Top security vendors will release updated versions of their products to coincide with the consumer launch of Microsoft's new operating system, Vista, the software company announced yesterday.

The fully tested and Vista compatible solutions, for small businesses and consumers, will be released on 30th January, when the new operating system is available to home users.

Companies committing to the launch include McAfee, Kaspersky Lab, Panda Software, Symantec and Trend Micro. In November last year, when Vista was released for businesses, only one major security company, McAfee, was ready.

"A more secure computing experience, including protection from online threats, viruses and hackers, is more important than ever before, for businesses and consumers alike," Ben Fathi, corporate vice president of the Security Technology Unit at Microsoft, said in a statement.

"Windows Vista is the most secure operating system we have ever built, and our security partners continue to play a vital role in adding layers of protection onto the Windows platform," he added.

In October last year, a row erupted between Microsoft and third party security vendors, because the software company blocked access to the kernel of the operating system and embedded its own security centre in Vista.

McAfee chairman and CEO, George Samenuk, even posted an advert in the Financial Times voicing his concerns. "With its upcoming Vista operating system, Microsoft is embracing the flawed logic that computers will be more secure if it stops cooperating with the independent security firms," the advert claimed.

"Microsoft seems to envision a world in which one giant company not only controls the systems that drive most computers but also the security that protects those computers from online threats," it continued.

The software giant's new operating system boasts a plethora of new security features, including user account control, improved firewall, IE7 protected mode and phishing filter, parental control and Windows defender.