Windows Vista’s is much better than its predecessor in terms of security, and saves you from evil programs that louse up your PC. In Vista there is a built in Windows Defender program which constantly searches your PC for any spyware – small programs that spy on your activities, often showing you pop-up ads and slowing down your PC in the process. Microsoft constantly trains Windows Defender to recognize and squash the newest breeds of spyware.

The other parts of Vista’s security regime aren’t as simple, unfortunately. See, PCs recognize programs as mere strings of numbers, and they can’t tell a good string – a word processor, for example – from a bad string, such as a virus.

Vista gets smarter here, to solve the identification problem, it simply dumps the decision onto the users shoulders: Whenever a particularly powerful program tires to run on your PC, Vista states, “Windows needs your permission to run this program.” This leaves the user with two choices: Allow or Cancel.

Although Windows Defender keeps users covered from spyware, it doesn’t include a free antivirus program. Instead, Microsoft invites you to subscribe to its new Live OneCare antivirus program for $49 a year.