Fighting Viruses in Vista Without Antivirus Programs

Way back in November 2006, when Windows Vista went from beta to RTM, Microsoft’s Jim Allchin suggested that users might not need an antivirus program, thanks to the new OS’s stronger security features. While the statement was subsequently clarified until it lost all its meaning, the question remains: Do Vista users really need an antivirus program running in the background at all times?

Vista is full of anti-malware features, and one of the most powerful is User Account Control. The controversial routine blasts users with a confirmation request virtually any time they try to run a program that might alter the state of the system. Vista users, you’ve seen it: when you try to install a program, to launch Device Manager, or run something as Administrator, the screen goes dark, the system plays an alert noise, and a dialog appears asking for permission to proceed.

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