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The Netscaping of Symantec and McAfee

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the sounds-painful dept.

385

rs232 writes to mention a C|Net article about the uncertain future of the popular anti-virus software companies. "I mention Netscape because, if you believe Symantec and McAfee, a similar situation is about to unfold within the security industry. Microsoft, again recognizing late that it had failed to seize upon this thing called security, is now about to bundle its own security solutions within Windows Vista and further enforce new security policies that lock out some third-party security solutions altogether. Vendors Symantec and McAfee have looked into the future and realized that people may one day speak of them in the way that we now speak reverently of the early builds of Netscape."

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385 comments

symantec (1)

cnorrisjr (998373) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538248)

symantec does make firewalls as well.

Re:symantec (3, Insightful)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538402)

So does Microsoft. And it's on by default and "good enough".

Any monopoly isn't "good enough" (4, Insightful)

kf6auf (719514) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538710)

If there is a monopoly (or even an oligopoly) on antivirus software you can bet on virus writers will test their software to make sure that it is undetected. Having a wide range of antivirus programs is essential or else pretty soon and the major AV software sucks compared to anything else. While people with Vista Home Edition will likely run the Windows AV Software, IT departments at corporations will most likely stick with Symantec and McAfee or whatever else they have.

Re:symantec (3, Informative)

rbochan (827946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538776)

Do they? I thought they just bought out Atguard and bloated it all to hell and back like they did with Norton Utilities.

FP... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538252)

FP

This is NOT the same thing (5, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538254)

Netscape had a product, which filled in a need customers had: a web browser.

Symantect and McCafe are only parasites, leeching from Microsoft's -mistakes-. It was unevitable that Microsoft would one day try to fix those mistakes, and unlike things like Office Suites, it is Microsoft's -responsability- to fix this mistake, and it is a feature that SHOULD be part of an operating system (aka: security, though Microsoft's implementation is debatable).

Not only that, but McCafe's and Symantec's products are viruses of their own, doing unthinkable things to the operating system and screwing over their users: They are malwares. I, for one, HOPE these 2 companies die soon, or find a new business model.

Re:This is NOT the same thing (-1, Offtopic)

multisync (218450) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538362)

It was unevitable that Microsoft would one day try to fix those mistakes


"Me fail english? That's unpossible! [wikimedia.org]

Re:This is NOT the same thing (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538378)

not to mention that signature based antivirus is going to die, and companies who do av/as right (don't let unknown stuff run in the first place, instead of trying to clean up after the fact) are going to eat symantec/mcafee's lunch (bit9, etc.)

Re:This is NOT the same thing (5, Insightful)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538384)

Parasites, yes. But would you rather have them as a parasite or Microsoft to build its own set of Parasitic software. Unfortunately, Microsoft still isn't fixing their O/S to create something as secure as Linux or Mac ... they're just following the same path that McAfee and Symantec have in the past. What's worse is that Microsoft now has an incentive (although an unethical one) to create holes for viruses - they could create insecure code, put the fix in their OneCare product, then exclaim to the world that their virus scanner is the only one that protects against the vulnerability.

Re:This is NOT the same thing (5, Insightful)

Cherita Chen (936355) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538576)

What's worse is that Microsoft now has an incentive (although an unethical one) to create holes for viruses - they could create insecure code, put the fix in their OneCare product, then exclaim to the world that their virus scanner is the only one that protects against the vulnerability.

Ok, everyone... Let's put on our tin-foil hats now. Seriously, that's probably one of the silliest things I've heard (since listening to coast to coast AM w/Art bell).

Unethical things such as what you are describing are not common business practices, especially when you are talking about a multi-billion dollar software company. Perhaps you small start-up my do some stupid crap like that, but when you are talking about a corporation that employs tens of thousands of employees, it becomes more and more difficult to cover up garbage like you are describing. It would literally be the case of "Killing the goose that lays golden eggs" - for supper.

Re:This is NOT the same thing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538766)

Unethical things such as what you are describing are not common business practices, especially when you are talking about a multi-billion dollar software company.

It's also true that a multi-billion dollar energy company would never create a fictitious energy crisis purely to boost the earnings of a small number of their shareholders...

Re:This is NOT the same thing (2, Insightful)

Keeper (56691) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538828)

They weren't exactly able to keep it secret though, were they?

Seriously, when was the last time Microsoft made a product announcement that wasn't leaked weeks ahead of time?

Re:This is NOT the same thing (5, Interesting)

WhodoVoodoo (319477) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538826)

No, however it may suddenly be much less of a priority to the QA managers to ensure that releases are secure, because any flaw may then bolster a revenue stream for Microsoft. And anyhow if they don't catch it in time they could just push a stopgap to their own AV suite which everybody has by default based on their intimate, insider knowledge of their own territory.

My tinfoil hat might be a bit tight, but this does stink a bit. At the very least, what's going on is questionable.

Re:This is NOT the same thing (5, Insightful)

ctr2sprt (574731) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538622)

But would you rather have them as a parasite or Microsoft to build its own set of Parasitic software.

I don't think it makes business sense for them to use AV as a long-term patch. It takes a lot of time and energy to keep AV signatures up-to-date, which means it costs money. If MS intends to give away or sell below cost its AV software - which it would almost have to do in order to drive McAfee et al. out of business - they could be losing a whole lot of money. And of course, if MS eventually slacks off (as they did with IE) or starts charging big bucks for new signatures, competition will spring back up. Symantec, for example, is a fairly diversified company: I don't see them going broke even if NAV never sells another copy. (They own Veritas now, remember.)

The best use of AV software for MS is as a short-term patch until they can release a real one. Say a zero-day exploit of Outlook is discovered. A new signature can be rolled out in a few days to their AV client, giving them a little breathing room to develop a patch for Outlook and test it to make sure it doesn't break anything else. This way, MS would only have to target the very latest or most serious malware. I expect that would make maintenance of an AV system much easier and cheaper.

Of course, it may not happen that way. This is MS we're talking about. They might be doing this just because it offends their sensibilities to see someone else making money.

Re:This is NOT the same thing (5, Insightful)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538428)

There is a big difference between Symantec and Netscape. Netscape was a program that was superior to IE, because you could Compose as well for free. Symantec will never be free, and in fact breaks about as many systems as it protects in my experience. McAfee is about as horrible as Symantec. The world could do with a few less AV vendors.

Re:This is NOT the same thing (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538764)

Netscape was a program that was superior to IE, because you could Compose as well for free.

Disclaimer: Since moving over to a Windows PC, I have only ever used Netscape, then Mozilla, then FF as my main browser. I have never and probably will never use IE.

That said, Netscape 3 was better than IE 3. Netscape 4 was better than IE 3. Netscape 4 was worse than IE4, and wasn't even in the same league as IE 5. NN4 was slow, bloated, and crashed at the drop of a hat. IE4 was faster and much more stable, and IE 5 was better again. There were browser torture tests released during Mozilla development that IE 5 had no trouble with that utterly choked Netscape. Hell, you couldn't even resize Netscape's window without it having to re-request the page from the server!

Don't get me wrong, I used NN4 right up until around about the time that Mozilla M8 or M9 was released, but to say that NN was superior to IE because of Composer is one hell of a stretch, given that Navigator was barely usable.

Re:This is NOT the same thing (5, Interesting)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538454)

Agreed. This is like abortion clinics complaining about lost revenue when condom manufacturers reduce their failure rate.

And no, the fact that in this analogy the end-user is getting screwed either way is not lost on me.

Bemopolis

This IS the same thing (5, Insightful)

backwardMechanic (959818) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538460)

Symantec and McAfee are only in business because of Microsofts mistakes, true. I'd love to see them go out of business because MS had finally made a secure product. But that's not what MS are doing. Rather than making Windows secure, MS are making it difficult for the AV companies to operate. Sure, they're plugging Windows, but the wrong bits. It's not security, it's monopoly. We've seen this before.

Re:This is NOT the same thing (4, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538462)

Agreed: not the same thing. But for different reasons.

As far as antivirus software goes, Microsoft are charging for OneCare, just like Symantec and McAfee, whereas in the web browser market, IE and Netscape were given away for free. That is a significant difference. When people pay for something, they need to make a choice; just using the free web browser already installed on their computer isn't a choice, it's a default that people barely notice. Now, when people must make a conscious choice, it is harder to win them over. So, in this respect Symantec and McAfee seem safe. However, they will, at the minimum, need to share the market with Microsoft. And there is always the chance of Office repeating itself - a paying product in which Microsoft won a monopoly. Really, Wordperfect is the example we should have before our eyes, not Netscape, as far as antivirus software goes.

As for antispyware, Defender is given away for free. This is exactly like Netscape, and I expect the antispyware market to die out, except for antispyware that lives as part of a bundle with an antivirus, which is not free.

Re:This is NOT the same thing (2, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538464)

Microsoft bundling their own antivirus/antispyware is not fixing any mistake. The error lies in the security errors made by Microsoft and can only be fixed by eradicating those said errors. Antivirus does not in any way highten security in windows. All it does is mitigate the more commonly used viruses that has already struck enough people. Anybody making a directed attack against someone just flies through any antivirus. As long as the vulnerability used by the virus is still in there the problem exists and is a serious security threat. Antivirus should not be part of the OS in any way or form. The reason the antivirus inustry exists is that its pretty hard for Symantec, Mcaffe etc to patch holes/correct bad design choices in Windows. They have to sell antivirus to mitigate errors but im damn shure that if they could they would rather fix the holes used by the viruses. There is a reason that nobody in the linux camp is that thrilled about implementing anvtivirus functions. Its the wrong way to solve the problem of bad code, bad choices and contempt of security. I would have no problem if Symantec and the whole security industry vanished because microsoft suddenly made better products. The problem is they just skip the "more secure products" part and just swallows a band aid solution that dont really fix any of the inherent security problems in Windows.

Re:This is NOT the same thing (2, Insightful)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538506)

Netscape had a product, which filled in a need customers had: a web browser.

Symantect
[sic] and McCafe [sic] are only parasites, leeching from Microsoft's -mistakes-.

No matter what you think of them as companies, Symantec and McAfee were indeed fulfilling a need that Microsoft was ignoring.

It was unevitable [sic] that Microsoft would one day try to fix those mistakes, and unlike things like Office Suites, it is Microsoft's -responsability- [sic] to fix this mistake, and it is a feature that SHOULD be part of an operating system (aka: security, though Microsoft's implementation is debatable).

So ... you're saying it is not Microsoft's responsibility to fix mistakes in Office? Or that they just do it as a favor?

Also, you're missing the point. This is not like the Netscape vs MSIE war, where Microsoft simply relied on obscurities in their API, "home turf" advantage, and the "three E's" strategy for breaking standards. In Vista, Microsoft is actually trying to shut out third-party security products. Do you trust Microsoft to be your only source for security products? Should anyone??

Not only that, but McCafe's [sic] and Symantec's products are viruses of their own, doing unthinkable things to the operating system and screwing over their users: They are malwares. I, for one, HOPE these 2 companies die soon, or find a new business model.

Uh huh. Please explain what these "unthinkable things" are, and how they "screw over" their users. Let's not have any unsubstantiated and polarized name-calling.

Re:This is NOT the same thing (1)

Simon Donkers (950228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538530)

and it is a feature that SHOULD be part of an operating system
I fully agree, however it would be an entirely different situation I find when Microsoft would make a commercial product which you can buy a subscription for besides the cost of your OS to get secure.
1: You make a buggy OS
2: You create a new OS which still is buggy but which locks out programs to fix these bugs
3: Knowing your own product you write the only program that can correctly work together with your new OS to fix your own bugs and ask a subscription fee to do so.
4: ...
5: profit.

No they'll always be virus scanners (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538590)

Unless we move to a trusted computing model where MS (or someone else) decides what can and can't run we'll need virus scanners. Why? Because an OS isn't broken when it does what you ask it to. If you are the system administrator and you order your computer to execute something, it can't second guess you. It's job is to run the software. If that software happens to be evil, well then that's your business. I mean I can send you a shell script that does "rm -rf ~" and if you are gullible enough to run it, well you just lost all your data. The OS can't defend against that.

Virus scanners, however, try to. A virus scanner is like a bouncer. It's got a list of know bad guys, and the good ones can tell if it's the same guy in a wig (heuristic scanning). A virus scanner will go and say "Hey boss, this file is probably bad, you should let me delete it."

Mcaffee and Symantec's problem isn't that viruses will go away. Unless we get an Orwellian TCPA/Palladium type setup they won't. The problem is their software sucks, is over priced, causes problems, and has much better alternatives. AVG is faster, does a better job scanning and costs less money. Why would I want to buy from Symantec?

Re:No they'll always be virus scanners (1)

MattPat (852615) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538666)

I mean I can send you a shell script that does "rm -rf ~" and if you are gullible enough to run it, well you just lost all your data. The OS can't defend against that.

Very true, but then again, this is when the user executes a file from a trusted source, and the file does not compromise the integrity of the computer, just the user's personal files.

On Linux, if you were to send someone a shell script that, on the other hand, said "rm -rf /", then you'd have yourself a problem: it wouldn't let you without first providing a root password. In a way, the operating system protects you from your own mistakes. Sure, if that's what you really want, it'll do it for you-- but you have to convince it first that it is what you really want.

Why can't Windows do this? And if it did... then why would there be a need for virus scanners? Removal tools, sure, for those idiot users who enter their password for everything. But dedicated scanners that bloat and slow down your computer? Not exactly a necessity anymore, are they?

Re:This is NOT the same thing (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538618)

So I suppose you also think that alarm companies, security companies, bodyguards, and even police officers are just parasites?

Virii will always be around, and it's no more MS's responsibility to "fix" that than it is a construction companies responsibility to make your house burglar-proof. As such, Norton and McAfee antivirus and firewall solutions are definitely products "which filled in a need customers had". They don't fill it very well in my opinion, which is why I used NOD32, but they do fill a need, so they're far from being "parasites".

Re:This is NOT the same thing (2, Informative)

Instine (963303) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538650)

I think the fact the parent hasn't been marked troll or flamabait, when similar coments about M$ even usually would, says a great deal about these two products (I know each has more than one product... ). They are awful. They alter the way your browser interacts with the web in ways that DO NOT improve security but DO hinder your browseing, AND WITHOUT ASKING YOU!!! Sorry for the caps, but really, they're bad. Yet they make so much cash.
We're supposed to feel sorry for them? Urm... no. They will not be missed. And whats their argument? They can't hack Vista, like they used to hack XP? In which case there's nothing for them to do - right?

Re:This is NOT the same thing (1)

AVonGauss (1001486) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538690)

Microsoft is not fixing the problems, they are conceding they exist and that you must run another product (whether Symantec, McAfee or Microsoft) to compensate for the deficiency. If they were fixing the problem, then they wouldn't need to bundle a product with the operating system. It is definitely a fair comparison.

Re:This is NOT the same thing (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538802)

Agreed. I understand the whole "monopolies are bad" thing; but Symantec's AV sucks - they were on their way out well before this. They've lost sales for the last several quarters on AV because others do it better. I've honestly never tried McAfee myself, but I have heard it used to be good and is on its way to becoming a Symantec. I know a year or so ago I had reason to visit their website and thought they looked very amateurish and not enterprise at all with all the ads they had on the page. Maybe this is cleaned up now, but at the time I thought I wouldn't want to use their stuff. I have used Symantec a lot and it is crap.

I guess they should both step up with good products that people want and they will probably still get decent sales.

Re:This is NOT the same thing (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538818)

RE:["It was unevitable that Microsoft would one day try to fix those mistakes"]

lol = like over TEN years too late, MS and all their customers plainly seen a need for that back when WindowsNT-3.5 Windows-95 was still current...

What? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538260)

Who speaks reverently of the early builds of Netscape? 2 and 3 weren't awful, but they weren't great either. And I think we all remember the abortion that was 4.

Speak reverently of Symantec? (4, Funny)

xs650 (741277) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538262)

"Vendors Symantec and McAfee have looked into the future and realized that people may one day speak of them in the way that we now speak reverently of the early builds of Netscape."

Speak reverently of Symantec...... Bwahahahahaha

Re:Speak reverently of Symantec? (3, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538306)

No kidding.

Norton, maybe. Norton Commander and Norton Tools were excellent, but once Symantec absorbed Peter Norton & Co., it was a quick downhill ride from there.

Huh? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538482)

Early builds of Netscape suck. I'm trying to get 4.08 to run on Windows 3.11 under Virtual PC but it crashes on launch! At least IE doesn't crash until it encounters a font the system doesn't have. Opera on the other hand is <3 and doesn't crash.

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538602)

Early builds of Netscape suck. I'm trying to get 4.08...

By early, I'm assuming they meant before 4.x, where Netscape started sucking horribly.

We've been before.. (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538268)

There was Microsoft anti-virus software with early versions of MS Dos, software which got scrapped when Windows 98 et al hit the scene.

Re:We've been before.. (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538420)

Do you know why it got scrapped?
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Antivirus [wikipedia.org]
This product became noted as determining that the upgrade program of Windows 95 was detected as a computer virus, something which was embarrassing to Microsoft.

So what? (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538270)

McAfee and Symantec exist because of problems that exist in the Windows code. They are concerned b/c Microsoft is releasing its own "security" software, which I agree with to a point, but they are also pissed off because MSFT is locking them out of the kernel (as they have been since x64's XP).

So b/c MSFT is actually doing some stuff to try and protect themselves from outside code (in addition to outside vendors) we're supposed to feel sorry for these people? Either revamp your products and find different stuff to fix or move along.

That or stop whining about MSFT locking you out of the kernel and concentrate on them selling software that "fixes" problems in their own buggy OS.

Re:So what? (3, Insightful)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538648)

That's what you get for being a one trick pony. Eventually competitors move in to dilute market share or you run into an antiquation problem where your product is obsolete/useless. While some may bitch that this is another way of Microsoft consolidating their monopoly power, this change has been a long time coming. What else does McAffee do? Symantec has many different types of tools like backup software and disk repair utilities, but what else?

Take a look at Creative. At one point the realized that the Sound Blaster brand was not going to get them very far once generic sound cards found their way into every PC that gets manufactured. What did they do? Well, they gave graphics cards a try. I remember back in the 90s when you could get a Voodoo2 chipset from them. Now? They were one of the first to enter the MP3 player markets and continue to have *some* success despite Apple dominating that arena.

Get a life McAffee and Symantec, your days of being a market bottom feeder are coming to an end.

Death of Symantec et al a Good Thing (3, Insightful)

smack.addict (116174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538276)

The so-called security vendors are best off when there is a proliferation of viruses and people are scared to death of the Internet. Their business model disappears if the Internet actually becomes a secure platform.

Microsoft wants to see the number of exploits impacting its operating system disappear to zero. Only if they are successful will they kill the security vendors. And if not, the security vendors will prosper.

Netscape netscaped itself (4, Insightful)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538278)

I stopped using Netscape as their "new and improved" releases became huge, very slow bloated with unneeded features that don't even belong in a browser (email? Use an email client!) and crashed all the time. (It took the Mozilla guys to do for free what Netscape engineers were paid to do and failed to do: make a nice version of that browser). McAfee, etc should not have to worry about this as long as they improve their products instead of turn them into unusable monsters.

Re:Netscape netscaped itself (4, Informative)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538348)

there are many paid engineers working for mozilla foundation, and before that, AOL kept a bunch of people on the payroll working on mozilla/netscape.

what changed was not the salary status of the developers, but the managment style guiding the devolopment.

Re:Netscape netscaped itself (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538358)

Thanks for the correction. I was not aware of that. Mod you informative.

Re:Netscape netscaped itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538562)

wow AOL did something that can be commended, how come the world didn't stop turning???

But they are already unusable monsters... (4, Informative)

AmazingRuss (555076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538394)

...symantec in particular brings a system to its knees. Realtime scanning is a great idea IF it doesn't render your computer unusable. For obvious reasons you are forced to used the latest version, which just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. I've started dumping Symantec in favor of a daily clamwin scan. Not as good...but at least the computer is usable.

Re:But they are already unusable monsters... (4, Funny)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538410)

"symantec in particular brings a system to its knees"

But that is security! Studies have shown that a system brought to a complete 100% standstill is impervious to malware and virus infection.

Re:But they are already unusable monsters... (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538682)

But that is security! Studies have shown that a system brought to a complete 100% standstill is impervious to malware and virus infection.

Shit, I didn't know Dick Cheney had a /. account! Hi Dick! How's that undislcosed location? Got any hookers and blow?

Re:But they are already unusable monsters... (2, Interesting)

mongoose(!no) (719125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538450)

That's why I've stopped using the free version of McAfee that my university provides me with in favor of AVGFree. It used to take my fairly modern system an extra minute between booting and being usable because of McAfee. Security is a great thing as long as it isn't an inconvenience.

Re:But they are already unusable monsters... (2, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538492)

As I say to everyone who asks me to fix their computer:

I've never encountered a virus as terrible as Norton Antivirus.

Sure, Microsoft might kill Symantec with shady monopolism, but I think we should me more angry with the free market, which has kept these leeches alive for this long.

And the amazing thing (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538624)

IF you can get realtime scanning that doesn't slow you down. Try out AVG sometime. When I first got it, there was so little impact I was sure it wasn't doing anything. So I went and grabbed a virus to test it. Immediately, AVG threw up a red flag.

The threat to Symantec isn't MS making Windows unvirusable, that's not possible (barring trusted computing), the threat is that there are new AV companies that make good, fast, cheap products that beat the crap out of symantec's offerings. AVG and Kaspersky are two excellent choices. Also I hear lots of good things about Bitdefender though it leads to bluescreens on my (and other's) system.

Re:But they are already unusable monsters... (2, Informative)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538700)

Try a daily BitDefender scan. It works well and the on demand scanner is free:

http://www.bitdefender.com/site/view/Download-Free -Products.html [bitdefender.com]

ClamAV is great for scanning email, but when scanning for system viruses it's really not that good. I've seen it miss dozens of viruses that BitDefender, AVG, and F-Prot picked up.

Re:Netscape netscaped itself (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538616)

I could have sworn that most of the really bad things Netscape did to themselves came after Microsoft gave OEMs a discount for not bundling Netscape.

Re:Netscape netscaped itself (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538680)

The difference here is that Symantec's software has been bloated and ineffective for a long time, while Netscape only turned that way after it was more or less abandoned at v7.

Haven't we seen this before... (3, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538282)

Vendors Symantec and McAfee have looked into the future and realized that people may one day speak of them in the way that we now speak reverently of the early builds of Netscape.

I don't see a problem with that since I don't use either product and wouldn't mind seeing these two outfits go into the software oblivion. Microsoft will get lazy about updating the features on its security software and open source will come to the rescue with something better. It'll be IE vs. Firefox all over again. Ultimately, the consumer will still win out.

Perhaps not in the EU though (1)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538286)

It will be interesting to see if the EU continues to stand up to Microsoft and enforces competition law. The interesting thing being that EU competition law is based on US competition law...but somehow Microsoft is treated differently in the two jurisdictions.

In the meantime, and as I have posted before, quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who is going to verify that Microsoft's security solutions perform as expected? Would you, if you were a CIO, be happy believing that the same company that designed your desktop and server operating system was also responsible for providing oversight of its security? Whatever you think about lawyers, would you trust the entire judicial system to the police?

This isn't really competition... (4, Insightful)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538472)

In my opinion, the major "anti-virus" vendors are precisely the type of parasitical hanger-on that you DO NOT want on your computer in the first place. They use an unGodly amount of resources and greatly slow down the machine they're "protecting." They live merely because Microsoft has been unwilling/unable to write secure code. So now Microsoft is trying to fix that (rolling eyes) and these parasites are crying about unfair competition. Do you propose that the EU forces Microsoft to write less secure code in order to allow these companies to maintain their relevance? That seems rather foolish.

Let's use an analogy. Let's say I build an automobile and it's famous for having fuel injectors that clog up. People begin getting annoyed as the engine runs worse and worse until they get stuck on the side of the road. Along comes WidgetX. They invent a device that attaches to the engine end somehow "prevents" the problem. The downside is that the efficiency of the engine drops and you burn a LOT more gas, but your odds of getting stuck on the side of the road are greatly reduced. The next model year, the car company redesigns the engine so that the injectors no longer get clogged. WidgetX cries foul because now their product has become both unecessary and it has become obvious how wasteful of resources it was. So WidgetX demands the EU authorities to force the car company to go back to selling failure prone injectors instead of coming up with another innovation that actually helps consumers.

Call me crazy, but I don't see Microsoft as the "bad guy" here at all.....

Re:This isn't really competition... (1)

nightgeometry (661444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538706)

I dislike Norton and McAffe and Microsoft. There, that's my bias, but...

The situation is more like instead of fixing the problem with the (parents) injectors, the manufacturer changes the injector fittings so only their add-ons work. You still have to pay for the add-ons to fix the problem.

Or at least that is how I understand it will work. MS are going to provide a subscription service. Now on the one hand (you have to have four hands for this, so pair up with that hot chick you are zuning music to), MS may be the best people to provide this service, on the other hand having an independent provider of this may be sensible, on the third hand maybe MS should be attempting to make their software more resilient in the first place. (The fourth hand - always keep a hand free in case you need an emergency beer).

The whole situation is just fucked up, you can go in circles through the argument, I think MS should be securing their systems against people like my mother (or any other non-technical user) though...

No. No, we won't. (4, Informative)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538288)

Symantec's and McAffee's respective antivirus products are some of the buggiest software I've ever seen. The latest versions of both are awful memory hogs with questionable reliability and average detection rates. McAffee installs are widely known to 'go bad', resulting in cryptic error messages, failed updates, and vulnerable systems. There are threads upon threads in the Dell forums of users trying to ununstall McAffee off a brand new computer and failing.

As for Symantec, , I had a computer at work with a copy of Symantec Corporate AV 10.1 (the latest version) still installed after we chose to migrate away from it due to ever rising costs and poor support. I tried to uninstall it. The uninstaller crashed. Then, every time I tried to right click, it tried to reinstall itself. Yes, you read that right - Symantec's antivirus installs a handler that traps every right click within Explorer that runs a check to see if files are missing. After two hours on the phone with a Symantec rep who didn't know what they were talking about, I finally had it cleaned off the system.

What I'm trying to say, I suppose, is that the original Netscape, while not perfect software, had the right vision behind it. Symantec and McAffee don't. Both companies have gone downhill, and I'm absolutely sure it's for reasons completely unrelated to Vista's new kernel.

Re:No. No, we won't. (1)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538312)

Apologies for the typos.

Re:No. No, we won't. (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538518)

I suppose Symantec is simply too lazy to rewrite stuff and they'll whine until Microsoft changes Vista to support the current version of Norton AV (without any changes by Symantec).
Symantec is known to be lazy: for example the only thing that's new in Norton AV 2001 compared to 2000 is a new theme and a few new features that were probably written in a week by no more than 4 programmers. 2002 had new features and the same theme, but these features were something like five new checkboxes for more "user control of application".
Every new version of NAV differs only slightly from the previous one. I think they're still using their scanning engine from the Win98 version. And yet they charge $50 for every update, that's about 40% of a new MacOSX version (and that's a whole OS!).

Re:No. No, we won't. (1)

tibike77 (611880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538540)

I've never had such problems with Kaspersky... I barely notice it's running most of the time.

Re:No. No, we won't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538630)

"Then, every time I tried to right click, it tried to reinstall itself"

that would be MSI messing up, use msicuu to fix it.

First of all (2)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538310)

As a sysadmin supporting the usual symantec products, reverently is never a term I would use to speak of their products.

Second, Symantec and others are doomed partially because of their products.

Finally, they are doomed anyway because it fulfills so many objectives at Microsoft. The potential for revenue is too great to turn away and the only path to desktop revenue growth for the OS is to tighten the DRM noose until it is the equivalent of your cable/satellite set top box. Any other path is too risky/difficult.

Market forces will speak clearly (4, Insightful)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538316)

It's fashionable to bash Symantec and McAfee and make ridiculous comparisons between them and viruses, but they're just companies meeting a demand for specific software. They are no more leaching off of microsoft than car-washes 'leech' off the auto-industry.

The OS is changing, and the nature of threats are changing. These companies started by writing software to protect against disk-to-disk threats, then file infectors, then worms, and so on. Each has changed their business model as the needs of the market have changed, and I'd be hesitant to casually write them off just yet.

The market will decide things in the end. Either the companies change and continue to meet customer demand, or they won't, and they'll fade away. My money is on smart people staying fresh and changing based on their past history.

The alternative is to essentially say "Netcraft confirms that security software companies are dead!", with just as much legitamacy.

Re:Market forces will speak clearly (2)

rejecting (824821) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538514)

"They are no more leaching off of microsoft than car-washes 'leech' off the auto-industry."

Your very wrong here.

Cars will get dirty no matter what happens. Dust and dirt are on the ground, water falls from the sky and sticks it to automobiles, etc..

Now Operating systems do not have to be buggy and exploitable. That is not an absoulute. That is something that can be changed.

Basically, what i think. If ford created self washing cars, and THEN the car wash racket threw a hissy fit. You would have something like this situation.

Re:Market forces will speak clearly (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538644)

It's fashionable to bash Symantec and McAfee and make ridiculous comparisons between them and viruses, but they're just companies meeting a demand for specific software. They are no more leaching off of microsoft than car-washes 'leech' off the auto-industry.

Stuff gets dirty. That isn't within the engineering specs of the product. Did Fuel Safe go running to governments complaining that Ford started building cars that didn't blow up?

http://www.fuelsafe.com/mustang.htm

KFG

Re:Market forces will speak clearly (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538708)

They still stink, and for home users at least, they aren't any safer or more effective than the free alternatives(AVG, Avast) and in my experience anyway, Norton/Symantec can't even update itself without eventually screwing up its own installation, requiring a full download/reinstall.

Re:Market forces will speak clearly (1)

tygt (792974) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538718)

I think it's more like if GM et al had something inherently wrong with their engines, and someone came along with a much better part to replace in the engine to make it work well. Later, GM shipped proper parts which didn't detonate so easily, and the aftermarket part wasn't needed any more.

It wouldn't be wrong for GM to make the modification. However, it would be wrong for them to disallow aftermarket parts; when automakers did try and refuse to honor their warrantees if consumers had made any modifications (including replacing faulty OEM parts), we ended up the the Magnussen-Moss Act [wikipedia.org] which made them play more fairly. With M$, we have to rely on the anti-monopoly laws at the present.

Note though that I'm not claiming that these are identical situations - personally I don't think it's unreasonable to try and lock down your OS to keep outside stuff from fucking it up - I strongly encourage such an effort.

Microsoft shooting itself in the foot (2, Insightful)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538336)

If Microsoft were to succeed in shutting out security vendors (which I don't think they really want), they'd be digging their own grave. Many of Microsoft's security problems now stem from their dominance in the browser market - had Netscape won the browser wars, Microsoft would likely not be vilified to the extent it is today since security would not be as big of an issue.

The one thing that has made Microsoft's products at least somewhat secure are the third party security products. If Microsoft shut out these security products, it is unlikely they could provide the same level of security that users expect from their O/S's. Take away McAfee, Norton, and the other security vendors and Microsoft's profit and revenues would be impressive until users became tired of the constant security breaches and holes.

If Microsoft moves forward with shutting out 3rd party security companies, Linux vendors and Apple will be the big winners, not Microsoft

Re:Microsoft shooting itself in the foot (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538608)

had Netscape won the browser wars, Microsoft would likely not be vilified to the extent it is today since security would not be as big of an issue.
Most thing that hijack IE require a user clicking an "I agree" button. In fact, I've seen pages that say "in order to download Acrobat Professional 7.0 keygen, press Install Plugin". Now, if Netscape was the dominant browser, do you really think that in some magical way users would not be able to install malware and yet could easily install things like Flash and Java? Firefox does have vulnerabilities and these can be exploited; the only thing that stops massive infestations is that writing Firefox malware is just as hard as IE (OK, it may be harder) but you won't get as much spam zombies because
1) it's not really popular
2) most Firefox users are either tech-savvy or have tech-savvy friends that installed Firefox in the first place, and they are probably aware of malware
so why bother infecting 10% of the market when 90% is good enough?
My dad uses IE (all my other relatives use Firefox) and he NEVER got any malware on his PC.

What is Microsoft's alternative? (2, Insightful)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538338)

The market for anti-virus software is a response to poor software design. So Microsoft claim they will fix it, and in the process are bundling tools similar to their competitors'. But the ultimate solution will will require not a reactive solution - which is why anti-virus software does - but a proactive solution, similar to just about every other professional OS. That is, pervasive use of filesystem ACLs, low privilege user accounts, etc etc etc. That is, enough security such that if a virus does run - it wouldn't do much damage.

Wouldn't a Windows system with proper security be just as damaging to these anti-virus makers as Microsoft bundling anti-virus software? And isn't the OS maker the proper responsible party for system security?

I'd say a comparison with Netscape is a bit off.

The writing was on the wall... (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538350)

These security companies should have seen this. I mean...the writing was on the wall.

Next victim? Adobe: with its PDF and Flash.

Open sourcing these products, and creating decent interfaces for their PDF reader are the only feasible things [for Adobe] to do in my opinion. QT would be better than using GTK. You might wonder why: I cannot type or paste a link in the file selector dialogue of Adobe's PDF reader, in this day and age!! Think of it.

Re:The writing was on the wall... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538440)

I agree and symantec owns veritas so the will be fine just like sun owns storagetek and that saved them aswell.

Whine whine (2, Interesting)

ViaNRG (892147) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538360)

These are the dying pleas from strategy officers. Although I hate to mention it, there are some serious [wikipedia.org] (kernel patch protection) security improvements for Vista - and if they cannot adapt to the way their 'piggy backing' is being jeopardized, they'll just have to crumple. They are however well known security groups, so entering into new medias wouldn't be a terrible idea.

And who says their gonna be losing business within the first, one, two, or three years after Vista's release. What about home users and, the elderly.

- cam

WTMFF??? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538372)

Netscape were visionary and had a good product. The AV vendors wouldn't even exist if Microsoft had designed a secure OS.

Cry more (4, Interesting)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538374)

When your company makes a single product, you cannot complain when that product is no longer relevant. They should have diversified when they had the capital to do so.

Also, Symantec and every other virus scanner makes use of non-approved APIs in win32. They were not documented, and not approved for the use that security companies gave them. Vista is finally removing deprecated APIs and replacing them with documented, hopefully bug-free versions. They have said numerous times in their blogs and elsewhere that they will help existing companies convert existing API calls into standard calls. Symantec et all are complaining because they make such liberal use of these APIs that they are facing a huge challenge to get their product on the market quickly, if at all.

Note that one-time file scanners will still work, e.g., what your e-mail client does with received messages. That can all run just fine in user space. The pervasiveness of anti virus clients, though, would require complete administrator access, something Microsoft has been trying to get rid of for every day use (as they should!). If you allow Anti virus software to run in administrator mode while in user mode, you also open the door to viruses easily being able to do the same.

And interesting enough (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538752)

Many companies don't seem to be bitching. Sophos announced they'll have a Vista compatible version out a couple weeks before Vista (their current version even works with realtime scanning, it just can't update or interact with the desktop). AVG has apparently been working with Vista since Beta 2 (I haven't tried it) and the 7.5 version is listed as Vista ready. Kaspersky Labs says "From what we have seen of Vista, we cannot tell that Microsoft is blocking access to the core."

So it seems that whatever the problem that Symantec and Mcafee are having, it's not universal to virus scanners. Seems more like they are lazy and don't want to do any rewriting whereas their competitors are on the stick.

Progress!? (4, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538386)

Human activity and especially software in particular seem to follow a cycle of exploration and compaction phases. I remember when a disk defragmenter was an extra piece of software you bought (Blitzdisk on the Amiga). As time goes by, what used to be peripheral functions become part of the core operating system. This is a good thing. I expect a web browser, media player, word processors (even Notepad counts), and so on to be available immediately upon a fresh install. Microsoft is legitimately trying to improve their Windows product. They are improving their customer experience by folding new functions into the operating system such as anti-malware (or other nasties), and security (firewalls and such). This represents the compaction phase of the cycle preparing the way for the next exploration phase.

No danger in the near future (3, Insightful)

Noonian Soong (1016626) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538400)

I don't think Symantec and McAfee will have a problem in the near future. It think it's the same thing as with personal firewalls. Even though Windows XP has a built-in firewall (which covers only incoming connections, I know), people feel the need for additional security. I won't write about the pros and cons of personal firewalls and the use of Symantec's and McAfee's products, but I believe that the average user will simply keep buying security products. They come in nice boxes and as we all know, Windows isn't safe if you use it as it is.
I don't think Microsoft's marketing will change this perception in the next few years, so many computer users will still believe what the traditional security software vendors tell them.

Its so true (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538422)

Symantec and Mcafee are more like Netscape every day. The put out slow, bloated, buggy code.

What's the problem here? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538446)

Security companies can continue with the current business model, creating software to fix Microsoft mistakes and target Windows malware. There must be heaps of user-hostile code in Vista's DRM schemes.

MS Vista (4, Insightful)

PCWizardsinc (678228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538452)

You do know that it is Microsoft's VISTA OS right? Can't they build in what they want? No One is FORCING anyone to buy Vista, the can buy MacOS or Download any version of Linux they want, Microsoft wrote the code, its theirs, if they want to lock out vendors, or increase or decrease security on a whim, they can, its theirs... doesn't anyone get this? If you don't like MS, choose some other vendors OS...

Re:MS Vista (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538544)

Noone is forcing us? What about computer vendors who bundle Vista with all their computers, just like they've bundled XP and every OS before it?

Of course those of us who build our computers have more options all across the board, and it's usually cheaper to pick good components with good prices. However considering that Dell and Gateway are still in business, I'm willing to bet plenty of people go to one of these places and immediately zoom over to the lowest priced PC (or highest, depending on their budget and/or credit card limit) without caring what OS comes with it.

As for MacOSX, it's only for Apple's hardware, making it run on non-Apple hardware is questionable legality at best (since that means you probably downloaded the generic x86 version from somewhere). As for Linux, even if Joe Shmoe is smart enough to realize there ARE different operating systems and he would be willing to try a different one, Linux isn't QUITE ready yet for mainstream. Of course as Windows turns more and more into Vista (UAC prompts are like sudo, except more annoying) MS may very well condition the end user FOR Linux...

Re:MS Vista (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538686)

"Noone is forcing us? What about computer vendors who bundle Vista with all their computers, just like they've bundled XP and every OS before it?"

Choose a different vendor. I do. I pick a vendor that doesn't bundle any Microsoft OS with it. Just because the general population is too lazy or ignorant of the fact that you can indeed get a computer without the latest and greatest version of windows does not make it "forced".

Re:MS Vista (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538614)

Sure, they can do whatever they want with their product, but only for restricted values of 'whatever'. Specifically, changes that would use a monopoly position to wipe out competition in the market are restricted. I'm not sure if that's the case here though, sounds more like whining.

Re:MS Vista (2, Insightful)

WhodoVoodoo (319477) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538720)

I believe you may have a misconception about the issue at hand here, sir.

The issue is not whether or not they are locking out vendors. (actually it is, but there's more to it.) See, Microsoft is a monopoly (Yes, it is. There is not an argument here anymore. They've been legally classified as a monopoly by the US and the EU.) and being a monopoly they are subject to a number of restrictions. One of those being it is illegal for microsoft to use their Desktop OS monopoly (which is recognized legally as such) to manipulate another market. It is LEGAL for them to enter any market, but they cannot use their existing monopoly to tilt the playingfield to their own benefit.

Ergo, locking out vendors in the antivirus/antispyware market while simultaniously creating a product in that market very clearly falls under that catagory. Microsoft may not use it's desktop operating system monopoly to manipulate another market. It only adds to the case that they are charging for some of these services.

Sure you can jump ship. But it's still illegal for them to lock everyone but microsoft out of a market, even if it's just witholding APIs for a period of time (which happens to be part of the issue at hand) because this would give them a distinct advantage in the AV/AS market, temporarily at least being the only game in town. Assuming they even open it up to outsiders.

And no, it doesn't matter that they created this market in the first place. That does not magically make it okay; they COULD have just been open about things and worked with AS/AV vendors to include them in the process in some way. Doing anything but could create another dangerous situation for Microsoft.

good (3, Insightful)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538520)

riddance.

Both of these products, and Norton too, piss me off to no end when trying to debug problems on my friends' computers. I would never install them on my own computer, and haven't needed anything like it in ages on any other operating system. Since I end up having to reinstall Windows ANYWAYS, I always just tell people not to worry so much about viruses. I just tell them, don't click something stupid, don't use IE, you'll be fine. It's just one more "fear factor" that is so abundant in people's lives these days. Viruses are the last thing anyone should be afraid of.

Anti-virus software is nothing but leeches on CPU time, memory, and network speed.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538796)

Ah, Thanks Guy! Telling people that they shouldn't worry about viruses helps keep Spammers and Bot Nets in operation. You're a prince!

News Flash! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538522)

This Just In: Symantec sues Linux for creating a secure product, denying the company a potential revenue stream.

I'm no fan of Windows, you'll never see me use an OS that requires fifteen free gigs just to install, but if they're finally getting their security right then I guess the security vendors are S.O.L.

Yes, well... (3, Insightful)

zecg (521666) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538524)

...tough luck. This time it is not a function unrelated to the OS that Microsoft is bullying the competition out of, but security of the OS itself. Security companies were spawned by MS' mistakes and they simply failed to grow healthy diverse business offering value other than compensating for MS' mistakes. Nobody is investing in them, some are histerically dabbling in spyware (or so I seem to remember reading somewhere sometime) and are generally about to crash and burn.

The Netscaping of Symantec and McAfee (5, Insightful)

thethibs (882667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538532)

Symantec and McAfee will find new lines of business or fade away because they are selling products that shouldn't exist at all.

These products are based on identifying any of hundreds of thousands of programs and stopping them from executing—in an environment containing a few dozen programs the user actually wants to run. It's far easier to allow the few dozen and deny access to anything that isn't on this short list than to check everything against a very long and growing longer list of signatures and behaviours.

In the fullness of time, MS operating systems will fully implement Default Deny security, a path they have already started down; PatchGuard is part of it. When this is done, there will be nothing for anti-virus software to do.

I run my systems using just this part of F-Secure (Application Control enabled, everything else disabled) and the occasional scan. Same approach to browsers: all is forbidden unless expressly allowed. Scan results are always zero hits.

I look forward to the day when this is written into the OS code. Vista security is a good start.

They aren't the same as Netscape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538548)

Once you have a browser, you can use it for years. Not so for anti-virus software. If you ignore a few cycles of updates, it's pretty much useless. They could give away the base software and still make money from the updates.

For Microsoft to compete with McAfee et al, it has to do as good a job as they do with the updates. In this case, Microsoft won't be able to compete by producing an inferior product and using its overwhelming marketing force. If McAfee can produce updates within hours and it takes weeks for Microsoft then people will see the value of going with McAfee and continue to buy it.

Having said the above, I really do think all these companies have to pull up their socks. Nothing slows a computer down like having a couple of pieces of security software fighting with each other.

Maybe call it The AVG'n of Symantec and Norton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538584)

I used to exclusively use Norton AV on mine and my clients systems, but ever since Norton tried sneaking DRM spyware into their AV downloads I have switched everybody I can to AVG. It turns out that AVG is cleaner, easier to use, and safer than anything else I've seen out there. Best of all it's free for non-commercial use. I've already heard rumors that Microsoft is letting market considerations determine which software is filtered by their AV so I'm planning to continue to use AVG until I know for sure otherwise.

MS is not looking to 'Netscape' the AV folks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538670)

Have you forgotten how things have changed?

MS was engaged in mortal combat with Netscape--NS was threatening to make the OS "irrelevant".

Now, MS is solidly enthroned. They're not looking to eliminate threats, they're looking for new revenue. So they're locking up the kernel and creating tollbooth API's so that any company that wants access to the Windows kernel will pay a handsome tribute to Emperor Bill. And best of all, MS will be collecting from both sides: the 'security' vendors and the adware/rootkit/DRM vendors. They're essentially selling their home customers (who are already completly sold on the need for some kind of animated security crap) to the vendors.

Enterprise customers, who know how to secure their machines and don't want Symantec and the like anyway, will instead pay MS more through 'enterprise' licenses and management tools.

Control the market and make everyone pay: it's a superb strategy, just ask the telcos or the government.

That's gratitude for ya (2, Informative)

Dracos (107777) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538678)

Virii, worms, and malware all exist because MS makes famously insecure products. Symantec and McAfee exist because virii, worms, and malware exist.

Symantec and McAfee need to at least acknowledge that their business models are based on design flaws, poor implemetation, and bad coding practices within MS. They should thank Bill and crew for the ability to complain when a fraction of these inadequacies are fixed after many years.

I'm not defending MS and their monopolistic procatices, but this isn't simply another Netscape crushing. Netscape was a user space product. This is about fundamental flaws at the core of the Windows OS: about as faw away from user space as you can get. That these flaws permeate into the userspace is beside the fact.

Symantec and McAfee (and many others) have spent the past decade or more cleaning up after MS in terms of security. Now they want to bitch when their lazy benefactor decides to take some responsibility? But, the issue isn't the mere taking of the responsibility, it's more about the monopolizing of that responsibility. No one has any reason to believe that MS' anti-crapware will be more effective than any third party solution. MS allowed security to become a third party market, now they want to be that market.

MS is wrong for closing out vendors from providing a complete third party security solution. However, MS is more wrong for not writing secure products in the first place, and certainly for not understanding what comprises an operating system.

  • Web Browser: critical OS component.
  • Security: third party solutions are OK until we get around to it.

Windows security vendors only have something to worry about if MS actually produces a secure operating system. I don't believe they think this is possible, which is why they haven't broadened their product lines. Until hell freezes over, Symantec and McAfee should all but shut up and enjoy what MS has given them.

Most people will get it anyway (1)

spywhere (824072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538716)

Symantec and Network Associates will continue to pay their way onto every new Dell, HP, Gateway, Toshiba computer (with a three-month trial subscription), so the average consumer will still end up with a third-party security suite preinstalled.
Let's hope the Vista versions of their products don't suck as massively as their current offerings... but they will.

strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16538730)

people still use that crap called symantec and mcafee?

wouldnt worry (1)

Bohemoth2 (179802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538736)

My company deletes XP and installs 2000 on all new machines.
Thare won't any netscaping for at least 5 -10 years IMHO.

Symantec/McAfee (1)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538754)

I had two computers with Norton Antivirus (2005 I think it was) installed. I could get it off the XP computer cleanly, but the one with Windows ME, it still left bits and pieces all over the place... had to uninstall it, remove it, delete stuff- and eventually reformat the hard drive and install Linux. AVG Antivirus was what I used in the interim, and it did a good job of keeping up with the crap my parents kept dumping on it. It's amazing how Norton got itself keyed into the system like that, and there's really no way it should have been doing that. I should be able to uninstall it- and have it be gone. It not doing so is rather virus-like, and I'll never use Norton antivirus or firewall again.

windows (1)

observer7 (753034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538774)

there are many copies and they have a plan

Feh (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 7 years ago | (#16538816)

Vendors Symantec and McAfee have looked into the future and realized that people may one day speak of them in the way that we now speak reverently of the early builds of Netscape.

I don't know about you, but it will be a cold, cold day in hell before I speak reverently of McAfee or Symantec. It's much more likely that I will gripe about Windows' vulnerabilities and the marginally effective, resource-hogging third-party antivirus software that kinda sorta fixed the problem.
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