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WinMX World :: Forum  |  Discussion  |  WinMx World News  |  Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
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Offline DaBees-Knees

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Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« on: November 09, 2010, 06:06:03 pm »
http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20022148-245.html?tag=topStories1

Quote
Two security software makers are complaining about Microsoft using its update service to deliver its free antivirus software to Windows users who don't have such protection on their computers.

No, it's not 1998. And we're talking about allowing customers to choose whether they want the software, rather than bundling a particular browser--say Internet Explorer--on Windows.



Microsoft began making its Security Essentials software available to customers through its Microsoft Update service as an optional download on November 1 for U.S. customers and October 19 for U.K. customers. It offers the download only to customers who do not have an antivirus solution that is detectable by Microsoft's Action Center.

"Despite the broad availability of anti-malware software, we still find that many consumer and small business PCs remain unprotected," the company said in a statement to CNET on Monday. By offering the free antivirus download, "we make it easy for those who want and know they need protection, but for whatever reason have not gotten around to installing it. Now they can download the software when they perform their other system updates without having to search the Web or make a special trip to the store."

Who can argue with a company offering people a free download of security software if they want it? Trend Micro and Panda Security, that's who. Executives from both companies claim the move is anticompetitive because Microsoft is leveraging its update service that downloads software to millions of Windows computers to plant its own antivirus software on systems.

"This will end up in action taken, especially in Europe," Panda Chief Executive Juan Santana told CNET in an interview on Friday afternoon. He stopped short of saying that Panda would lodge an official complaint. "We will monitor the situation," he said.

"Commercializing Windows Update to distribute other software applications raises significant questions about unfair competition," Carol Carpenter, general manager of the consumer and small business group at Trend Micro, told Computerworld late last week. "Windows Update is a de facto extension of Windows, so to begin delivering software tied to updates has us concerned," she said. "Windows Update is not a choice for users, and we believe it should not be used this way."

Reached for comment today, Trend Micro spokesman Alan Wallace told CNET that the company had no further comment beyond what was already reported.

Beyond the anticompetition concerns, Panda Security has other gripes. For instance, Pedro Bustamante, a senior research adviser at Panda, said Microsoft Security Essentials is insufficient protection compared with other free antivirus products that offer multiple layers of security such as Web filtering and behavior blocking. And from a global overall security perspective, Microsoft's plan is flawed because it will only get installed on computers with a valid license to run Windows and will thus leave millions of unlicensed computers unprotected, he wrote in a blog post today.

In addition, the move will create a "monoculture" with millions of computers running the same antivirus software. That means malicious hackers can infect all those machines if they are able to bypass only one antivirus program instead of having to get past multiple programs, Bustamante said.

"In summary, while it's commendable that Microsoft is trying to protect users, offering only 'their' basic MSE antivirus provides neither sufficient protection against today's threats nor does it solve the malware problem of millions upon millions of pirated PCs who will continue spreading viruses. In fact, it can easily achieve the contrary by making it easier for hackers to infect users," Bustamante wrote. "Microsoft should offer the complete portfolio of more advanced and secure alternatives of free antivirus products and time-limited versions of paid security suites, allowing users to choose any of them from the Optional Windows/Microsoft Update."

Several analysts dismissed Bustamante's arguments, as well as the antitrust concerns and said Microsoft's plan was a good thing for Internet security overall and offering any security protection was better than offering none at all.

"I think the vendors are simply complaining because Microsoft is the dominant vendor on PCs in the world," said Don Retallack, research vice president for systems management and security at Directions on Microsoft. "Other security vendors do offer a wider range of tools that go far beyond what Security Essentials provides...so I think there is still a place for other vendors and they're not being squeezed out."

"Microsoft is not bundling (its antivirus software) with the operating system. That's where the line typically is drawn with antitrust issues," said Neil MacDonald, a vice president and fellow at Gartner market research firm. "You could make an argument that it's in the best interest of consumers and the rest of the world to have more people protecting their machines. That's a good thing."

However, a colleague of his had a different take on the matter. Given Microsoft's history fighting antitrust claims, the company would be wise to avoid leveraging its Windows dominance to increase the market share for its other software or avoid even the mere appearance of doing so, said Gartner analyst John Pescatore.

"There is still sensitivity to that issue in Europe even if there isn't in the U.S. If it looks like they're using that solution to bundle in essentially a security program that competes with other players, then there are concerns," he said in an interview. "They still have huge competitive advantage."

Pescatore suggested that Microsoft add other antivirus software to its list of options for its update service. "They would be better off making sure they are helping people install any security software that's out there," he said. "I'm sure Panda and Trend Micro would be happy to participate."

A Microsoft spokeswoman did not immediately have comment to that suggestion or to the antitrust concerns.

Much as there is a great need for all computers to be protected. Microsoft trying to take the moral high ground for commercial gain is becoming a bad habit that they would fight long and hard if anyone else did it.  :gum:

Offline Pri

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2010, 07:04:13 pm »
I've been using Microsoft Security Essentials on my Desktop since it entered Public Beta a while ago. I think it is awesome. 6MB memory usage, very fast scanning, great detecting and it's free. Can't really ask for more especially with all the bloatware everyone else is offering (Norton for example)

Offline Bieb

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2010, 07:37:12 pm »
On my windows computer I do use Microsoft security essential and my opinions mirror everything that Pri has said.  It's a great anti viruses, minus all the nonsense that is norton, mcaffee, avg, avast.




Offline GhostShip

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2010, 12:37:06 am »
The microsoft love-in continues I see  :lol:

Who can really trust microsoft with such things when they have already confirmed that there are multiple back doors in their latest product win7, its like asking the poacher to act as the gamekeeper.

Offline White Stripes

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2010, 04:05:38 am »
dont macs come bundled with apple made AV software since the release of the 'snow leopard' version of OSX?

the 'lead you by the hand' OS is unfortunatly here to stay :/



Offline Bluey_412

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2010, 07:55:39 am »
And I'm sure i read in all that, it's an option, likely an opt-in option...
Just a lil thought, but it COULD dampen the shouts of the naysayers...
What you think is important is rarely urgent
But what you think is Urgent is rarely important

Just remember that...

Offline Pri

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2010, 09:59:28 am »
The microsoft love-in continues I see  :lol:

Who can really trust microsoft with such things when they have already confirmed that there are multiple back doors in their latest product win7, its like asking the poacher to act as the gamekeeper.

I wouldn't really call it a love in. It's a good product. They released it because they are unable to secure Windows without taking away the users ability to run non-Microsoft certified software (Like Apples iPhone & iPad and Microsofts Windows Phone 7) - The Antivirius they are giving away for free is the best they can do under the circumstances.
dont macs come bundled with apple made AV software since the release of the 'snow leopard' version of OSX?

the 'lead you by the hand' OS is unfortunatly here to stay :/

No Apple does not ship an Antivirus in Snow Leopard. Inside OS X there is a system where disk images (.dmg files) are mounted by the operating system for you to install software. Some people maliciously took Apples software like iWork and iLife stripped the installers put some spyware inside and then remade them and posted them on the pirate bay. These pieces of spyware are then downloaded by Pirates and when they run the installer it asks for the users Username and Password. The dumb users think this is normal for the Installer and give it, then the spyware installs itself alongside the Apple software. To combat this Apple merely put a list of 6 pieces of spyware in to the DMG Mounter so that it can check them as it mounts them. It doesn't scan stuff, it doesn't run all the time, only as you mount DMG's it does a file check inside the DMG for something matching the CRC codes Apple has chosen to include.
And I'm sure i read in all that, it's an option, likely an opt-in option...
Just a lil thought, but it COULD dampen the shouts of the naysayers...

Yep its an optional download. I saw it in my own Windows Update a while ago under [Optional Installs]

Offline GhostShip

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2010, 08:54:19 pm »
What happens if we like to say nay to this monopolist move ?  :lol:

You have to ask yourself just what company is it that refuses to support the majority operating system globally, a shortsighted one it seems.

Offline Bluey_412

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2010, 08:57:39 pm »
that's allowed...
What you think is important is rarely urgent
But what you think is Urgent is rarely important

Just remember that...

Offline Bieb

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2010, 11:48:06 pm »
What happens if we like to say nay to this monopolist move ?  :lol:

You have to ask yourself just what company is it that refuses to support the majority operating system globally, a shortsighted one it seems.

A company that clearly wants technology to keep advancing forward instead of being stuck in the past.

Offline Pri

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2010, 11:51:40 pm »
What happens if we like to say nay to this monopolist move ?  :lol:

You have to ask yourself just what company is it that refuses to support the majority operating system globally, a shortsighted one it seems.

Personally I think it is irrational for everything a company does to be put down to a monopolist thing. I don't believe that security should come under such terms. At what point is Microsoft broken up and operating systems outlawed on the grounds of a monopoly? At what point are we forced to buy parts from all different companies. Kernel here, Networking Stack there, User Interface here. There comes a point where you need to just step back and look at the big picture, windows is being attacked from every angle any time you put it on the internet any and all free security software be that made by Microsoft or not is welcome. I commend Microsoft for making it available for free as it shows they take the problem seriously and there really is little for them to benefit as the Anti-virus has no advertisements, if anything they distribute it at a loss.

Offline GhostShip

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2010, 01:27:10 am »
Driving the competition out of another market by abusing your current monopoly in another field is a pretty low blow, its a plain and simple monopolist move unless your wearing "redmond blinkers", have you ever come across the term  "loss leader" ? I ask as you seem to have not made mention is what is a common monopolist strategy, sell at a loss now to smash the competition and then when they have all gone to the wall with their specialist staff laid off you have a clear field and can rip folks off at will.

It seems your post is pretty long defending this O/S monopolist company is this because you have plenty of time to waste what with microsoft taking care of all your business for you  ?  :lol: :lol: :lol:

Some of us have been cleaning up after microsofts "Help" for the last 25 years and btw its not just me who says they are a monopolist company ask your own justice dept and the EU commissioners are we all wrong and Pri and Steve right ?

Offline MinersLantern

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2010, 06:09:54 am »
Free Antivirus software?! OMG! what the hell does M$ think its doing, trying to take over the world?
There are already at least a dozen free antivirus software companies around. M$ isnt the first and wont be the last. Its amusing to me how 'europe', as the story called it, would have a problem with that and attempt to stop it. Reality is 'Europe' == some small group of lawyers wanting to line their pockets coupled with the minority in 'Europe' who are Still upset that the US won the revolutionary war, similar to the same types who moan and complain that the US fooled the world with lies and then invaded Iraq when the majority of the world (including 'Europe') verified by their own words and evidence that there were WMD in Iraq and suggested an invasion to stop it. Perhaps M$ should just ban the export of anything involving windows outside of the US and then enforce that with lawsuits of its own. When you go to update windows dont just blindly cliick away and allow stuff to automatically happen. You can say yes or no to virtually every update on their site before it goes in. Do these people also go around signing any piece of paper, like sales contracts too? It wouldnt surprise me, and I have no pity for people who passively lay back and say 'do me as you wish' when something happens that they dont approve of. Should have thought of that first and clicked install later. Really, it seems people can never be satisfied with anything. If they hate M$ so much why dont they just format drive C and install Linux instead?
This comment from a guy who isnt particularly delighted by M$ himself ffs.

Offline achilles

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2010, 07:07:35 am »
Well i see Norton mentioned as bloatware, and some people maybe don't like the fact that Microsoft offers a free Av. I don't see anything wrong with Microsoft offering a free AV though their not my choice of security software.  Ok, Norton is no longer bloatware. I test security software on a daily basis. Norton has been releasing good quality software for the last 3 years. Yes, they most definitely got bloated for a while, but i have to give them credit for revamping their software to a much lighter version than previous years .  Unfortunately it seems most security software companies have their lemon years.  Its so hard to find a good Security Company that releases consistent good quality products every year.  Its just the truth. As far as a year or 2 from now; i don't know.  Maybe Norton will become bloated  again.  I do not use Norton myself, but i did install it on some family, and friends PC's because it one of those install, and forget softwares.  It does not require much interaction so its good for unskilled users. Norton is still not my choice of software.  I myself use NOD 32, or Avira for my AV, and Online Armor for my firewall. I also use Prevx, and Shadow Defender on all my PC's. Another program very affective at stopping any malware is Appguard from Blue Ridge Networks, and it becomes 64bit compatible the 15th of this month. Its a really good anti-executable.  I suspect it may have a few bugs to work out early on just as most do when making the leap to 64bit compatibility, but i'm sure its going to be top notch in time.  A layered approach has always worked for me, and i have never been infected by anything unless it went undetected. There are lots of other good methods like using SRP, but you have to decide what works best for you.  For anyone serious about security I would suggest you try Shadow Defender if you have not already. Its a great light virtuallization software.
I'm a Hardware, and Cyber Security Guy.

Offline achilles

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2010, 07:11:14 am »
Well, i got an Apache server error saying i sent a request that the server could not understand. It seems it posted anyway so thats the reason for the double post above. I'm continuing to get this message each time i post.  Strange.
I'm a Hardware, and Cyber Security Guy.

Offline Pri

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2010, 08:24:47 am »
Driving the competition out of another market by abusing your current monopoly in another field is a pretty low blow, its a plain and simple monopolist move unless your wearing "redmond blinkers", have you ever come across the term  "loss leader" ? I ask as you seem to have not made mention is what is a common monopolist strategy, sell at a loss now to smash the competition and then when they have all gone to the wall with their specialist staff laid off you have a clear field and can rip folks off at will.

It seems your post is pretty long defending this O/S monopolist company is this because you have plenty of time to waste what with microsoft taking care of all your business for you  ?  :lol: :lol: :lol:

Some of us have been cleaning up after microsofts "Help" for the last 25 years and btw its not just me who says they are a monopolist company ask your own justice dept and the EU commissioners are we all wrong and Pri and Steve right ?

Maybe Microsoft should unbundle the UI since Stardock make Windows Blinds, maybe they should unbundle the Kernel and we can use GNU/Linux. If 'Ifs' and 'Buts' were candy and nuts etc

You know exactly what I mean before. Security is a bigger issue than Monopolies. And Microsoft you may remember brought IE out to go against rival pay browsers and Microsoft has still not been able to monetize IE. They still distribute it for free and at a loss. It's been 15 years since they debuted that, bout time they started gouging us? - By the way what browser do you use again? Oh hats right IE6 from the monopolist king. Why aren't you saying that's crap and using an alternative? It was after-all only introduced to kill competition.

I do not deny that Microsoft has a Monopoly over the market. Nor did I ever say such a thing. What I said was Security baked in to operating systems should be one of the areas where it is except from competition laws because good security is paramount. Let us not forget what happened with MS Blaster and Sasser only a few years ago, it made headline news, airports, armies, and businesses were ground to a halt. And all could have been avoided had better security been implemented.

Also I don't like the fact that there are companies able to profit through the insecurity of an operating system and then cry to the EU and other governmental bodies when the maker of the operating system tries to secure it better. An Antivirus is the obvious way to do it and the only alternative really is to stop allowing consumers to run unsigned software.

Offline White Stripes

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2010, 09:55:23 am »
they monetized IE in the business sector (intranet not internet) just fine... then found they had a bit of a problem with updating to IE7 cos so many businesses relied on the broken mshtml and activex controls of IE6 for so many years....

yes... permanently glueing IE to windows did infact make microsoft money... they knocked netscape out of the arena and broke the w3c standards so badly that using an alternative interface for said intranet was not possible...

...that it gave webdevs migranes on the web is another story...

however MS security essentials is infact optional (for now... im not holding my breath...) so its not entirely monopolistic...

as for what the future holds for security essentials.... well... when its not an option then theres a case...

Offline Pri

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2010, 10:15:28 am »
Would you mind telling me how they made money from that Silver because you didn't mention how they made money from it.

Offline GhostShip

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2010, 10:29:30 am »
If it wasnt for those third parties finding the holes in the first place MS systems would be down more than up, as I said I see this as a loss leader if anything and its plain to me ms are misusing their monopoly position to drive out competition, this isnt the first time they have done this sort of thing recently, have we forgotten their refusal to co-operate with many of the larger anti virus companies and their licence scam that means developers have to pay them for a licence or win7 declares your program as "unknown" and potentially harmful ?

A scams a scam dont be fooled by the expensive suits behind it.


Offline White Stripes

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Re: Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2010, 11:10:32 am »
mind pri im not talking about now im talking about then ... 'then' being the commonplace windows 98,  the shiny new windows 2000... they didnt make money on IE in specific... they made money on copies of windows... after all, if your corporate intranet is stuck using the IE/ActiveX combo then you ceartainly couldnt throw a mac (for example) in there... not the macs made back then... it wouldnt support the activex controls or even the IE markup even tho there was an IE for mac.... ....but IE for mac used 'tasman' as a rendering engine... not 'trident' like the windows version... so it may have well been two totally different pieces of software....

add to that SMB, windows terminal services, and a variety of other things and the purchase of windows workstations is garanteed unless the company wants to go all out on replacing their infrastructure.... IE just helped dig MS heels in deeper....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft

Quote
Underlying these disputes were questions over whether Microsoft altered or manipulated its application programming interfaces (APIs) to favor Internet Explorer over third party web browsers, Microsoft's conduct in forming restrictive licensing agreements with original equipment manufacturer (OEMs), and Microsoft's intent in its course of conduct.

there is even still two version of flash... one for activex (internet explorer and windows itself) and one for all the other browsers.... a bit odd... no?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend_and_extinguish

Quote
"Embrace, extend and extinguish,"[1] also known as "Embrace, extend, and exterminate,"[2] is a phrase that the U.S. Department of Justice found[3] was used internally by Microsoft[4] to describe its strategy for entering product categories involving widely used standards, extending those standards with proprietary capabilities, and then using those differences to disadvantage its competitors.

emphasis mine... think 'html' as the standard in this case... modified and broken html thats hard (and expensive) to migrate away from...

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