the operating system more secure, but theyive really solved, by and large, yesterdayis problems."

Experts are also concerned that the complexity of Vista makes for security holes that have not yet been discovered.

Some of the security features Microsoft brags about in Vista have already been available in Mac OS X and Linux - most notably the need to administrator passwords when making system-level changes.

When the business version of Windows Vista was released at the end of November, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed that there would be a "dramatic" drop in "the number of vulnerabilities that ever present themselves" to users. The real test to Mr. Ballmeris claim will come in early 2007 when the consumer version of Windows Vista hits store shelves.

The changes, however, may not be enough to convince consumers to buy. Jon Callas, chief technology officer at the encryption software maker PGP Corp., commented "It is an incremental improvement -- it is a reasonably large increment. I donit think itis a game-changer."

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