Microsoftsnew operating system, Vista is, according to Microsoft, supposed to be all about security. Most of in the computer business know that Microsoft has the worst record on security of any major software vendor. But Vista was supposed to be more secure, it’s the first operating system they’ve designed since announcing that they finally take treats like viruses and trojan horses seriously. Of course they still call spyware “Value-adding software” and they still use “Active-X” in their browser to enable web developers to interact directly with your computer unbeknownst to you through Internet Explorer.
But Windows Vista did something they thought was going to assure computer users that Microsoft was on top of security this time. They locked down parts of the operating system. Of course w/ large American corporations like Microsoft, nothing is as it appears. The move to lock down the operating system wasn’t about protecting your computer from access by others. The only benefit of locking down the OS was to prevent anti-virus and anti-spyware software makers from being able to work on Windows Vista.
Hmmmmm, why would Microsoft (a software company, remember), do that?
The policy was a secret, but only to those in Microsoft. The treat of lawsuits didn’t help the anti-virus, firewall and ant-spyware software makers from going public. A few of them are rich enough to defend themselves against Microsoftlawyers issued press releases saying that Microsoft had locked them out and if Microsoft didn’t let them in the only anti-virus or firewall Vista users could have would be the infamously poor performing “Windows ‘Firewall’ and the only anti-virus they could use would be “Microsoft Windows Live OneCare”
After responding to the negative press by trying to say that by doing this it’ll make Windows safer (Windows safer by not allowing security software to work!?), it quickly became obvious that this press tacticwouldn’t work, they have to actually do something. So they opened up parts of the operating system allowing security software to be installed (although not with ease).
Now they the “Microsoft Windows Live OneCare” now were planning on sticking us all with has finally had it’s second and likely last performancetest. The first test it failed miserably was the Virus Bulletin VB100 certification tests.
The last test is the big one the industry goes by, it’s called: Av-Comparatives. Security researcher Andreas Clementi conducted in-depth testing of 17 anti-virus scanners,subjecting them to no less than 497,608 items of malware during the process. This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a test to be dismissed as insignificant. It is the real deal, which is why the results are so devastating for Microsoft. Of those17 products, including entries from all the major vendors in the marketplace, Windows Live OneCare came last. Worse yet, it came last by quite some margin.
Indeed, only it and the little known Dr Web scanner failed to reach an overall detection rating of 90% and whereas Dr Web only just failed, with 89.27%, OneCare managed a really very poor 82.4%. Compare this with G-DATA AVK leading the test on 99.45%, F-Secure 97.91%, Kaspersky 87.89% and even arch-rivals Symantec Norton AV with 96.83%.
So bad was the OneCare result, in fact, that it didnt actually make the cut for inclusion in the evaluation process so is unlikely to even appear in the next set of tests in August. To reach the lowest grade of certification, standard, a product needs to hit 85%. Then again, perhaps for Microsoft it will be a relief if it doesnt as no news will be good news for a change.