Microsoft Corp. say that their long-awaited Longhorn version of the Windows operating system will be able to detect and contain virus and worm attacks by monitoring network activity, system resource usage and memory behaviour.

The "active protection technologies" will combine with the patch update facility and react to threats accordingly, including excluding attacks by beefing up security in the firewall where it is unpatched and therefore vulnerable.

The technologies will be network-aware, in that if the pc on which they are installed is moved from, for example, a corporate network to a public wireless LAN the security will be adjusted to suit the new environment.