November 21, 2011, 12:27 PM —
Rather quietly, Microsoft announced they will build anti-virus protection into Windows 8, rather than ask users to download Security Essentials as they do in Windows 7. Will that help consumers, or hurt AV companies?
In a blog post at Sophos, an antivirus company, the writer says it will hurt companies that rely on consumer sales, like Sophos does. So does that mean it's good for consumers then? Maybe, but maybe not. If every consumer that gets Windows 8 on their new computer never beefs up their protection beyond the antivirus included by Microsoft, won't that leave a universe of vulnerable computers to attack for the malware writers?
On the other hand, should Microsoft just patch their seemingly never-ending list of security holes as part of their job? Their insecure software created the need for malware companies in the first place. So if Microsoft includes better security in Windows 8, are they hurting the AV companies, or helping the consumer?
Personally, I don't think vendors will have a whole lot to worry about, especially as untrustworthy as Microsoft has always been known to be.
Rockin Rotty on sophos.com
It's like having the fox guard the henhouse! It was never a good idea - look at how they hid the *DLL's in Office in the 90's.
Scott on sophos.com
why would I want to buy an OS that is flawed and needs to be fixed by buying third-party products? Microsoft adressing that issue isn't something I perceive as great news, it's rather sad they shipped windows so insecurely for such a long time.
derwildemomo on news.ycombinator.com
Basically: Microsoft is telling malware authors "If you can't beat our AV, you need to stop trying to make malware" but at the same time hinting "If you CAN beat it... well, feel free to take these millions and millions of computers with ignorant users on them!".
Guest99 on sophos.com
We love viruses
Let me get this right. Microsoft don't ship Windows with anti-virus and everyone screams about viruses. Now, when Microsoft does ship Windows with anti-virus, these same people scream about anti-competitive behaviur.
Dr Stabissmus on geek.com
This is great news. About 90% of the problems that I help people with result from expired virus software.
Matt Coger on geek.com
I don't think this will really have that much of an impact any time in the near future, but if it does, it will probably make malware nastier and antivirus software better, and it will still be business-as-usual for support companies, which means it won't really improve consumers' lives much.
thaumaturgy on news.ycombinator.com
Slapping AV companies
I would be more bothered if other vendors anti-malware wasn't terrible. Every virus-like behavior I've seen over the past several years was actually anti-malware misbehaving.
three14 on news.ycombinator.com
I currently use Security Essentials on my box, it runs great. Its light on resources and it doesn't have all the unneeded bloat that many vendors install.
Jim on sophos.com
Just shows again that few ever agree with what Microsoft does.