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MS Adds Security Suite To Update Service, Antivirus Rival Objects

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the shades-of-internet-explorer dept.

Security 324

CWmike writes "Microsoft has started adding Security Essentials to the optional download list seen by US Windows users when they fire up the operating system's update service, and antivirus rivals are crying foul. 'Commercializing Windows Update to distribute other software applications raises significant questions about unfair competition,' Carol Carpenter, a GM at Trend Micro, said on Thursday. 'Windows Update is a de facto extension of Windows, so to begin delivering software tied to updates has us concerned,' she added. 'Windows Update is not a choice for users, and we believe it should not be used this way.' If Windows doesn't detect working security software on the PC, Microsoft adds Security Essentials to the Optional section of Microsoft Update, a superset of the better-known Windows Update, or to Windows Update if it has been configured to also draw downloads from Microsoft Update. Microsoft made a point to say that it was not offering the software via Windows Update, but only through the Microsoft Update service, which also offers patches for new versions of non-operating system software, notably Office and Windows Media Player. But most users won't understand the distinction."

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No need to fuss (2, Insightful)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141452)

Any good Windows administrator knows that you can't rely on a Microsoft product alone to solve your virus/trojan/keylogger/spyware/whatever problems.

Re:No need to fuss (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141476)

And Any good Linux administrator knows that you can rely on a Microsoft Product alone to acquire virus/trojan/keylogger/spyware/whatever problems.

Re:No need to fuss (1, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141596)

... any good Linux administrator has handled customer boxes that have been thoroughly rooted, tossing your argument out the nearest window.

Re:No need to fuss (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141614)

(er, to clarify. by customer box I mean 'dedicated server' or whatever that is fully under their control, and you get to clean up the mess)

Re:No need to fuss (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141532)

As much as I can't stand a lot of what Microsoft does, Security Essentials is not a bad program all in all. It's certainly more lightweight that than travesty from Norton and more reliable than the other "free" or "semi-free" AV programs. I still prefer F-Prot because it's the king of small footprint AV, but I have no problem with Security Essentials, and if it's part of Windows Update, I'm assuming that soon enough we'll be seeing in WSUS, which, when combined with the GPO software installation facilities in AD, will replicate the high-end corporate AV.

Re:No need to fuss (3, Informative)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141642)

I'm assuming that soon enough we'll be seeing in WSUS, which, when combined with the GPO software installation facilities in AD, will replicate the high-end corporate AV.

No you wont, the product you are talking about is named forefront and it is not free it cost about 2000$ per server and 15$ per client

Re:No need to fuss (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141740)

IIRC, in some ads MS ran a few years back, they touted Forefront as one of the only security solutions which offered guaranteed protection against zombies.

This alone makes their offering worth the price of admission.

Re:No need to fuss (5, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142068)

IIRC, in some ads MS ran a few years back, they touted Forefront as one of the only security solutions which offered guaranteed protection against zombies.

I still want a shotgun...

Re:No need to fuss (5, Insightful)

IB4Student (1885914) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141546)

Windows Firewall and MSE is better than most other solutions for home users.

Re:No need to fuss (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34141890)

Actually. Compared to many other solutions, the Microsoft Security Essentials does the job. I used it to clean a friends computer of Malware that kept downloading other malware that a commercial copy of AVG couldn't find. It detected that iexplore.exe had been changed and was able to clean the computer completely. I'm not insinuating that AVG is worse that Microsoft's software, I'm just sayin' that in my experience, even Microsoft software can do the job that some other software can't. It goes the other way as well.

When I have to clean computers, Microsoft Security Essentials is one of the first that I install. And, it's usually the one that I leave running when I finish with the computer.

I used to be a fan of Norton, until I got infected with something that Norton couldn't detect.

Never really had much experience with McAfee.

Re:No need to fuss (3, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141982)

This is only being suggested to people with no anti-virus solution on Windows. Those people likely don't know what they're doing.

And actually, I'd recommend Microsoft Security Essentials over Symantec, McAffee, etc.

Well isn't that too bad? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34141454)

Trend Micro can suck a dick.

Re:Well isn't that too bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34142134)

This should be marked troll, but he's also correct.

Correct me if I'm wrong (2, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141474)

But isn't this both optional and free?

I don't see the problem at all. It's not like IE, which was free and mandatory (it's still free and bundled).

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (2, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141578)

Yes. Trend Micro's beef with the issue is not that Microsoft has the security suite, but that it's including it in Windows Update. Given a choice between just "updating" your machine to install the security suite and forcing people to go search for other options, people are going to go with the update. Further, by putting it in with the updates it gives people the sense that they need it as part of a fully patched system, when it's not necessary and there are competing products that may be better.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (5, Insightful)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141734)

Shouldn't security be the purpose of the OS itself? Trend micro and other Antivirus software doesn't have a right to exist. the OS itself should theoretically already protect itself.

i guess i have no sympathy for them. and as much as i normally don't like MS i guess i am on MS's side for once.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (3, Informative)

random coward (527722) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141816)

I tend to agree with the above. I intended to post basically the same. Software added to the OS to fix security flaws in the architecture has a good argument as being part of the OS. If MS hadn't tried to claim the browser was a core part of the OS I doubt many people would have an issue with this being added.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (3, Informative)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142096)

Most of Microsoft's anti-trust trouble, at least in the US, had nothing to do with bundling the browser anyway. It gave them more trouble in Europe, but here the problem was MS was threatening PC retailers who wanted to bundle other browsers (namely Netscape) with their systems.

That's anti-competitive behavior, and we have laws against it. Europe reacted more harshly and forced MS to not ship Windows with a default browser. It ships with IE, but you have to set it as your browser of choice first.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142244)

I feel exactly the same way. Antivirus manufacturers are making a buck off Windows' insecurity. Nothing wrong with that, they were filling a need. But they also don't have any moral grounds to complain when Microsoft tries to improve said security.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34141772)

Except its listed in the Optional section, which is completely ignored if you just keep clicking next on Windows Update like 99% of people, and it only shows up there at all if you don't have any other AV installed. Seems fairly reasonable to me (and I truly fucking hate Microsoft and everything they do).

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141818)

Its including it for people without any security software already.

If Trend Micro's crap didn't get bought by the sucker^H^H^H^H^H^Huser already, odds are pretty low they will at that point.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141964)

Yeah, I'm not sure what their product is like lately, but when I got my laptop in 2003, it came with Pc-Cillin. Immediately upon first boot right after freshly installing the OEM disk image, it would lock up the system taking up all the resources. I could uninstall it, but the process was a pain with that much bloat.

I can't imagine why they'd be having trouble getting more customers.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142030)

It's an optional update, which means it won't actually autmoatically install. The user has to manually check for updates and select the optional ones they want.

It's also a really stupid thing to complain about, as if providing another avenue for downloading MSE is really changing anything. It's on the web; Windows comes with a web browser. It's one of the options recommended by Security Center for systems without AV. It's free no matter how you get it; they aren't adding cutting the cost or letting some people avoid some loophole to get it.

I've yet to see anybody crying foul about MS making their "Live Essentials" suite (movie maker, live messenger, mesh, etc.) available as an optional download, even though there are commercial products that compete with most if not all of those programs.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142042)

Further, by putting it in with the updates it gives people the sense that they need it as part of a fully patched system, when it's not necessary and there are competing products that may be better.

Except that there are the essential updates, which are selected by default, and the optional updates which are under a completely different list (you have to click a button to even display them).

Most people ignore the optional updates, and this shows up under the optional updates.

Again, what's the problem? Microsoft is putting out something to reduce the number of malware infected machines out there and people are upset? Really?

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

cpicon92 (1157705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141680)

You're completely right. It's Microsoft's operating system, if they feel like shipping out free AV via the update service, more power to them. People have been complaining for years that Windows is too full of viruses, and now MS is finally doing something about it. The only people complaining are the people who made their money off of the viruses.

Overall, there is something wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34141480)

When there is an entire market of software products whose business relies on fundamental flaws in your own product.

Speaking of things that go without saying... (3, Funny)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141508)

But most users won't understand the distinction.

Outside of some very specialized applications, that sentence could apply to almost any software.

Ozzy (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141550)

If it'll get rid of this Ozzy Osbourne virus, the FanFan trojan, and others infecting my machines that Trend doesn't even see, then hey, go for it.

This Space For Rent (2, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141570)

Why doesn't Microsoft just put a container in Windows Update for security companies to rent space to present download links?

Or is that how Security Essentials got there and the people "crying foul" are just sore that they'll have to pay, too?

Re:This Space For Rent (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141618)

Because anti-virus companies make software so bad, even Microsoft doesn't want the association.
I think SE got there because MS learned something from the Browser anti-competitive issues.

Or better yet (3, Insightful)

name_already_taken (540581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141628)

Why doesn't Microsoft just put a container in Windows Update for security companies to rent space to present download links?

How about an App Store?

/cue delusional whining about App Stores being the start of a slippery slope to concentration camps and lockdown.

Re:Or better yet (2, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141800)

You mean the one in Windows 8?

From what I've read, Microsoft is planning to have a Marketplace for installing applications in the next version of Windows. This will be nice because I can either tell people to only install software from there and nowhere else. In businesses, group policies can be set to enforce this. Result: One major vector for infection gets sealed.

I'm all for application markets, provided it isn't locked down to a single vendor. The OSS market has used repositories for decades, and this has been an excellent way to ensure software downloaded is clean.

Re:This Space For Rent (2, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142132)

Security Essentials is free.

It's also better than Trend Micro's AV, so you can see why Trend Micro is angry.

Instead of improving their product to compete, they whine, even though Microsoft has done absolutely nothing wrong here (and frankly, a lot of good if it gets people who don't have AV to install something).

MSSE is certainly no the best AV out there, so there is plenty of room for competition.

Re:This Space For Rent (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142216)

So Microsoft should add a link to Trend Micro's product, and a column with a star-rating.

It'd cost them nothing but time to write the disclaimer.

Waaambulance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34141580)

MSE works well enough for the free product it is. Other free AV isn't much better overall. This is just a waambulance run by Symantec, et al. A number of users will always click "install" on those popups, and bypass the AV solution anyway, judging by the scads of computers I've cleaned or restored.

Re:Waaambulance. (3, Informative)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141912)

I have tried many other products. On the consumer level, there is really no significant benefit the other guys have over MSE that makes it worth the cost per year. The only product I'd probably recommend would be Sunbelt Software's offerings because their products are good at delousing a machine when it can't be taken apart and fixed by someone with a clue. Suites [1] are a different story, but antivirus products alone, there isn't much anyone else has that MSE doesn't on the consumer level.

Enterprise-wide, different story. Products like Forefront or Symantec Endpoint Protection provides far more than just a "virus condom". As an IT guy, I can have it to stop "hacking tools" such as most serial number grabbing utilities, have it lock out USB flash drives, give me comprehensive reports from the Windows side of the house, hook with NAC to ensure that if a Windows box doesn't have AV, it doesn't get connected (for CYA reasons rather than technical), and loads of other stuff that matters in business.

So, on a personal level, I would just be content with MSE. If an acquaintance called up saying, "OMG, my computer is infected", I'd tell them to download Sunbelt Software's offering and let it attempt to clean the machine. If I were running a business, I'd spring for SEP or Forefront because of the enterprise level features.

[1]: Antivirus + firewall "suites" are pointless in any Windows version post 2000. Want a firewall? Get a hardware router, so blackhats don't have a small window of attack when a machine starts up or shuts down, and the software "firewall" isn't loaded and hooked into the IP stack.

Re:Waaambulance. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141996)

That's not true. The reason for the firewall at the computer level is that unless you've set up your network specifically to do it, all the computers are by default able to see each other. Meaning that while it might be tough for an attacker to get past that firewall, as soon as any of the computers on the network gets haxxored, all the other ones are vulnerable.

Oh, the outrage! (5, Insightful)

MechaShiva (872964) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141584)

The whole anti-virus industry seems like an artificial market. I wonder if they privately throw fits every time Microsoft releases patches to close potential security holes too. I mean, extending the argument, doesn't a more secure base system minimize the need for the full time, bloated nanny programs most of these companies provide; thus eroding their market share similarly? Those dirty bastards!

Re:Oh, the outrage! (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142010)

Artificial? It's not an artificial market unless they're funding the people that write malware.

Re:Oh, the outrage! (4, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142088)

In other news Trumpet Software is suing Microsoft for including a TCP/IP stack in Windows.

Had to happen.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34141588)

I am of two minds about this. In the past, many things we consider to be "core" OS services were once separate. For example, a TCP stack was once an add-on product that was purchased separately. Same for the internet browser, calculator, notepad, and even the GUI. Many companies have either been consumed or gone out of business as their products were rolled into the OS.

On the other hand, having a single vendor -- especially an OS vendor with Microsoft's history -- manage all security is an invitation to disaster. At least with competing products there's a chance that an exploit will be caught by some of the products.

I think it's a good thing, though. My Dell laptops come with that hideous McAfee A/V that prompts me every time I restart my PC and nags me about upgrading.

Re:Had to happen.. (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141900)

Regarding your comment about a single vendor managing all security, MS is NOT forcing anyone to use this. Windows Update merely puts it in there as an OPTIONAL update if you don't already have A/V software installed. Basically, they're doing this to cut down on the botnets due to people buying a computer with a 30-day subscription to Norton and then never paying for a full subscription.

Re:Had to happen.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34142210)

Does anyone else here remember when you had to purchase screen savers?

We work with MS Dynamics, and it's been interesting to see certain modules that were once developed by other software companies - usually MS "Partners" - being bought and bundled into the Dynamics family. In some instances, MS has bought and incorporated the software with new features, or simply purchased the company outright.

However, as mentioned in the parent, MS has also played unfair and added the features by developing it themselves and including them for free, destroying the market (for screen savers, browsers, notepads). You can still buy better screen savers, calculators, etc, but 95% of the market is dominated by the MS default.

i actually like this (4, Informative)

atarione (601740) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141592)

forefront and MSE are actually pretty good (MSE being built from forefront).

Their foot print on a system is quite reasonable (unlike many av suites) they do a good job of doing what they should do and staying out of the way. We all pay the price of way to many totally unsecured systems connected to the internet. FTFA the update only appears when no security software is detected on the system, So this will be being offered to users that would otherwise have no av protection at all.

I can see where MSE being offered free (and now offered via windows updates) would make other av vendors unhappy ..but f*ck them far to many of the consumer orientated av offering are just terrible bloated piles of junk.

They all need to shut up (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141846)

Their suites offer more functionality, and if they are coded well are faster and have better detection rates. MSE is good stuff and I happily recommend it to anyone who needs "free" to be the price point. However there are plenty of good suites out there that improve upon it. If you look at AV comparatives you'll notice the good ones have better detection rates, and faster scanning. Then, of course, the full on "security suites" offer things like nicer firewalls and so on. I like MSE, but I pay for ESET Smart Security because I like it more.

I see nothing at all wrong with MS wanting to provide basic, competent, virus scanning and allowing companies to market better solutions. They don't stop it, and in fact 3rd party solutions work well. ESET integrates with the Windows security center and it quite happily accepts them as the virus and firewall solutions.

I don't see that MS should be prevented from including software just because someone else happens to make it.

Re:They all need to shut up (2, Informative)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141922)

Just an FYI regarding firewalls - if you're on Win 7, there's no need to pay for a firewall because Win 7 finally has a good built in firewall.

Re:They all need to shut up (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142058)

Win7's firewall is almost identical to Vista's, but yes, they are quite good (XP's is much better than nothing, but a long way from good).

Re:They all need to shut up (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142166)

Windows has had a decent firewall since XP SP1.

The GP said he likes the security suites because they have nicer firewalls, not necessarily better ones. Some firewalls make management a lot easier than Windows Firewall does, so I can see the point, but I have to wonder what you're doing if your firewall management is a major hassle.

i actually like this too (1)

ericvids (227598) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142002)

IE4 was actually pretty good.

Its footprint was quite reasonable (unlike Netscape Communicator 4). It does a good job of rendering all web pages I visit, and faster too. We all pay the price when WWW innovations were being dictated only by a single browser, and I did not want to see yet another Geocities page with blink tags all over.

I can see where IE4 being offered free (and then being offered via Service Releases) would make Netscape unhappy .. but f*ck them, Netscape is just a terribly bloated pile of junk.

(seriously, I have MSE installed on all my computers, and i'm perfectly happy with the current method of acquisition, but this all looks way too familiar)

Re:i actually like this (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142112)

My one complaint is that it steals focus while updating-- even if minimized, or a system tray icon. (Meaning to the user: your focus just disappears for no reason.)

No app in 2010 should have focus stealing bugs, seriously. But other than that it's a great product.

Re:i actually like this (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142164)

It also seems worthwhile to note that AV vendors are not entitled to their businesses. They're running a business model that's largely dependent on MS Windows being horribly insecure, and insofar as Microsoft improves security, they're always going to lose out.

Really, I shouldn't need to buy a security suite in order to run my computer securely. Any security measures *should* be part of the OS.

Good for Microsoft! (5, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141600)

While I'm no MS fan, this is a good thing. Note: they only add MSE if no other virus checker is present. MSE actually does a pretty decent job, and it is a lot less intrusive than version McAfee, Norton, etc. available to private users.

Microsoft has a vested interest in improving the security of Windows without disturbing the rest of the user experience. Their motivation for MSE is roughly the same as the users'.

It has always bothered me that the interests of Norton, McAfee and the rest are not aligned with the user. You want a clean, fast machine. They want to sell you AV subscriptions. Which means they want to convince you how necessary those are. False alarms are fine, as are in-the-face dialogs and interruptions to remind you what a wonderful piece of crapware you have on your machine.

GOOD! (3, Informative)

DIplomatic (1759914) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141604)

Good! I personally love Microsoft Security Essentials. It does exactly what you want in a Virus Protection Program: 1) Keep an icon in the system tray indicating that "You Are Protected" 2) Stay out of your way and use very few system resources.
In all seriousness, I am a corporate IT technician and I prefer MSE over any other memory-hogging, system-crippling, scaring-you-with-false-warnings virus program out there.
Plus it's FREE. FREE!

Re:GOOD! (5, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141750)

1) Keep an icon in the system tray indicating that "You Are Protected"
2) Stay out of your way and use very few system resources.

I dunno.... seems like there's something missing from this specification.

Re:GOOD! (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142080)

1) Keep an icon in the system tray indicating that "You Are Protected"
2) Stay out of your way and use very few system resources.

I dunno.... seems like there's something missing from this specification.

FYI, it once caught something that Symantec missed.

It isn't stellar, but it does work at least as well as the rest do.

Re:GOOD! (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142192)

Meh, AV's only fix things that are well known anyway, so as long as it's a functioning AV it isn't that much worse than anything else out there.

On that score, MSE is pretty good anyway, so it's a no-brainer for home use.

Re:GOOD! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34141778)

I've tried lots of antivirus software and in terms of user-friendlyness and low resource consumption, MSE has been nothing be spectacular. Having said that though, in the last few months I have been infected with viruses that were able to successfully knock MSE's real-time scanner offline and deregister it's driver-level bindings. What is really needed is an IDS (intrusion detection system) to go alongside MSE to keep MSE safe. However, the fact that MSE can't safeguard itself from these kind's of things is telling of it's ability to keep your system safe in general.

Worth noting, a second laptop I own running Antivir instead of MSE survived the attack unscathed.

I still use MSE on the first laptop, along with Comodo Firewall now. However, I personally trust Antivir more now that I have experienced this firsthand. I guess it was only a matter of time, and popularity, before it started being targeted.

Words of wisdom... A rolling stone gathers no moss.

microsoft antivirus rulez (1)

carlosap (1068042) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141620)

they create a virus ecosystem, a happy world of virus, trojans, spyware, so they are like god, so they can do wathever they want with their world.

It's actually pretty decent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34141624)

It has decent detection rates, (found 2 on my fresh 7 box, no less, in archives from the way-back!) ..and pretty low overhead. I like it as a default application. The updates are easier through update cpl.

All in all, not a stand-alone trust-solo solution, but it's as good a MS product as I've seen for the job.

The other A/V companies are made relatively obsolete by MSE... unless you appreciate redundancy.

Forget the past... (0, Redundant)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141632)

Didn't the EU just last year force Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from it's operating systems? I'm pretty sure this would fall under antitrust and even if it doesn't it will make a lot of agencies look REALLY hard at Microsoft again. Who thought this was a good idea?

Re:Forget the past... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141808)

That;s what I thought, then I read it again and:

" the optional download list seen by US Windows users"

Apparently they're not daring to pull that off in Europe, but in the US its fine.

Re:Forget the past... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34141834)

Please Read the Summary...

If Windows update detects you have no Anti Virus package installed, it adds the Microsoft Security Essentials as an OPTIONAL download that you can CHOOSE to have.
Just like the Browser Election ballot Europeans got (Which listed many alternatives to Internet Explorer) it's the user's Choice to install the software or to acquire Anti Virus software on your own.

Re:Forget the past... (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142108)

Internet Explorer is already an optional feature, just enabled by default on most builds. Systems that don't have it can already get it as an optional download. New versions are already available as an optional update on Windows Update. How exactly is adding one more optional update supposed to be a problem? It doesn't install automatically or anything.

Re:Forget the past... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34142292)

Didn't the EU just last year force Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from it's operating systems? I'm pretty sure this would fall under antitrust and even if it doesn't it will make a lot of agencies look REALLY hard at Microsoft again. Who thought this was a good idea?

yes, but this isn't bundled with the os at all. its an OPTIONAL download and it only shows up when other AV isn't there already...
basically exactly the same as now, where u go and download it, but with the possibility of catching a few people who previously had no knowledge that they may even have needed AV software, and giving it to them for free... how is that anti competitive?

Bummer to be Microsoft... (1)

Uncle_Meataxe (702474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141656)

AV is a lose-lose situation for MS -- they're screwed if they do and screwed if they don't...

Re:Bummer to be Microsoft... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142116)

Yeah, I largely agree. They're doing the right thing here. If people need this free thing, they'll be prompted to go get it. That's in the customer's best interest, and if they didn't do it, they'd catch hell over that, too. In fact, they HAVE been catching it for their security situation for the past decade or more.

Windows update is a choice (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34141666)

'Windows Update is not a choice for users, and we believe it should not be used this way.' --Carol Carpenter, a GM at Trend Micro

Windows Update is a choice sweetie, although a lot of Windows users seem to choose not use it, or any ant-virus software for that matter.

Bloatware (3, Insightful)

Robadob (1800074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141698)

Most of the well branded av's are just packed full of bloatware and getting worse. It's even got to the point now that alot of free software which i have installed also installs mcafee smartscan or a similar product to my desktop without allowing me to not install them. Isn't there something foul about this? Personally i use the lesser known eset's nod32 and i think it does a good job.

Wait a minute.... (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141716)

The only reason they are bitching is they want the money for charging what MS is giving away for free. MS *should* have provided better protection for their operating system years ago, and AV companies have had a free ride overcharging for something that should be a core part of the operating system. Now that MS is finally making security a part of the OS and not an add on product, the fear mongers of the AV word are having kittens because their gravy train has been derailed.

Security should NOT be considered "separate" from the operating system. Not to be cliche, but ask any Linux admin....

Re:Wait a minute.... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142094)

Security should NOT be considered "separate" from the operating system. Not to be cliche, but ask any Linux admin....

While I do agree with the sentiment, I'm not aware of any Linux with kernel-level AV.

Re:Wait a minute.... (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142334)

While I do agree with the sentiment, I'm not aware of any Linux with kernel-level AV.

I don't run any AV on any Linux box at all, as it isn't needed. Because it is on Windows systems, it is needed and has been for a long time, due to the design, popularity and vulnerability of Windows. In other words, you can't compare a single aspect of security between the two, and instead consider general security as a whole. MS has gone as far as having hooks in the OS for AV, demonstrating it is designed for this type of interaction, and MS has simply not provided a "complete" security system in their operating system until now.

The best comparison that actually works is firewall: Not long ago, Windows "firewall" was non-existent, then defaulted to open, then finally became a real part of the OS. It is also automatically updated in the same way that the AV is now updated. It could be argued that Zone Alarm has a cause of action, because it wanted a level playing field in providing the service that fixed a gapping hole in Windows security, but like AV, I would argue that it is instead part of the basic, core operating system. This is because it affects ALL operations, like AV, not just some applications. Even when no applications are running.

When Apple will be forced to "unbundle" (-1, Flamebait)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141720)

Take a stab at Microsoft for daring to bundle anything, but what about Apple ? The Safari browser for example is not optional here in EU as it should be.

Re:When Apple will be forced to "unbundle" (3, Insightful)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141830)

They don't have a monopoly and aren't a convicted monopolist. Until then they won't be forced to unbundle anything.

Probably a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34141758)

MSE isn't bad at what it does and most Windows users need anti-virus software. Adding MSE via the update service sounds like a good idea. If this becomes an anti-trust issue, maybe Microsoft can just offer competing software via the update service for a small price. Trend Micro is a pain to setup and use by comparison and I'd actually be happy to see MSE kill them off.

Ha! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34141794)

'Commercializing Windows Update to distribute other software applications raises significant questions about unfair competition,' Carol Carpenter, a GM at Trend Micro, said on Thursday.

Don't worry, Carol; the majority of Windows users worldwide supposedly run pirated installs which means they aren't likely to be running Security Essentials anyway (much less able to keep it properly maintained with updated virus definitions). However, there's nothing preventing your company from selling subscriptions to software that can run (and be updated) on otherwise-illegitimate Windows installs... ;)

Security Is an Essential System Service (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141842)

When I buy Windows, it should include virus protection that works - and continues working for at least a couple years without my paying any additional costs. Viruses exploit software defects produced by Microsoft. They are Microsoft's fault. Microsoft should bear the cost of protecting me from them. It's obvious that MS will not ship products that are inherently safe from viruses due to bad programming. So MS must ship an OS that includes an effective virus protection system to protect it as an extra layer. The "new virus" subscription might have to cost extra after a couple of years, as that's about how often MS introduces a new OS. But it should still cost a small amount, like $10-20 per year. MS can make a huge profit from that kind of rate. Of course, that's if the MS virus protection SW is good quality, and if MS doesn't make basic OS SW that's such bad quality that its virus protection SW is overwhelmed.

I don't have to pay extra for seat belts when I buy a new car, unless I want belts that perform better to accommodate some unusually bad driving I do. OS security should be the same.

Re:Security Is an Essential System Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34142090)

Shouldn't Adobe be responsible for it then? The number of exploits in Flash and Reader are outpacing Windows exploits by quite a distance these days.

Microsoft has spent a lot of time and money cleaning up their act and producting more secure products.

Re:Security Is an Essential System Service (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142236)

Microsoft should be responsible for helping - and forcing, and charging - Adobe and other ISVs for keeping the MS virus protection up to date.

"Better" isn't good enough when it's not good enough. Proof is the fact that PCs are full of viruses, even when their users don't do anything wrong.

The best Windows protection... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141844)

.. is not bundle an extra program,but take out all the ones.

Sounds like a move in the right direction (1)

xiando (770382) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141856)

I don't know much about WIndows, I've heard it has improved since Windows 3.1 and that's about it. I am used to GNU/Linux distributions giving me all the latest software when I apt-get update or emerge sync;emerge -uv world or yum update or whatever. I never go to some website to get or update some piece of software, the OS has some feature which lets me do that. If Windows Update would be able to do something like that then it sounds to me as if it's a very good thing. Perhaps not so good as long as it only lets you grab Microsoft software, and it would likely be hard for them to add too much other software being that Windows typically means non-free software, but still.. this sounds to me like a step in the right direction. But as said, I don't really know that much about the Windows world.

I hate Microsoft, but this is a good idea (2, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141882)

I actually hate Bill Gates, and despise Microsoft and almost all of their practices, but even I have to say that this is an excellent idea, and Trend Micro should go screw themselves. Microsoft has directly contributed to the Virus problem to the point where it is accepted and expected by most people. Now they are actually offering a free tool to clean up their mess to some degree. This isn't like the browser scenario, where they were looking to embrace and extend to own the Internet. Antivirus isn't an application like Word, or a web browser where people will need and want it regardless of OS. It is a necessary evil. If a company offered free smoke detectors to anyone who didn't already have them, would anybody seriously be arguing that said company is Antitrust?

Re:I hate Microsoft, but this is a good idea (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142006)

Depends... if that same company tried to sell me a home with a unsafe oven I would think twice about the value of that free thing. In my world, where we use linux or bsd, we have no viruses because the system has been build like a house with a very very safe oven that can not overheat and burst into flames. What MS is doing here is first sell you a lacking product (lacking in safety) and than years later (it has been years) supply you with a free patch that stops SOME but not all of the spontaneous fires in your oven. And somehow, in not completely giving you what you paid for - they make you say thanks and applaud them. It's just to fucking weird to even be real :S No, I really don't think MS is doing this for charity ;)

Re:I hate Microsoft, but this is a good idea (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142276)

I agree that they first sold a product lacking safety, but it wasn't the oven, it was the house. Obviously, it would be much better if Microsoft suggested you replace the shoddy house (Windows) with a well built one (Linux, BSD, etc.), but let's face it: that isn't going happen. The least they can do is provide a free smoke detector, so that when an intentionally dangerous oven (malware) get's installed in place of the nice safe one you bought by the malicious person who easily broke into the poorly secured house, you can at least attempt to control the fire rather than burn with it.

"Raises" questions ? (0, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141886)

it IS unfair competition itself. it was what was done with ie against netscape, and media player against others.

they need to be sued the shit out of them, before they can bankrupt any more businesses with that trick. but, if it is done in usa, the corrupt legal system will probably end up favoring microsoft or dragging for a decade, causing all competitors to go bankrupt.

i think eu will need to fix this again.

Re:"Raises" questions ? (3, Informative)

CodingHero (1545185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141998)

it IS unfair competition itself. it was what was done with ie against netscape, and media player against others.

Not quite. Media player and IE come pre-installed on your machine but this is explicitly labeled an optional download. Being part of the "optional updates" means it will be presented to users as an option. They will not be in any way forced to download it and in fact will have to go out of their way to deliberately check the box to get it, something most people (i.e. my mom) probably won't do assuming they even realize the option exists.

Actually major media player updates (e.g. version 11 if you have version 10) are listed as optional as well if I recall correctly.

Re:"Raises" questions ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142314)

'optional' is irrelevant. billions of clueless users will download it and wont give a chance to anything else, just because it comes with windows.

Re:"Raises" questions ? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142024)

I guess its unfair competition that Unix/Linux started with a security model with prevented the rise of a virus problem so terrible that an industry was created around fixing issues that the os vendors/projects should have prevented. Man, I guess Cisco should sue the pfSense for allowing people to build security/gateway boxes every bit as capable as an ASA, only tens of thousands of dollars less.

If the EU "fixed" this situation, which perhaps one of the most sensible moves by Microsoft EVER, it will be really, really bad for all of us. That would be tantamount to saying you're not allowed to make a quality product because it is "unfair" to other companies that make money trying to work around your shoddy design.

This is absolutely nothing like the IE/Netscape browser wars. 15 years ago, a browser wasn't really considered necessary software and most people weren't on the web. The web wasn't a software platform in the same way it is today. But, yeah... whatever Microsoft does is bad and suspect and woe the humanity, think of the poor, suffering gnus!

Get over it. This is inevitable and beneficial. Most of those third-party security suites are so bloated and evil that they make the computer barely more usable than if it were infected by a virus. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised to find out many of the antivirus companies make and release viruses themselves to help perpetuate a need for their product. I'm not just talking about Norton and McAffee either. Don't forget that Eugene Kaspersky is a former KGB major, but don't worry, you can totally trust him.

oh god. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142294)

one moronic example after another.

software that accepts input from user will always be susceptible to viruses. it doesnt matter whether its linux, or it is windows. because the most exploitable system is windows, they are concentrating on that and having an easy time. if, it had been linux and it was much more tougher than windows as it is, they would just spend more time, but exploit it too.

please, dont come and post with shitty arguments.

Re:"Raises" questions ? (1)

Karunamon (1845630) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142052)

Yeah, no. Unless Microsoft is going to.. say.. Dell, and saying we won't give you a discount on licenses if you install McAfee or Norton as opposed to MSE, this isn't the same thing at all. Go look up what *actually* happened before shooting off your mouth. It wasn't including IE or WMP that got Microsoft in hot water, its the other crap they did to make those dominant.

Re:"Raises" questions ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34142138)

Why would an anti-ms troll care about facts?

Re:"Raises" questions ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34142078)

We might as well keep cancer around too, because it would be unfair to all the pharmaceutical companies if we just offered to cure it for free, right?

The AV industry was born because malware was a widespread problem for the Windows platform, and that malware needed to be dealt with. Once Malware is finally dealt with, AV companies need to die. Period. It's completely, unimaginably stupid to think that we should support AV companies living beyond their relevance, or hamper the progress towards making them irrelevant. You might as well sue microsoft for releasing it's MRT tool, or even offering security updates in the first place.

You might as well sue a doctor for offering free cures for cancer, because it harms the profits of the pharmaceutical industry.

Re:"Raises" questions ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142256)

the av industry wasnt born because of windows, dear fool. the potential for viruses has always been there. they are just capitalizing on the most common operating system. if windows becomes more secure, they will exploit other operating systems.

I don't understand... (2, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34141892)

I don't really understand why Microsoft shouldn't be allowed to include their own security software. Microsoft should purposely leave end users high and dry when it comes to something as important as computer security (something that the OS should take care of) for the sole reason that they don't have even the slightest edge against the competing security software makers?

This reminds me of a year or so ago when there was opposition from security software groups against Microsoft because they closed up access to a few things that those groups used for their antivirus software. Something that no one really should have had access to in the first place. You can't cry that Microsoft software isn't secure and then cry foul when Microsoft actually works to improve security.

Which part of "optional" is objectionable? (2, Insightful)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142066)

From TFA: Microsoft adds Security Essentials to the Optional section of Microsoft Update

Items in the optional section aren't automatically downloaded or installed, nor does a user even see them unless he/she clicks on a separate button to view the optional updates. MS is offering an optional & free program to protect users from Malware, and a user has to go out of his/her way to see and select that program before it'll be installed, and it's only offered to users who don't already have another AV program installed.

This is almost a "hidden option". I've got concerns about numerous M$ business practices, but I can't object to this one.

BTW - I haven't seen Adobe complaining that M$ offers Silverlight in the Optional section of M$ Update, even though M$ has clearly made some statement against Flash.

Folks, please stop the arguing already! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34142082)

Come on and join the rest of us in the 21st century. Upgrade to a platform that isn't vulnerable to countless forms of viruses, spyware, scamware, etc.. Your computer, ISP, and wallet will thank you. Choose between the Mac, Linux, or BSD. I'm not a fanboy of any of them, so I frankly don't care which route you pick.

The rules are different for Microsoft. (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142084)

Some may suggest that Windows Update is now Microsoft's "app store" and claim that they are doing what every other operating system vendor is now doing. But you have to remember that the rules are different for Microsoft. Microsoft has been declared a monopoly by a federal court, and therefore must play by different rules.

Microsoft should have been divested when the court had the chance.

Seen this before (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142106)

I remember a similar discussion when Microsoft added a TCP/IP stack to windows, the vendors like Winsock were really upset.

I'm not sure if I see a difference here, but anyone who used TCP/IP before it was added into the OS knows now what the correct choice was.

Well, I'm ambivalent. (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142114)

I don't like Microsoft's market tactics, but the sooner they make the "Security Ecosystem" redundant the better.

We Linux geeks know how nice it is to not have to deal with dozens of "security" vendors.

--
BMO

more crap (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34142230)

Just today I removed that from someone's computer because its process was stuck in some sort of loop due to a known conflict with one of an almost infinite list of incompatibilities and it was slowing the computer to a crawl and reading the hard drive nonstop. Definitely not good software!

When your entire business model... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34142250)

When your entire business model depends on a 3rd party failing to provide a core feature of their product, you should be happy you made any money at all.

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