February 24, 2004

Microsoft to include antivirus in XPSP2?

According to Internet News Microsoft has now included anti-virus technology into the next beta of XPSP2. I guess its not all entirely suprising, since they did BUY a Romanian anti-virus company.

What gets me about this is that if the article is true, Microsoft is turning on itself. While buying the antivirus company Mike Nash (a Microsoft VP in charge of the security business unit) told anti-virus vendors that their product lines were safe. One of his quotes was that he promises that Microsoft "wouldn't be encroaching on their space". I wouldn't be suprised now if Symantec and McAfee cry foul and look into antitrust suits. Especially since the article points out that some anti-virus products have compatibility problems running now on SP2.

I don't know what to make of it. From a business point of view its sad to see Microsoft squeeze out more players in this field. However, the fact users will get a FREE anti-virus product is worth noting. Personally I would have rather seen Microsoft partner with the antivirus and firewall vendors and capitalize on those companies' expertise, rather than acquiring the technology and folding it into their business as 'yet another product'. Focus what you are good at, and let other businesses focus on their core competencies. Everyone could make more money... and we would have vastly superior products out there.

Posted by SilverStr at February 24, 2004 02:48 PM | TrackBack

Except that from what I understand of Gates' personality from an autobiography, losing is not an option. You have to be #1. Have to be. So letting an opportunity to squeeze out more money is something that must be taken.

Funnily enough, this lets them make money off their poor security standards. Problems with viruses and worms? Subscribe to our low rate virus definition files!

It'd be interesting to see if this will be a "lite" version of an AV product, like their built in zip program, or full featured. I'm also interested to hear how a company like winzip is doing now that there is no need to buy their product since XP came out with built in zip technology.

Posted by: Arcterex at February 24, 2004 03:13 PM

Interesting comment about the impact on WinZip. TBH, I have no clue how to even USE the Windows zip facilities.

With any luck, thats exactly how the firewall and antivirus will be worked into Windows. It should just "work".

Posted by: SilverStr at February 24, 2004 05:02 PM

Internet News has since corrected their story - there is no built in antivirus software. Rather, the security center will detect most third-party antivirus software and help the user ensure that it is up to date.

Posted by: Matt Setzer at February 25, 2004 10:20 AM

Thanks for pointing that out Matt.

The corrected link can be found at http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3317211

I'm happy to see this corrected. Prevents people from calling Mr. Nash a lier ;-)

Posted by: SilverStr at February 25, 2004 12:01 PM

Interesting, see that is far *less* evil than the original sensationalistic article posted by Dana, who is obviously in league with those hippy pot smoking "leenukes" people.


No, seriously, it is far less evil.

Posted by: Arcterex at February 25, 2004 10:22 PM


Smart ass.

Ya, I was happy to hear that the original article was corrected. I am pleased to find out that Microsoft is working WITH anti-virus vendors instead of against them. Companies like Symantec and Network Associates have expertise in this area... Microsoft SHOULD be tapping into that.

Posted by: SilverStr at February 25, 2004 10:40 PM

It was funny to read the slashdot fall-out on this... would it be GOOD for Microsoft to protect customers with a built-in AV, or would it BAD that they were potentially putting the AV vendors out of business? Always good for a laugh :-)

Posted by: Peter Torr at February 28, 2004 10:51 PM