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Security features 'may put businesses off Vista'

OS is chatty and annoying, analysts say

The security features of Microsoft's next OS (operating system), Vista, will be so disruptive that businesses users might want to avoid deploying it for the time being, according to analysts at Yankee Group.

In a report published today, the firm said the impact on the way security works in the Windows world will be huge, and that it will largely eliminate the need for some standalone security products, such as antispyware and desktop firewalls.

But the features will make it difficult for many enterprises to upgrade their users, because of usability issues. One problem is that features such as User Account Control, designed to reduce the impact of attacks by limiting users' privileges, are likely to irritate users and IT administrators.

"Although the new security system shows promise, it is far too chatty and annoying," wrote analyst Andrew Jaquith in the report.

He said many people using the tools have said they deliver unnecessarily repetitive messages, have a patronising feel and interrupt administrators' work patterns. He said User Account Control was particularly problematic, forcing users to seek administrator approval for tasks they would ordinarily carry out automatically today, for instance. As a result, the feature, which is enabled by default, is likely to be switched off or ignored, Asquith said.

The security features are so annoying that many businesses may want to delay adopting Vista until 2008, continuing to use Windows XP with Service Pack 2.0 in the meantime, Asquith said. Companies should also look at other options. "As a hedging strategy, enterprises upgrading their hardware should also take a look Apple's dual-boot Intel Macintoshes," he wrote.

Despite the teething troubles, Yankee believes Vista's security improvements will reduce the number of Windows vulnerabilities by up to 80 percent, and lessen the impact of those vulnerabilities that continue to appear.

This story first appeared on Techworld.com.


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