Vista will alienate business users, says analyst

New security features in Microsoft's next OS will block viruses and other nasties but may leave users frustrated, according to a report. By Matthew Broersma

Vista’s new security features will make for such a disruptive user experience that business users might want to steer clear of the operating system for the time being, according to anlayst firm The Yankee Group.

In a recent report, the firm said the impact of changes in the way security works in the Windows world will be huge and will largely eliminate the need for some standalone security products, such as antispyware software and desktop firewalls.

However, the new features will make it difficult for many organisations to upgrade their staff, because of usability issues, the report claims. 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, The Yankee Group claims.

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

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

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 in the meantime, he says. Companies should also look at other options, he says. “As a hedging strategy, enterprises upgrading their hardware should also take a look Apple’s dual-boot Intel Macintoshes,” Jaquith says.

Nonetheless, The Yankee Group believes Vista’s security improvements will reduce the number of Windows vulnerabilities by up to 80%.

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