When Microsoft launched Windows Vista they took to heart to many comments from people saying their operating system was insecure and they created a tool known as Windows Defender. The job of this small tool was to secure the computer against viruses, hackers and spyware.
Windows Defender For XP
Windows Defender is also available for free to users of XP as long as they pass the Genuine Advantage Checks. This means that you can download it for free if you need it as long as you have a legitimate version of XP.
Microsoft has given Windows Defender a lot of publicity and this has caused many people to think that it's very secure. While it might be the most secure version of Windows yet, it doesn't mean it can 100% protect you and your computer.
You still need internet security software and virus scanners with Vista even if you do use Windows Defender. Microsoft products are very popular, gaining a lot of attention from cyber criminals, and this means that they are all susceptible to attacks from hackers and viruses.
You cannot possibly expect to use a Windows computer for long without an antivirus and security suite. Such security is essential whenever you use a computer, especially when connected to the internet.
There is a major threat of Trojans, phishing and viruses on the internet. Even though Windows Defender does provide minimal security, it's better to have more than you need rather than too little. You cannot hope to rely on Microsoft to deal with your security issues, a third party application is essential.
Vista is over a year old now and still suffers from a lot of security holes. There are lots of people who are desperately trying to crack and hack windows Vista.
Microsoft claims that Windows Defender will protect your computer from spyware and other unwanted software. This is why most people believe that their computer will be safe without any third party applications. Windows Defender is not as good as an antivirus application, and it does not protect against viruses, only against spyware. It also doesn't offer a resident shield.
Windows 7 will be the new version of windows which will be released any time now. This may become more popular than Vista and maybe will be more secure; however no matter what Microsoft does you will certainly want to use a third party firewall and antivirus solution.