Security Advisor

Stretching Surface Speculation to Security

If you're in the tech journalism racket (especially those that are Microsoft-centric), then you know that the No. 1 story this week was Microsoft's announcement of its Surface tablet.

However, besides the small nuggets of info hand-fed to a select room full of reporters, there's little to go off of. So the PC and tech Web sites have been playing the speculation game since Monday.

And since this is a Microsoft-centric site, let's speculate on the future of security on Windows Surface.

Mobile security has been a booming industry in the last few years. For every one mobile platform, there seems to be at least 100 security startups looking to stake their claim in it. For these venture companies pushing their latest mobile security wares on the public may  be out of luck when it comes to the Microsoft Surface (along with partners who have been developing their own Windows 8 tablet).

That's because Windows 8 will be the first tablet that actually acts like a PC. No watered-down mobile OS here and no locked-out restrictions that usually come with said OSes.

Let me back up for a second. When I'm referring to Microsoft's Surface, I am referring to the Windows 8 Pro version (the version that has some actual excitement brewing online). We're not quite sure how locked down the RT version will be, and those unfortunate mobile security firms I mentioned may not be 100 percent out of luck in selling their products.

I use Microsoft Security Essentials for my antivirus program, Malwarebytes for my antimalware and Spybot: Search and Destroy for any other nastiness I could have contracted online. So it stands to reason that I should be able to follow this same game plan on a Windows Surface.

That already beats my security strategy for my Windows Phone 7 device and my Android tablet (which I still have none).

And I think that's the most appealing aspect of this device that we know so little about. Current PC security habits can be applied the moment you take the Surface out of the box. There should be no waiting around for security firms to catch up with the tech and the learning curve should be acceptable for anyone familiar with a Windows machine.

How do you see security on Microsoft's upcoming hardware? With little to go on, be as crazy as you want with your predictions and send them to [email protected]

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for and


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