Huh? Is that a "Yes" or a "No", Mr. Symantec CEO?

With such an eye-catching headline of Symantec CEO says no Vista for me, how could I not read it?   My hat is off to you Joris, for having the most popular security story of the day!

WARNING:  This post is chock-full of exaggerated incredulity and hyperbole!  (Though not necessarily as much as most recent Symantec marketing messages…)

Let me give you an exciting excerpt from the expert opinion of John Thompson of Symantec.  I continue to get a chuckle whenever I read almost anything from this guy these days, maybe you will too…

Microsoft says you have to buy Vista because it makes you much safer online than XP, or any of its previous operating systems. Do you believe that?
Thompson: Consumers should not be confused. Vista is not a security solution. Vista is an operating system, and Vista provides some very important advances from Microsoft’s perspective and for the industry’s point of view on building a more stable, more reliable, more secure operating platform, but people still need the efficacy that comes with the products that Symantec and others in the industry build, and so we should not be confused by the marketing rhetoric with what Vista is. It’s a hopefully much better product than XP or any of its predecessors, but it’s not a security solution.

Let’s simplify it and boil that down a bit, for clarity:

Question: Do you believe Vista is safer than XP?

Answer: Vista is not a security solution.

Ah, very insightful. 

To finish on a more serious note, let me say that as a cautious security guy, I do run antivirus software on my Windows Vista machines – it just doesn’t happen to by Symantec AV, whichI find a bit too intrusive.  (Intrusive, in this context, is my term for when a program that can be installed in 1 step takes 4-5 uninstalls to get completely off of my machine).  In fact, Vista has this built-in interface thingy called Windows Security Center (which Symantec will probably turn off on your Vista machine) that pretty much explicitly warns that, to be well-protected, you should have add-on antivirus.  Given that, ol’ John seems to be working extra hard to convince folks you don’t get security value from Windows Vista…

About the Author
Jeff Jones

Principal Cybersecurity Strategist

Jeff Jones a 27-year security industry professional that has spent the last decade at Microsoft working with enterprise CSOs and Microsoft's internal teams to drive practical and measurable security improvements into Microsoft products and services. Additionally, Jeff analyzes vulnerability trends Read more »