Jim Allchin Says Vista May Be Beyond Need for Antivirus

Jim Allchin is very confident that Windows Vista is the most secure version of any operating system they have produced, so confident that he lets his son use a locked down version of Windows Vista without antivirus protection.

Two such features — namely Vista’s new parental controls, and Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR), which renders the object code of the system kernel in memory differently each time to thwart the designs of malicious code — render his son’s Vista machine comfortable enough for him to use, even though production-quality anti-virus software for the unit has yet to be completed.

“I’ll give you an example: It’s my favorite feature within Windows Vista, it’s called ASLR (Address Space [Layout] Randomization). What it does is, each Windows Vista machine is slightly different than every other Windows Vista machine. So even if there is a remote exploit on one machine, and a worm tries to jump from one machine to another, the probability of that actually succeeding is very small. And I wanted to do this in Windows XP SP2, but we couldn’t figure out how to do it. So then a smart guy here came up with a solution, so we put it in Windows Vista.”

“I’ll give you an example: My son, seven years old, runs Windows Vista, and, honestly, he doesn’t have an antivirus system on his machine. His machine is locked down with parental controls, he can’t download things unless it’s to the places that I’ve said that he could do, and I’m feeling totally confident about that,” he added. “That is quite a statement. I couldn’t say that in Windows XP SP2.” Source: Betanews

He thinks that there will be fewer security bulletins and the ones reported will be less critical.