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MS To Build Antivirus Into Win8: Boon Or Monopoly?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the efficacy-to-be-determined dept.

Microsoft 748

jfruhlinger writes "Microsoft has quietly announced that it's planning on baking anti-virus protection right into the Windows 8 OS. Users have been criticizing Windows' insecurity for years — but of course this move is raising howls of protest from anti-virus vendors, who have built a nice business out of Windows' security holes. Is this a good move by Microsoft, or a leveraging of their monopoly as bad as bundling Internet Explorer?"

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748 comments

Anti-Trust (5, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126624)

I would love to see governments attacking Microsoft for making its software too secure. That would keep me laughing for years.

Re:Anti-Trust (5, Insightful)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126654)

I look at anti-virus as a compression bandage. It staunches the bleeding, but does nothing to prevent the injury....

Maybe a more secure OS from the get-go might help? Although Win 7 seems to be a step in the right direction....

Re:Anti-Trust (-1, Flamebait)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126702)

Because there are no virus scanners, rootkit detectors, etc. for Linux, right? Oh wait there are...

Re:Anti-Trust (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126748)

Because there are no virus scanners, rootkit detectors, etc. for Linux, right? Oh wait there are...

Linux virus-scanners are primarily used to detect Windows viruses on servers so the Windows machines accessing those servers don't pass their infections around.

When was the last active Linux virus released?

Re:Anti-Trust (5, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126868)

You're typing into it.

Re:Anti-Trust (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126754)

Those are for the Windows clients using the real servers!

Best tool for the job, stop being a zealot!

Re:Anti-Trust (2)

DadLeopard (1290796) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126852)

Yep, there are, and we mainly use them as a Courtesy to our Windows using friends and family, since the viruses they stop don't effect us, we just don't want to pass them on to those less fortunate, or less computer savvy!

Re:Anti-Trust (5, Insightful)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126790)

So how do you "secure" an OS and still allow users to run whatever they want to?

And before you say "don't run as administrator", any app that can run with the users privileges has access to all of the users data -- which is harder to replicate than system files.

Re:Anti-Trust (2, Insightful)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126870)

MAC

(and I don't mean the computers from Cupertino)

Re:Anti-Trust (3, Informative)

mini me (132455) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126874)

Why do applications need access to all of the user's data?

Re:Anti-Trust (5, Insightful)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126960)

Why do applications need access to all of the user's data?

An application doesn't "need" access to all of the user's data. But how do you prevent code that runs at the users' access level from being able to access all of the data that the user has access to? If the app developer can get users to grant access to their data (not hard to do) how can the OS prevent them without having a locked down environment?

Re:Anti-Trust (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126966)

Try using Windows Phone 7.

You'll understand the hell of it when each application is restricted to it's own data space.

Re:Anti-Trust (4, Insightful)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 2 years ago | (#38127002)

How else would you do it? What if you have a file you want to open up in more than one application? In entirely plausible to have multiple processes operate on a file in series. For instance, you use a photo editor to manipulate an image. Then you insert that image into a document. Then you compress that document. Then you send that document via email. That document has been around the block through several applications. What are you supposed to do, give each application individual permissions to access the document? Is this the height of productivity?

Re:Anti-Trust (5, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126876)

You can't have an OS that is secure against viruses, so long as 1) it allows the user to install software, and 2) it does not provide a strict sandbox for said software.

Linux, for example, permits viruses to be written. So does OS X. The reason why viruses do not proliferate on those systems is because they're not a particularly interesting attack target, and because (specifically in case of Linux) they are typically run by competent users who don't run random binaries off the Net.

iOS, on the other hand, does not have viruses, because 1) all software comes from a trusted location with no way to circumvent this, and 2) software is sandboxed such that it cannot modify other binaries on the system or create new ones, even in directories otherwise writable by the user who runs the software.

TL;DR version: the kind of security that you want is called a "walled garden". Furthermore, you're going to get just that in Win8. When there'll be the next Slashdot story on the horrors of iOS lockdown, keep that in mind.

Re:Anti-Trust (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38127032)

Linux, for example, permits viruses to be written. So does OS X. The reason why viruses do not proliferate on those systems is because they're not a particularly interesting attack target

LOL you must be new to this "internet" thing or channeling 1995.

because (specifically in case of Linux) they are typically run by competent users who don't run random binaries off the Net.... iOS, on the other hand, does not have viruses, because 1) all software comes from a trusted location with no way to circumvent this,

The linux and ios situation are closer than you seem to think.

I would guess than 99.999% of Debian installs have nothing but debian.org packages and perhaps a handful of nvidia drivers, multimedia repo files, and maybe some weird firmware files. All my "server" type boxes are 100% nothing but Debian packages, only my desktops and mythtv frontends have anything else.

Make it impossible to circumvent, people get annoyed at the restriction, simply because it is a restriction, regardless if they intend to actually go beyond it. Make it really inclusive, easy to add, as open as possible, and inconvenient to avoid, and people are OK with it. Golden handcuffs, sorta.

Re:Anti-Trust (1, Interesting)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38127036)

Given that you can (or at least, for a couple years, could) jailbreak iOS by visiting a web site, I'm surprised there aren't more viruses for it. It seems a pretty wide open target, with a rather profitable victim base (they, at minimum, could drop a couple hundred or more for a cell phone).

Re:Anti-Trust (5, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126670)

And also - what kind of anti-virus will be first on the list of the malware producers to circumvent?

Today there are many different AV solutions and it's almost impossible to evade them all, but now there will be one main target.

Re:Anti-Trust (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126888)

Actually, you should not be to sure about that. A quick search on techniques to avoid AV detection reveals that there are not only suits but services for malware producers to try out their new malware in and to see if they get caught by the most widely used AV software. And the techniques to avoid catching, well, there are plenty a quick search will reveal that.

Re:Anti-Trust (3, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126892)

There's no "one main target" among them. Just holes in their database. Small holes in very large databases.

Avast yesterday told me it had something like 5 million different signatures it could check. Which is both impressive and scary. That's a lot of miscreants being miscreative at a breakneck pace.

Re:Anti-Trust (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126728)

That would keep me laughing for years.

Keep in mind that anything "government" spends time doing, it's on your dime.
I'm sure there are other things you'd rather have the government work on.

Re:Anti-Trust (3, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126946)

No, it's their dime. You're in possession of it until you aren't, then it's someone else's. Most dimes they have were never yours in the first place. You negotiated your pay in full knowledge that a portion of that number would be sent straight to the government.

Now, you have a vote, and a voice, so you have a say in who will be making laws regarding the apportionment of that dime, and you can tell them how you feel about their decisions.

But, no, it is absolutely not your dime, and it probably never was.

Re:Anti-Trust (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126740)

On the other hand, can Microsoft be trusted to make antivirus any more secure than their OS?

Re:Anti-Trust (4, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126794)

I think that's the first time I've ever seen "Microsoft" and "too secure" in the same sentence.

Re:Anti-Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126890)

What nobody's ever said "Microsoft Windows is not too secure" before? ;)

Re:Anti-Trust (5, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126848)

This whole Microsoft witch hunt is ridiculous.
MS does lots of things that should get people and governments mad but including necessary software is not one of them.

First off you need a browser on OS install, and you really really should have a antivirus so that you don't get infected while searching the internet for one.
Whats next, MS is evil for including paint and notepad?
Or it is unfair for the game industry that solitaire is installed along with the OS?

Re:Anti-Trust (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126994)

MS is evil for including paint and notepad?

The makers of other picture and text editors have tried to make that case.

The users of Paint and Notepad aren't all that happy, either.

Great! (2)

csumpi (2258986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126638)

This is awesome and MS should've done this 10 years ago.

Re:Great! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126690)

In DOS 6.2 there was msav...

Re:Great! (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126952)

Yeah, but they still didn't add a secure boot mode to Windows or even a way to ensure the antivirus is the first thing to run.

Also ... "Failsafe mode" isn't. You can run any program you like in failsafe more just by adding it to the registry.

The only way to really scan a Windows disk for a virus is to take it out and connect it to another machine (hopefully a clean one...)

Bottom line: There's still an awful long way to go as far as Windows security is concerned.

If so.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126642)

Sue Apple first

Argh. (4, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126644)

So making an OS more secure (I know, they could get rid of security holes... but...) is also monopolistic?

To me, this is kinda like saying IrfanView should sue because MS includes Paint or Picture Viewer or whatever they include.

IE was a bit trickier, because they did their own thing with HTML and stuff and you HAD to use IE in order to view some stuff, so it was a bit nastier. But a virus detector? What are they going to do, write viruses that only their software can find... but then they wouldn't work on other OSes... so it wouldn't be much of a lock-in.

Re:Argh. (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126802)

To me, this is kinda like saying IrfanView should sue because MS includes Paint or Picture Viewer or whatever they include.

I would see a main difference is that you normally can't run 2 different AV software packages at the same time. It brings the machine to a screeching halt as they fight each other (and they run always in the background). Having Paint or Picture Viewer doesn't hinder IrfanView from working right. Now if MS made it easy enough to turn off their AV so you could use another package, I don't have issues with it.

Re:Argh. (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126856)

I agree. If this was the case, there would be no firewall in Windows either. That one seems to have slipped through just fine. If they are restricted from including something simply because somebody else makes a similar product, then Windows is doomed until they no longer have a high enough market share to be considered a monopoly.

Perspectives (5, Insightful)

4pins (858270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126646)

The capitalist in me screams, "Anti-competitive!"

The IT guy in me exclaims, "It is about time."

The consumer in worries, "How will this impact performance?"

Re:Perspectives (5, Insightful)

redmid17 (1217076) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126760)

The capitalist in me screams, "Anti-competitive!"

The IT guy in me exclaims, "It is about time."

The consumer in worries, "How will this impact performance?"

Did you have the same worries when MS put a firewall in XP with Service Pack 2 in 2004?

Re:Perspectives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126940)

No, I just disabled it. Why did they ever think I would want a firewall?

Re:Perspectives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126986)

Did you have the same worries when MS put a firewall in XP with Service Pack 2 in 2004?

Windows XP is a NT system. The firewall was already there. They only added a interface to set it up.

Re:Perspectives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126858)

Having multiple personalities is not good for you.

Re:Perspectives (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126894)

The consumer in worries, "How will this impact performance?"

You can google for reviews of Microsoft Security Essentials to find out. Or (if you have a Windows box) just install it and judge for yourself.

The Technologist Perspective (5, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126922)

The Technologist in me screams: "Spend more time making your OS secure and less time trying to band-aid it with virus protection!"

Re:Perspectives (4, Interesting)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126974)

The capitalist in me screams, "Anti-competitive!"

The IT guy in me exclaims, "It is about time."

The consumer in worries, "How will this impact performance?"

Microsoft AV is among the lest resource intensive AV programs I have seen.

what are the odds that their virus scanner works? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126648)

as close to zero as I can imagine

Re:what are the odds that their virus scanner work (3, Informative)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126776)

Actually, from all I've heard, Microsoft's virus scanner for earlier versions of windows, works pretty darn well, comparable with the better commercial products.

So, given that they are probably going to bundle an update of this... I'd have to say from prior experience, the odds of your guess being accurate are as close to zero as I can imagine.

Re:what are the odds that their virus scanner work (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126928)

MSE already works better then the Norton & Mcafee bloatware, so their chances are pretty good.

It's a good idea IF.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126652)

It's a good idea overall as long as there is the ability for power users to disable the 'feature' and use third-party software.

It will be good for the less knowledgeable / casual user but to the more discerning user there may be better tools for what they want to do with the system.

Overall I think it might help stem the flow of infection through those will no anti-viral software whatsoever but with many boxes still using ME/XP/Outdated everything it won't drop infection rates THAT signinificantly.

Good for consistency; bad because of consistency (5, Interesting)

show me altoids (1183399) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126656)

I think this would be a great idea as long as MS keeps it well updated and people don't rely just on it. It would immediately improve the security of the PCs of all the people who don't bother with antivirus, but it may lull others into a false sense of security and give them an incentive to not get any other antivirus which would put a target for virus writers squarely on MS's solution.

Uh... (-1, Troll)

webanish (1045264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126662)

Windows IS the virus!

Re:Uh... (0)

wooptoo (1075345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126912)

Nah, a virus _does_ something.

Whichever it is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126664)

I don't care whichever it is. The EU won't like it bundled so.

Depends on if it can be turned off and if its good (3, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126668)

If I somehow end up with a Windows 8 machine, I will continue to use F-Prot or Command anti-virus no mater what is bundled. Microsoft including their own anti-virus software will not compete with such products, it may however be the end of McAfee and Norton. But I honestly think the world is better off without them.

Re:Depends on if it can be turned off and if its g (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126816)

I really don't see this as being any different than Microsoft shipping Windows Firewall. They provide the means for third-parties to replace or augment the existing firewall and API to allow those products to declare themselves to the OS so that the unified security user interface can inform the user that it is running and alert them if they are not updated or aren't using the recommended settings. The OEMs and the consumers still get a choice, this will just raise the lowest common denominator. It's not perfect, and there are legit concerns about fostering a security mono-culture and giving malware authors an easy first target to circumvent, but it's better than absolutely nothing, and frankly, as far as AV goes, Microsoft Security Essentials is as unintrusive as they get.

Re:Depends on if it can be turned off and if its g (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38127014)

it may however be the end of McAfee and Norton.

Nothing of value was lost.

Let's hope they don't just step up their attempts to bundle themselves with *everything*.

AV is a band-aid (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126672)

Imagine if God gave humans band-aids instead of giving humans blood clotting. Microsoft should fix their software so AV isn't a requirement.

Re:AV is a band-aid (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126920)

How does software clotting work anyway?

Re:AV is a band-aid (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38127038)

How exactly should Microsoft stop people from double-clicking everything they see with the words "see Britney nude" in it?

Monopoly (3, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126676)

Why on earth would Microsoft want to put the AV competition out of business? It only costs them money.

It's neither boon nor monopoly, it's acknowledging a begrudging reality that no matter how secure your OS you need AV on top and you can't rely on your users to purchase it.

I'm sure Microsoft would be more than happy for everyone to run Norton and save the development expense but... that would be like requiring your customers to buy hamburger bun separately.

Re:Monopoly (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126898)

I have to say I don't get this one either. They have the market sewn up so it's not like they're going to sell more licenses. And why put themselves under the bundling/trust gun as AV is a thriving industry and this will certainly harm it. And it's not like MS cares what a bunch of knowledgeable forum users think about their software as it's going to sell anyway. The only angle I can imagine is MS smells profits and plans to charge for a Pro version or something.

Re:Monopoly (3, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126976)

That, and Norton slows down and generally screws up Windows so much that it makes Microsoft look bad. I've never found a problem that couldn't be fixed with "uninstall Norton", because the damn thing is worse then most of the viruses it supposidly stops.

The user experience matters. Microsoft limited what sound drivers could do in kernel space years ago for the same reason - Creative's drivers were so bad that they made Windows as a whole look bad.

deja vu all over again... (1)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126680)

Stacker, IE, etc... now that the DOJ antitrust action/oversight against MS is complete...

Of course MS will argue that it *needs* to be integral to the OS, just as MS argued about Stacker (data compression) and IE.
Stacker did win a pretty big settlement from MS... perhaps Norton and McAfee should take the money and run, far away...

Re:deja vu all over again... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126956)

Stacker had nothing to do with anti-competitive. The problem was that DriveSpace in DOS 6.0 was using compression techniques that violated Stac patents, and it was exacerbated by the fact that MS first approached Stac to license Stacker from them (and hence likely knew about the patents), but then went with a different solution.

Panties tied in a knot (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126686)

OS X had this 2 years ago. I can't think of any non-security/utility Linux distros that come with one pre-installed, but this is a pretty common sense move forward. To be frank, I'm surprised that MS waited until now. Granted the whole anti-trust restrictions were still active, but I can't imagine the DOJ wouldn't see a common sense ruling in this one as long as MS didn't restrict 3rd party AV effectiveness. IMHO if Windows can have a built-in firewall, why couldn't it have a built-in AV detection system.

Re:Panties tied in a knot (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126980)

That's funny. My OS X devices aren't running any AV software. Run's running SL and the other Lion.

This will totally change ISP hotliners lives (2)

TheTruthIs (2499862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126692)

I think they're gonna throw parties at ISP hotlines if this AV works good.

This is like building a home with no doors... (0)

FumarMata (1340847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126694)

This is like building a home with no doors and leaving a "No entry" sign in the living room.

all for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126696)

if that means they make windows inherently more secure that is, you know, by design. I do not need just another bolted on half baked product.

So here's a question (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126700)

I have a question for the people that'd want MS to 'protect' anti virus companies: If the gov't decided to shut Microsoft down for it's anti-competitive practices, would you object to that in order to save companies like Symantec?

Ummmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126712)

They give it away free as it is (and it's pretty damn good at that). Beats the crap out of McAfee and Symantec. Tighter integration of security services is certainly a good thing. What's to complain about, exactly?

Why dont they just change the user security system (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126718)

and force people to use a non-administrator account for applications?

Re:Why dont they just change the user security sys (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126764)

and force people to use a non-administrator account for applications?

Because it would break Whizzbangsoft Whizzywriter '96.

Re:Why dont they just change the user security sys (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38127018)

That wouldn't help. You still need an administrator and that account better be able to run non-MS software.

Bill was right (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126724)

Bill Gates was right. Microsoft had every right to add whatever features and applications it wanted to its OSes. Look at Chrome OS, Android, Mac OS X, iOS. All have browsers and other applications "built-in". In fact, Chrome OS doesn't even allow you to use an alternate browser, while Windows always allowed this. Adding non-intrusive and automatic antivirus to Windows 8 is a step forward.

Can I turn it off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126744)

will there be an easy way to turn it off? I really don't want to be playing a competitive game online and have my system bog down for a virus scan, or have my computer take twice as long to boot because of this.

Re:Can I turn it off? (1)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126826)

I would not be surprised if what they bundled was a new version of Microsoft Security Essentials, or something similar. If that were the case, I think you'd be able to do just about whatever you would like with it. And it could mean you don't have to worry about shutting it down. MSE is the least intrusive AV I've ever used. It is the first thing I install on new computers for friends and family. They got it right.

Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126750)

Maybe then other security companies like Symantec will start working on making their software decent. Somehow, the free Microsoft Security Essentials is better than Norton all while not being a pain in the ass resource hog.

Yea But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126766)

If anyone would think this a viable option for any system that wades through the internet wait to see how they keep it up to date. You can't protect against what doesn't exist but you can respond faster. This would also assume that Microsoft will catch ever virus, in my opinion its nice but it doesn't do much in the way of sole protection.

Apple (0)

tesdalld (2428496) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126768)

If apple did this, it would be great... microsoft does it an they are monsters. to hell with this.

Re:Apple (2)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126828)

Apple DOES do this, have for years.

All the Apple people do, is secure the os and claim "We have no viruses" (even though they do)

Re:Apple (1)

tesdalld (2428496) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126908)

Well microsoft doesn't do it, but Dell and HP (and the likes) do pre-install mcafee and norton on their images.

Apple has done this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126964)

It may have escaped the notice of much of /. but Apple has in fact hidden limited antivirus software in the most recent versions of OS X with quiet definition updates. Since 10.6 I think.

so let me get this straight... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126780)

People are annoyed that Microsoft is making their OS *more* secure?

Really, I wouldn't worry about it, I'm sure there will be plenty of attack vectors. (I could be snarky and say "this is Microsoft after all" but I won't. Oops, I just did.) What it comes down to is, you build a better mousetrap, nature builds better mice.

Down with AV! (1)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126796)

I'd rather see something innovative rather than another AV product that is never up to date and always slowing down the system. I'd like to see the current pattern matching approach scuttled. There has to be a better way. What about a serious look at white listing?

Re:Down with AV! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126970)

The serious look at whitelisting is Trusted Computing. The problem with that being that we don't trust them.

Security Essentials... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126804)

They have had Microsoft Security Essentials for years, and I've never understood why it can't be preinstalled.
 
Not allowing a company to secure their software so parasitic third parties can make money is not a monopoly.
 
To be fair I do HATE most AV software, mostly because 99% of the time it's much worse than any virus your computer might contract.

A Bit Different (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126806)

I'm sure that part of the reason that it has taken this long for them to do this is precisely because of the possibility of legal troubles. At the same time, whereas it was difficult to argue that a web browser was truly an inherent function of the Operating System, it's difficult to argue that protection from viruses is not. So, while this may appear reminiscent of the Netscape case on the surface, it may be much less of a legal minefield in reality.

As for the anti-virus vendors, realistically they should have known that it was only a matter of time before Microsoft would clean up their act a bit and obsolete the vendors' products. They got to ride on the coattails of Microsoft's laziness for a long time.

as long as it's not a governemnt assisted monopoly (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126810)

A company creates a product, obviously they have a monopoly on this product, they are the ones creating it.

So iPads are created by Apple. Samsung LCD screens are created by Samsung.

Microsoft Windows is a Microsoft monopoly.

Of-course there are alternative products out there, but to get a legitimate copy of Microsoft Windows you go to Microsoft. If Microsoft makes other products that work with their OS, it doesn't mean they are criminals in any way.

If they use their power as a monopolist to lock others out of making similar products, maybe the laws are such, that they prohibit this behavior (though I am against laws prohibiting this behavior, by the way, purely because government shouldn't be involved in making business decisions).

However if Microsoft lobbied the government and got a law passed that made it more expensive (in terms of taxes, licenses, regulations) for others to create similar software THEN I am against it, because that's what creates real barriers to entry - government assistance to one entity over another.

That's the problem with everything that government does, be it laws on what prices should be or government requiring licenses to do any sort of business activity, any sort of a tax or a franchise license or any labor regulation, for examples imposing pensions/medical insurance requirements, etc. All this stuff creates barriers to entry against any new comers into the business, so people don't even try in many cases. Simultaneously there are all these welfare programs out there, that make it stupid for certain to try and do real work instead of receiving these benefits.

You'd think people would finally realize that government involvement into the economy is the reason the economy is tanking.

At least... (1)

Jiro (131519) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126822)

Currently, most if not all home versions of anti-virus programs are poorly written and create a lot of system load. (Business versions are better because businesses won't put up with this nonsense.)

If anti-virus is built into Windows, and has the same problems, people will (justifiably) blame *Windows* for the system load caused by the antivirus. We've seen with Vista that even with the Windows monopoly, having Windows produce too big a system load will not be tolerated. So having MS supply antivirus may be a blessing in disguise, since we may actually get reasonable antivirus programs.

(Of course, if you can't turn it off, that brings its own set of problems.)

You can disable it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126824)

You can disable it and MSDN has ways to allow you, as a developer, to have your software fully disable it.... (which in and of itself can be a security flaw using fake digital signatures).

Does not matter, Windows is insecure in either way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126830)

If Windows was a secure OS, they wouldn't need any antivirus (including that of 3rd parties). Please note that this is not (only) to bash Microsoft; I don't wish to put Linux in the "secure enough" category yet, and I just barely put OpenBSD there.

Too bad that Microsoft will never re-write their OS with security as their main focus. Considering how easy Windows is to use (in some cases at least), the result would be quite interesting.

will it block software that MS does not like/ popu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126854)

will it block software that MS does not like/ popup boxes saying this app is unsafe of apps like firefox?

Depends On How It's Implemented (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126880)

It's a monopoly if Microsoft treats OTHER anti-virus programs as viruses and removes them from Windows, like they did with FTP Software, Netmanage, and WRQ's replacement TCP/IP and windows sockets network stacks back in the day. If they don't, and they coexist just fine and allow people to install and use other antivirus applications, then I don't see what the problem is. It's not as if any one antivirus/firewall/ad blocker/cookie blocker/malware remover is ever adequate.

Anti-Evolution (1)

swabeui (1291044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126906)

I think this will work in the short term, but eventually they will catch on and just work around it. Just like they do with Norton now. With competition in the marketplace and new versions released at different schedules (building new locks) the virus maker hedges on missing or out of date protection (building new keys). With it built in, not only will everyone exploit the holes (since the lock never changes), but will give users a truly false sense of security (everyone has a master key). Then there is the whole "in order to make it secure he had to build it in to the OS and can't be uninstalled..."

who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126916)

Seriously... every computing device I use is either Apple or Linux. M$ can lick my bawls!

Remember Windows Defender (0)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126934)

Even if Microsoft makes there own anti virus solution it will be so poor that an entire new industry will open up based around selling products to fix the new series of holes there going to introduce. How about instead of making anti virus software they just redesign the entire system to be secure. Trying to fix the holes when you can prevent them from the start is backward logic.

it sure is a monopoly (0)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126938)

microsoft has had a monopoly on computer viruses since they released windows version 1.0, not that i would want that monopoly to be broken up because then avoiding viruses would be much more difficult if there was viruses on all OSs like they are on windows

Dam(n) (3, Funny)

clinko (232501) | more than 2 years ago | (#38126942)

"Dam company to provide leak protection in future dams. Dam contractors angry."

been there done that.. non? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126944)

With DOS 6(I believe..) Microsoft bundled antivirus with the OS, they also started bundling things like memory managers, and defragmentation, and disk repair utilities that were previously only available through third parties.
Obviously the real money was to be made on Anti-Virus because the other tools got to stay in because nobody screamed very loud about them. Now they are including an AV.

I don't see a problem in this case including core AV functionality in the OS, putting that sort of thing as close to the kernel as possible will help prevent the real nasties from getting in and hopefully reduce the headache of slow down that seperate AV provides.

Hugely dishonest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38126950)

Microsoft doesn't need ANOTHER incentive to add security holes to their operating system.

MS DOS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38127012)

so... MS DOS 6.22 again?
I know that from from Norton off the top of my head, but didn't they learn any lessions?

I guess in internet age, AV signature updates will be easy... not like back then :)

Why not just make Win8 secure? (0)

rs1n (1867908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38127030)

The point of an anti-virus protection is to fix or patch up an insecure system. The reason we have viruses is because there are design flaws that enable them to even be effective. On the other hand, even the most effective AV systems are out of date by design. At best, they can handle the viruses that are already in the wild. Any predictive feature of any AV system still relies on knowing where the virus writers might attack. But if you knew that much, why not just patch your system so it no longer becomes an attack vector.
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