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Security Firm: Windows 7 Less Secure Than Vista

Despite the marketing push, Microsoft developers do not try to hide the fact that Windows 7 is an extension of efforts made for Windows Vista.

Windows 7 fixed or improved many of the things people didn't like about Windows Vista, but Raimund Genes, CTO of security firm Trend Micro, has found something that he much preferred in the earlier OS.

Genes said that Microsoft made design decisions this time around that sacrificed security in the interest of usability, mostly because of Microsoft dialing back User Account Control (UAC).

"I'm not saying Windows 7 is insecure, but out of the box Vista is better," Genes told The Register.

"I was disappointed when I first used a Windows 7 machine that there was no warning that I had no anti-virus, unlike Vista," Genes said. "There are no file extension hidden warnings either. Even when you do install anti-virus, warnings that it has not been updated are almost invisible."

"Windows 7 may be an improvement in terms of useability but in terms of security it's a mistake, though one that isn't that surprising. When Microsoft's developers choose between usability and security, they will always choose useability," Genes argued.

  • philologos
    Vista UAC was one of the major complaints about the OS. Microsoft really had no choice but to change the default. Anandtech, for one, recommends turning UAC back to maximum. But Microsoft was practically forced to loosen the UAC settings.
    Reply
  • jerreece
    "I was disappointed when I first used a Windows 7 machine that there was no warning that I had no anti-virus, unlike Vista," Genes said. "There are no file extension hidden warnings either. Even when you do install anti-virus, warnings that it has not been updated are almost invisible."

    First off, if you don't install your own Anti-Virus without a warning you shouldn't be using a computer.

    Second, I'm fairly certain Windows reminded me to do so when I first installed the retail Windows 7 Home Premium.
    Reply
  • ubernoobie
    That's why we have antiviruses
    Reply
  • justiceguy216
    "I was disappointed when I first used a Windows 7 machine that there was no warning that I had no anti-virus, unlike Vista," Genes said./quote]
    "...because now users aren't scared into buying our product."
    Reply
  • Foxholecharlie
    Did someone mention to this guy that he had to dress, feed and water himself every time ?

    I find it very hard to believe it did not tell him he had no Anti-Virus.
    Let me see, OH by golly, what is that "flag" in the task bar ? Do I dare place my mouse over it ? Do I dare!!!

    Imagine this guy who works for a "security company" and cannot even check what or if any anti-virus is loaded onto a machine. How could he possible even find a virus ?

    See its easier than pie to fill a blank page with rhetoric. No special job title or occupation needed.
    Reply
  • elel
    Well, I'm glad that it's a potential behind-the-keyboard issue and not a real OS flaw.
    Reply
  • mental issues
    What an odd position for a company that sells anti-virus products to be taking.

    On another note, my old subcompact car is safer than any new vehicle because I placed a sticker on the dash that says "DRIVING INTO THINGS AT HIGH SPEEDS CAN CAUSE SERIOUSLY INJURY OR DEATH". Without this warning, I would have no way to realize that I should be taking precautions to avoid a crash. Of course, the only standard of safety by which I measure cars is their ability to make me aware of the danger of colliding with large objects.
    Reply
  • mikeynavy1976
    When I installed 7, the "Action Center" immediately told me that I wasn't running antivirus and that I needed to get one. I'm not sure what this guy is saying.
    Reply
  • amabhy
    Oh great Yam. Another article slamming Windows 7, and you fail to note that the company stating the claims makes money fixing up problems and viruses in Windows.
    Reply
  • ravewulf
    Out of the box, Vista can be more annoying (for those who aren't paranoid).

    I love Vista, but UAC was/is the first thing to go on any new installation for me.
    Reply