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Etisalat: delay Vista upgrade

UAE operator Etisalat is urging its business and consumer customers to hold off on deploying Microsoft's Vista OS until it has upgraded its own desktop security package.

The telco is recommending subscribers of its Al Shamil and BusinessOne packages to not upgrade to the operating system until they have installed the latest version of its Secure Desktop Service, which will be available by the end of this month.

While Vista has been available to business users since last November and went on sale to consumers on January 30, Etisalat said it is still waiting for its supplier, Symantec, to deliver Vista-compatible products.

Symantec said it was "working closely with Etisalat" on delivering products. "Each ISP required specific customisation for their release of the product, so this is simply due to the build of each specific package for each ISP. We are working with our ISPs to deliver against the commitments they have made to their customers," said Kevin Isaac, regional director of Symantec MENA.

Etisalat's recommendations have been issued as alerts to Al Shamil and Business- One subscribers on the customer service section of its web site, where it states that "it is strongly recommended to consider upgrading your Etisalat Secure Desktop Service to the new 2007 version before upgrading your computer's operating system to Microsoft Vista to avoid any vulnerability that might arise from the internet threats".

Microsoft Gulf's marketing and communications manager, Bahaa Issa, said this showed "collaboration" between the software giant and the telco. He said it should not mean any "delay" for customers deploying Vista.