This is great news... Thank you, Microsoft!
Critics will likely minimize this change of direction, and say that MS *should* do this, since security flaws in their own Windows operating systems and applications are responsible for allowing many of the exploits that viruses and other malware depend on to spread. Others will probably target the anti-competitive angle -- never mind that other free security suites are readily available.
I'd like to see more communication between the MS OneCare group and the operating system development groups at Microsoft as well as other organizations, so that some of the attack vectors can be closed by changes to OS designs, rather than relying on after-the-fact malware discovery and removal. So, I see the providers of free anti-malware programs as part of the solution; For-profit security providers have no incentive to wish for improvements in prevention, since it undermines their potential profits. It's the old, "Why sell a cure if you can make more money selling on-going treatment?" problem.
But nevertheless, this is something that Microsoft didn't have to do, and their community-oriented decision deserves to be lauded.
|Microsoft decided to switch to a free product because there are still so many PCs out there that lack any antivirus software. |
It will be interesting to see how much making this free will change that situation. I don't believe it will make much of an impact.
People don't install antivirus for a number of reasons, and one is that they simply don't realise how much they need it. The other is that it's not convenient. It's not as though free antivirus is a new concept.
With all the other free anti-virus software out there, why not add M$ to the list.
I do partly believe they owe it to us because as was mentioned, part of the problem is the vulnerable software that M$ puts out. Not to let the jerks who launch these virsus off the hook.
Will this not lead to anti-virus / internet security companies taking Microsoft to court. The last thing Microsoft needs is more court cases against them (for doing the correct thing!).
Until internet security systems is built into every PC and mobile device sold then the problem will still continue, as previously mentioned many people just either do not care or do not know enough about using computers on the Internet in regard to security.
I like what Microsoft is planning - I for one will stick with my existing paid internet security application and firewall.
Brilliant move. May be the most important and useful spam/spyware reduction we have ever seen.
|May be the most important and useful spam/spyware reduction we have ever seen. |
It would have been if they had top anti-virus software, which they don't. But at least now maybe they bundle it into Windows 7 so that every new install is covered, maybe even add it to updates of older OSes (though here anti-virus companies might have an issue).
Bravo Microsoft... Bravo!
Wondering how long it'll take for the EU to hit them with anti-trust issues.
|Wondering how long it'll take for the EU to hit them with anti-trust issues. |
Surely not on this one. Browsers were one thing, but surely AV software would be different.
Expecially as (as noted) it could be seen as clearing up an unnecessary mess of their own making
>> With all the other free anti-virus software out there, why not add M$ to the list.
Sure but this is, or will be, already loaded either via updates or in every windows PC.
>>>Wondering how long it'll take for the EU to hit them with anti-trust issues
I see your point, but security is essential now in a wired world, so it's as important a MS software that prevents hard drive crashes. Integrating them will ruin a few companies but it's needed.
Correct me if I am wrong but they are going in circles.
A few years ago there was a top rated anti-spyware product that won lots of awards and had a free non-commercial version.
So Microsoft bought it, bloated it, ruined it, and then stopped updating it.
Oh here it is: [en.wikipedia.org...]
Maybe they should just save time and buy Avast and ruin it too?
|GIANT Antispyware |
So Microsoft bought it, bloated it, ruined it, and then stopped updating it.
That's not correct. MS turned that product into Microsoft Antispyware which then morphed into Windows Defender. I just got new definition updates for that product yesterday. It's integrated into Windows Update and patches and updates are offered regularly.
|In a surprise move, Microsoft has announced it will offer a free anti-virus and security solution from the second half of next year.... |
The new software, code-named Morro, will be a no-frills program suited to smaller and less powerful computers....
Microsoft said that Morro would be designed specifically to be a small-footprint program that uses fewer system resources.
If it really is lean and it works, I for one will be astonished.
If it gains any significant market share, I imagine virus-writers will be more than happy or am I just being cynical?.
[edited by: bill at 1:21 am (utc) on Nov. 20, 2008]
[edit reason] tidy up [/edit]
>>It would have been if they had top anti-virus software, which they don't.
I love it. They haven't even launched the product and already someone knows it's no good. ;)
Great move from Microsoft! The internet needs this!
Good for MS. Even if it's half baked, it's better than nothing, which is what most people run.
I hope it doesn't trigger an EU anti-trust case. MS launched anti-spyware (Defender) without hassle, so hopefully AV vendors will live and let live. I don't think it really poses a serious threat to most AV outfits.
now I'm going to go have a lie down and recover from saying something nice about MS
|This is great news... Thank you, Microsoft! |
Yup, potentially putting all the anti-virus companies, often with superior products, out of business is always good news. Just like it was good news when MS nuked Netscape with a free browser, nuked all the email competitors giving it away, etc.
I don't like it, not at all, DOJ should've broke 'em up the first time.
Isn't that defender which has been out for two years?
The issue here is that Microsoft may be the last company you should trust to do the best job of writing antivirus software for their own products, strange as that may sound.
It's like a police officer asking a parent to tell all the worst things about their own kids to the officer. Probably not going to happen and even if it does the officer wouldn't trust it.
Now, ask some other kids at school who don't like the kid and you might get some more interesting info.
The other kids at school (McAffe, Symantec, et all) might not have as much internal knowledge about Microsoft's products - but neither do the virus writers.
To put it another way, if Microsoft is their own antivirus company then who watches the watchers?
Microsoft's job is to harden their OS and apps to reduce the POSSIBILITY of viruses, malware, etc. That's where they should put their resources.
All that being said, something is better than nothing - but you can get SOMETHING for free from other companies anyway.
|The issue here is that Microsoft may be the last company you should trust to do the best job of writing antivirus software for their own products, strange as that may sound. |
I don't trust their security stuff as far as I can drag and drop it in a trash can.
|something is better than nothing |
Something inferior for free that lulls people into a false sense of security and drives out some of the competition is hardly better than nothing.
Unfortunately the 800lb gorilla in the AV space is also far from the best.
The little guys will start dropping like flies or get absorbed into an inept larger competitor and the superior technology which defends my computer will get scuttled away never to be seen again.
Good point about the false sense of security, incrediBILL. This will happen a lot, I'm sure. "It's not my fault my machine was infected and ended up leaking all of our corporate secrets, I was running MICROSOFT'S antivirus, the company standard!"
MS has had OneCare out there since 2006. Has it made a dent in the equally inferior Symantec and McAfee sales? Not much.
Anyone serious about AV will still read industry reports and opt for the better packages. The markets for AV are a lot more mature than you give credit. Everyone isn't going to rush into the arms of MS as soon as this is released, but it might protect the new users or those who don't have the ability to pay right off the bat. This is targeted at the lowest common denominator; the free market. Having something, anything, on your machine is better than nothing.
All this does is force the other AV makers to create and offer better products. That hasn't been much of a challenge to date. I hardly see this as the whole fox in the chicken-coop scenario.
This might cripple some of the free AV software providers, but I don't see it making much of a difference for the 800lbs gorillas...unless the MS product is really good. I'm all for competition in the markets.
[edited by: bill at 2:38 am (utc) on Nov. 21, 2008]
Microsoft sort of has an edge in this case. Call it backweb or whatever you want, but the freebie av can be loaded during the auto update process. Many other freeware types of av can't do that.
So people may get the security loaded whether they like it or not.
|MS has had OneCare out there since 2006. Has it made a dent in the equally inferior Symantec and McAfee sales? Not much. |
You're right, it is FUD, all MS FUD
Previously OneCare was WhoCares because all the big computer vendors were shoving Norton or whatever in the box.
If MS puts this free stuff in the box people won't want to pay for Norton.
|I don't see it making much of a difference for the 800lbs gorillas |
That's what the 800lb gorillas of browsers and email once thought.
That's how it started with Internet Explorer and Netscape.
I was there at ground zero at Lotus when MS gave away email and nuked an entire industry so don't tell me about FUD as I've been royally FUD'd by Microsoft before and it's easy to see it coming for the AV industry ;)
Not to mention those poor people that made DoubleSpace, pesky patents didn't even get in MS's way!
[edited by: incrediBILL at 3:55 am (utc) on Nov. 21, 2008]
|If MS puts this free stuff in the box people won't want to pay for Norton. |
...and that's a bad thing? Symantec's bloatware is hardly something I'd recommend these days. Maybe this might light a little fire under them to get their act together.
|That's how it started with Internet Explorer and Netscape. |
Yeah, and now we have FireFox...
...and at the same time I was stuck in the trenches at company that forced the Lotus Suite/Notes on thousands of poor staff. Lotus had a huge edge over MS in Japan. Good riddance to that package. The MS product was infinitely better on the user end and much more preferable from the Admin side of things IMHO. (Certainly no disrespect to your contributions intended BILL)
|I was there at ground zero at Lotus when MS gave away email and nuked an entire industry |
Sure MS steamrolled over a bunch of companies. I don't agree with it all either. I just don't think that in this case you'll see history repeat itself in the way that you're predicting.
If supplied free with new PCs, this will certainly harm the fortunes of those AV suppliers that have their products bundled with new PCs today. However, since I'm not aware of any such product that is worth having, I'm not overly concerned by this policy.
There is an anti-trust argument here, but not a big one. If the user is given a choice of AV software at installation, I think that should be sufficient. Perhaps this is something that OEM installation disks could provide. And if they did, maybe they could offer other choices such as different browsers. It has puzzled me for some time that AV software is commonly bundled with new PCs but, for instance, Firefox is not.
|It has puzzled me for some time that AV software is commonly bundled with new PCs but, for instance, Firefox is not. |
Possibly because Firefox is free, and therefore does not add value.
"Buy my PC over their PC cos mine has hard disk space used up with something you can get for free anyway" does not work as well as "get a £40 AV package free"
edit- fixed quote
[edited by: Shaddows at 12:38 pm (utc) on Nov. 21, 2008]
A computer is a tool, therefore its value should be measured in terms of how useful/convenient it is, etc. Insofar as about 20% of users have installed Firefox themselves and it is considered to be more secure than Internet Explorer, I think it is reasonable to conclude that it would add value.
Two more-or-less identical computers are next to each other in a shop at the same price. One comes with a selection of quality free programs preinstalled (or on a combined utilities CD) but the other does not. Which is likely to sell more?
I suspect the reason that such software is typically not bundled is legal - it might appear that the vendor is selling the free software (which is not normally permitted). However, in most cases, it should be possible to get permission for a nominal fee. Magazines were doing this 20 years ago.
|forced the Lotus Suite/Notes |
The IT for that product stunk, but then again, that wasn't email either.
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