UPDATE: Jim has responded to the hubub himself. Hey Jim, isn't having a blog great?
Mary Jo is dead on the money about the reports regarding Jim's antivirus claim in Wednesday's phone conference. Scott's article was completely irresponsible, and he should have done more investigative work before posting it. That kind of reporting is completely uncharacteristic from BetaNews, which is one of the most reputable fact-based reporting sites I know.
The first time I heard it was during my interview, when he discussed it at length in a discussion that was centered around security/PatchGuard/Symantec. That type of statement was perfectly OK for my audience... most of whom are pretty well-educated on Vista's security approach.
But 75% of the people that were in on the call have never seen nor touched Vista. They don't know about ASLR, UAC, Parental Controls, and the numerous other features that can turn a Vista computer into a kid-friendly "games and internet" appliance.
Jim should never have made that statement to the audience he was in front of. He oversimplified the discussion to a point where reporters just didn't get it, and were only going to repeat what he said. They just knew that there was news and they had to report it. Parroting what someone says does not require a great deal of comprehension skills, and the comment was inappropriate for that call.
Having said that, just because the guy that manages the construction of Windows doesn't fell that his computer needs an anti-virus solution, doesn't mean the 97% of the rest of the population doesn't, either. Anti-virus is designed to save computer users from their own lack of experience. Most people don't care to educate themselves about the dangers of the internet, how to tell if an e-mail is dangerous, etc. Any guy who thinks someone random is going to e-mail naked pictures of some celebrity that don't have as many diseases as the person in the picture obviously has too much blood being diverted to places other than his brain.
But Jim's not the only one that doesn't run antivirus on Vista. I don't, either. Why? Because I'm my own active internet protection. I'm careful about what I download, and I'm careful about what I open. And I've rarely had a problem. The one time I can remember where I did have a problem, opened something I knew I shouldn't have.
I've done it since before Vista... except for a bout of OneCare beta testing, I haven't run anything since XPSP1, and the advancements in Vista make me feel that much more confident that I don't need to bog down my computer with something that my own brain can handle.
Does that mean I'm advocating that to the world? Hell no, and Jim wasn't either. I sell copies of OneCare for every system I repair. Everyone in my family is running it. And they will continue to run it after they upgrade to Vista. Everyone else should be running an antivirus solution to protect themselves from themselves. But Jim's family doesn't have to... and that's ok.