Microsoft is placing a huge emphasis on security on Windows Vista. With
all of the problems that IT professionals have with spyware and
viruses, Microsoft knew that it had to do more to make the next version
of Windows secure.
Having just released the first beta for Vista, CNET News.com reports that there are already viruses
in existence that can affect Vista. Four days. I don't think that's a
record for a security problem to appear, but it sure didn't take too
Microsoft points out that the vulnerability so far only theoretical and
only affects the Monad feature in Vista. Monad is the new command
shell that Microsoft is using to replace the creaky Command Prompt with
its echoes of DOS circa 1985. Along with the WinFS feature, Monad is a
Vista feature that Microsoft tossed over the side in an effort to get
Vista shipping on time.
Microsoft says Monad will probably appear by the time that Exchange 12
ships next year. Microsoft has also talked about creating a version of
Monad that will run on earlier versions of Windows, but it will be hard
to see how they'll get that to work.
In any case, there's plenty of time for them to plug the hole before
real viruses appear. Even so, it's clear that just because Microsoft
says that the next version of Windows is going to emphasize security,
it doesn't mean that hackers aren't going to try to poke holes in it.