October 02, 2004

Microsoft Planning to Offer Anti-Spyware and Antivirus Software?

Thanks to a link from Techdirt, Bill Gates may feel our pain. According to a CNet News story, Mr. Gates has experienced malware firsthand:

"This malware thing is so bad," he said in a speech at the Computer History Museum here. "Now that's the one that has us really needing to jump in." It's also a problem that has affected Gates personally. He said his home PCs have had malware, although he has personally never been affected by a virus. "I have had malware, (adware), that crap" on some home machines, he said.
Sounds like he's a bit peeved. However, no news yet on when Microsoft would offer anti-spyware software:
"Gates said Microsoft will offer software to detect malicious applications and that the company will keep it up-to-date on an ongoing basis. He did not say when the software would be available or whether Microsoft would charge for it."
Regarding the giant's entry into the antivirus market, the above CNet article references another back from June 2004:
"Our plan is to make antivirus part of our pay-for product offerings," she [Amy Carroll, director of product management for Microsoft's Security Business and Technology Unit] said. "But we don't have specific (antivirus) product plans right now." The comments come almost exactly a year after the company bought a Romanian antivirus firm, GeCAD--a move that set off speculation that the giant was going to turn its attention to dominating the antivirus market.
My concern, and I'm sure that of many, is that Microsoft's approach to security leaves much to be desired. Would it would add value to have these solutions seamlessly integrated with other Microsoft products? Or would it be a larger security risk to put all one's eggs into the same basket? I'm not planning to abandon Symantec's excellent antivirus offerings nor effective anti-spyware products such as Ad-Aware and Spybot Search & Destroy just yet. Microsoft will definitely need to prove itself in these markets.

Best quote of the day, from Techdirt: "Anyone want to suggest BillG start using Firefox to protect himself?"

Topic(s):   Privacy & Security
Posted by Jeff Beard
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