Microsoft announced today their desktop client security tool. In one neat package, you get desktop antispyware and antivirus. A lot of people are liking the beta version of Microsoft's antispyware tool, so if they're keeping doing things right, it could be a hit.
The real discussion item is: why did Microsoft feel obligated to release this while there are tons of vendors out there?
Here is an attempt to make sense of all this:
1- Microsoft, for all intents and purposes, always gets the blame. Whatever happens, public opinions reflect that Microsoft's to blame. They by far the largest OS vendor, so it's good criminal thinking to target the largest.
2- Software vendors, especially antivirus vendors, have done a poor job of acquiring customers. In a nutshell, who extends that free 60/90 day trial that comes with your PC, Dell or otherwise? Retail users feel cheated as well to buy every year. Newbies are not educated. Put that in a bowl, mix, and you get a pretty good sense of Microsoft's problem. Do I secure or rely on someone else? They've been pushed so far that they're taking matters in their own hands.
3- By adding such tools, they must be hoping to proactively react (yep, you read that right) to security holes that they can't patch in time by eliminimating undesirables which exploit them
Overall, too bad for Symantec & McAfee, they're the ones to loose the most out of this. My expectation when I get my hands on the product, is to find a decent product with basic features for Mr & Ms everybody.
This entry has been contributed by Creative Reporter Jean Pascal Hebert, President, Socius Technologies. He has been involved with security vendors for the past 8 years in sales, marketing, relationship management roles. Having worked at Symantec and Sybari Software, consulted for LastSpam.com and Vircom, he has developed expertise which enables vendors to maximize their potential through strategic relationsips.