Symantec has just come out with a report claiming that Vista may introduce a host of network security holes with Vista, even as Microsoft labors to make the operating system more secure than XP. But this is just an instance of sour grapes on Symantec’s part.
Symantec examined Vista beta code, found bugs, and from that concluded that Vista’s networking code will be less secure and reliable than that found in XP.
“Microsoft has removed a large body of tried and tested code and replaced it with freshly written code, complete with new corner cases and defects,” Symantec charges.
Memo to Symantec: It’s called beta. If it didn’t have bugs, it wouldn’t be beta.
In fact, Symantec admits that the new code “may provide for a more stable networking stack in the long term,” although it claims it may be worse in the short term.
Symantec is not a disinterested observer here. Microsoft is building anti-spyware into Vista, includes a more robust firewall, and in general has hardened network and operating system security. In addition, Microsoft has released a competitor to Symantec anti-spyware and security products, called Windows OneCare Live. So Symantec is looking for some way to fight back.
But making these kinds of claims is the wrong way. Instead, it should focus on building better security apps, not fear-mongering. Vista, when released, will be clearly more secure than XP, and Symantec is doing us all a disservice by claiming otherwise.