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Microsoft Security Software Windows Technology

Microsoft Security Essentials Released; Rivals Mock It 465

Posted by kdawson
from the free-but-is-it-worth-it dept.
Bimal writes "After a short three-month beta program, Microsoft is officially releasing Microsoft Security Essentials, its free, real-time consumer anti-malware solution for fighting viruses, spyware, rootkits, and Trojans. MSE is available for Windows XP 32-bit, Windows Vista/7 32-bit, and Windows Vista/7 64-bit. 'Ars puts MSE through its paces and finds an unobtrusive app with a clean interface that protected us in the dark corners of the Internet.' The software received positive notes when in beta, including a nod from the independent testing group AV-Test." But reader CWmike notes that Symantec is trash-talking Microsoft's free offering. Jens Meggers, Symantec's vice president of engineering, dismissed MSE as a "poor product" that will "never be up to snuff." Meggers added, "Microsoft has a really bad track record in security." The GM of Trend Micro's consumer division sniffed, "It's better to use something than to use nothing, but you get what you pay for."
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Microsoft Security Essentials Released; Rivals Mock It

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  • by mantis2009 (1557343) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:13PM (#29588787)
    Doesn't bug, silent updates, fast scans, no noticeable performance hit. I can finally get my parents off of their annoying Norton or whatever they paid $50 to use for 12 months.
    • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:22PM (#29588847)
      It might not be perfect protection, but if it's going to be used by all the mum and dad users with zero tech skills, then it's a good thing.

      They likely would have never understood why you need to pay a lot for top end protection, nor would they likely have payed for it. This is a nice step between.
      • by Jeremi (14640) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:49PM (#29589035) Homepage

        They likely would have never understood why you need to pay a lot for top end protection, nor would they likely have payed for it.

        Hell, I never understood that either. Why should anyone who just forked out $xxx for a brand-new OS then be forced to pay yearly "protection money" as well? Sounds like a racket to me.

        • by MrKaos (858439) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @12:49AM (#29589373) Journal

          Sounds like a racket to me.

          Never attribute to malice what you can attribute to shoddy engineering.

        • by Ronald Dumsfeld (723277) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @06:41AM (#29591131)

          They likely would have never understood why you need to pay a lot for top end protection, nor would they likely have payed for it.

          Hell, I never understood that either. Why should anyone who just forked out $xxx for a brand-new OS then be forced to pay yearly "protection money" as well? Sounds like a racket to me.

          I regularly end up helping people who've bought a new PC which comes infested with the Norton malware. If you don't rip it out before the free trial ends it is virtually impossible to get rid of it. And, of course, if you wait until the trial expires, you've probably caught some nasty - their package is, to put it bluntly, a bloated and useless piece of shit.

          It sounds like Microsoft's offering is considerably less obtrusive, and end users will not be hit with the problems I've seen with my preferred solution, Avira [free-av.com].

          I've used, and recommended Avira for years, it is completely free for non-commercial use and all you have to put up with is a once-a-day popup advert for their paid products. This is a good thing for non-technical users, it gives them a reminder that their anti-virus has just updated and is still working.

          What really, really pissed me off was Vista. XP's security control centre quite happily recognised Avira, but Vista "conveniently" failed to recognise it. This means that unless you're reasonably technically savvy you will get constant nagging that you have no antivirus product. I wonder if that had anything to do with their plans to release this new product.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Z34107 (925136)

            What really, really pissed me off was Vista. XP's security control centre quite happily recognised Avira, but Vista "conveniently" failed to recognise it

            Kind of a nitpicky thing, but the XP and Vista security centers don't "recognize" anything. Windows has an API to talk to security center - you have to call IAmInstalled32(), IAmOutOfDate32(), IAmDisabledEx(), etc.

            Vista isn't conspiring to make your software not work - Avira evidently just doesn't bother to tell Vista's security center that it's installe

    • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:24PM (#29588865)
      I have to agree. If the independent review is truly independent, I would have to question Symantec's comments. I have to wonder if they are stating such from a professional opinion, or simply in fear for their bottom line. I would take an independents opinion long before I considered a direct competitors negative comments as trustworthy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by infalliable (1239578)

        you'll never see a competing company come out and say "wow, their free product is so good you should use it rather than ours." Their response is not surprising at all

      • Symantec's security products suck. They are a pain, not particularly good at finding threats, and they slow your system down. Ok well despite that, they manage to hang on because a lot of people know they need virus protection (and Windows will remind you of that fact) and Symantec has name recognition. Unfortunately some of the very best out there are from companies that people have heard of, like ESET. Also, they all cost money, just like Symantec.

        So the good AV solutions probably didn't cut in to their m

    • by earnest murderer (888716) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:32PM (#29588921)

      To tell me it's working, it sounds like pretty much the best thing out there.

      When the CEO of your competition derides your product publicly, you know it's got to be good shit.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:55PM (#29589081)

      How about false positives? Antivirus software that checks nested encrypted archives often crashes, or marks as a false positive, files that contain a large amount of compressed data. For example:

      42.zip [unforgettable.dk] contains 4.5PB of data, compressed to 42kb. My university's mailserver marks it as a false positive.

      selfgz.gz [maximumcompression.com] is a gzip file that decompresses to itself. My university's mailserver tries to decompress it forever to scan all the nested files. It marks it as a false positive, since it was unscannable.

      • by jim_v2000 (818799) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @12:32AM (#29589269)
        How many people who will be running this AV have files like that just sitting around on their hds?

        Probably none.

        Besides, technically those aren't "false positives", as in the AV isn't matching a signature...the files are unscannable, so the AV plays it safe.
      • by jdhutchins (559010) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @12:51AM (#29589403)

        Most of these files were developed to break mail scanners, so it's logical that they get marked as malware. E-mail may not be the best way to move files that are designed to be harmful to mail servers.

      • by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @01:58AM (#29589723) Homepage Journal

        42.zip contains 4.5PB of data, compressed to 42kb. My university's mailserver marks it as a false positive.

        That's not a false positive at all. It's a well known "exploit" called a Zip Bomb [wikipedia.org]. You think it would be a good thing if unsuspecting users unzipped that file onto their system partition or network drive?

        selfgz.gz is a gzip file that decompresses to itself. My university's mailserver tries to decompress it forever to scan all the nested files. It marks it as a false positive

        You can call this a false positive, but that implies the original file was useful to begin with. As somebody else pointed out, this is just designed to screw with mail servers (in addition to just being a cleverly written file). Most servers stop extracting nested archives at 6-8 levels deep to prevent this from dragging the server down. Rejecting potentially dangerous (to both mail daemons and users) files like this is better than just blocking all compressed files, isn't it?

        Besides, if this MS software is lightweight and really good at catching the bad stuff, but every now and then (as in, once every couple months) gets a "false positive", I'd say it's a winner. It's easy to drag a file out of a software quarantine -- lots easier than removing the latest and greatest rootkit.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          selfgz.gz doesn't seem to have been created to break email servers, merely as a curiosity. It's not even dangerous unless you attempt to recursively extract it without limit, because it is only 210 bytes in size.

          To back up my decision, my AV (Avast! Home Edition) scans files as they are downloaded, and it blocked the download of 42.zip as an archive bomb (taking only a couple of seconds to scan it too), but was perfectly happy with selfgz. Though it does end up saying: "Number of scanned files/folders: 33/1

    • Seriously, who better to defend an OS against threats than the developers themselves? Antivirus is just another security feature.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dingen (958134)
        It's the past as well. As you might recall, MS-DOS 6 included a virus scanner.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:13PM (#29588789)
    When Pressed, Symantec admitted they were actually describing their own products, burst into tears, and chugged the rest of the bottle of whiskey.
    • You know a product is good if competitors start shaking in their boots running to government agencies for protections!
      • Re:When pressed... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Tumbleweed (3706) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @12:18AM (#29589171)

        You know a product is good if competitors start shaking in their boots running to government agencies for protections!

        If that were the case, IE would be the best browser ever made. :)

        You DO know that they're scared, though, if they have to trash it like this. You _should_ be scared if Microsoft enters your segment with a free product. It may not be the best, but that's never stopped Microsoft from crushing competitors in the past.

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowskyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:18PM (#29588821) Homepage Journal

    Sorry to throw Symantec under the bus, but the AV program and AV mentality that they have created amounts to a CPU tax. We don't have 4 core machines, we have 3 cores plus for one for Symantec, which manages to have the deadlock everything while it scans a single file.

  • by toastee (132341) <digitaltoaster AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:21PM (#29588837)

    Around the computer shop's i've worked at we joke that we'd rather have a virus than norton on our machines, at least the virus won't charge you a fee to mess up your OS.

    • by BikeHelmet (1437881) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @12:35AM (#29589289) Journal

      You joke about it, but I say it with a straight face.

      I don't do a lot of virus removal - maybe one per week, just as a service for friends and friends of friends - but about 30% of those "virus" removals are actually tossing out Antivirus and Firewall products.

      Ethernet broken? Programs taking 4 minutes to start and 30 minutes to install? Horrible graphical lag, and start menu lockups? Can't shut down the computer or open IE?

      First thing I do is disable the AV already on the computer, to check if that's causing it. 30% isn't "usually", but it's high enough that I can't help but want to scream "WTF" at these AV vendors.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jrumney (197329)
        Except in the case of Norton. It is well known that disabling it isn't enough to get your performance back. You have to uninstall it, then run a separate removal utility (google:"uninstall Norton" for details) to really remove it. Only then does it stop messing with your ethernet traffic and consuming CPU time.

        This may account for another 30%, which does make it usually.

  • Symantec's vice president of engineering, dismissed MFE as a "poor product" that will "never be up to snuff."

    Pot, meet kettle.
  • Pot, meet Kettle! (Score:5, Informative)

    by kimvette (919543) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:23PM (#29588855) Homepage Journal

    Jens Meggers, Symantec's vice president of engineering, dismissed MFE as a "poor product" that will "never be up to snuff." [CC] [GC] Meggers added, "Microsoft has a really bad track record in security."

    Symantec's products aren't exactly admired for security and effectiveness in recent years. Pot, meet Kettle,

  • by Inverted Intellect (950622) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:24PM (#29588867)

    Last I checked some of the highest detection rate AV solutions also happen to be free.

    I use Avira AntiVir, which came in #2 in the last comparative study I read. It's gratis, with the sole "cost" of a popup-ad every 24h, disabled in the paid version (or for free, if you know how to set up a local security policy under windows and don't mind breaking the EULA).

    • by fermion (181285)
      When the likes of the paid virus scanners bad mouth MS security tools, they are not thinking of those of us who use free security tools. We will continue to use the free tools, possibly supplemented with the MS tools.

      The vendors spread FUD because they are afraid that customers will make the very reasonable decision that they do not need to buy security tools when MS is giving them away. This might be especially true in corporate environments trying to cut costs. One wonders if this is one way that MS c

    • by bendodge (998616)

      What was #1? NOD32? (That's all we sell at my tech shop.)

  • Unbiased review? (Score:5, Informative)

    by babyrat (314371) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:27PM (#29588887)

    So let's see, independent groups give positive reviews. One of the main competitors give it a negative review. Who to believe?

  • by TheNarrator (200498) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:29PM (#29588911)
    Anyone remember a software product called QEMM back in the DOS days? It was a tool to deal with this horrid thing known as "high-mem" back in the bad old days before Windows 95, allowing one to have more memory to run Win 3.1. It was written by a company called Quarterdeck Office Systems and it built their business. Microsoft came out with a tool that did the same thing called memmaker that worked well enough and did the same thing and they bundled it with DOS 5.0 (I think it was 5.0). Though, not as efficient as QEMM it was good enough and ultimately led to the demise of Quarterdeck (along with a bunch of other dumb mistakes).
    • But thats a bit like saying the memory manager in Linux locks out commercial memory managers. DOS should have had better memory management from the word go, along with 1000 other obvious things.

    • by shentino (1139071)

      What I'd like to know is why upper memory, which btw is easily accessible in real mode, requires a fancy device driver like EMM386.

      If it were up to me I'd just as soon followed the toolbox principle of "every program should do one thing and do it well".

      I would rather write a UMB.SYS to handle the grunt work and factor that out of the expanded memory manager.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Quaterdeck had a business model based on selling software to fill a temporary gap in technology from a vendor. MS didn't have anything to do with killing them, there own lack of foresight is what did them in. both memmaker and Qemm died because they were no longer required.
      • No kidding (Score:4, Informative)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @08:52AM (#29592047)

        Besides if you want to blame anyone for the death of QEMM other than themselves, well you'd be blaming Intel. The writing was on the wall for memory managers when the 80386 came out. Protected mode meant that all that shit would no longer be necessary since apps would get flat virtual memory spaces presented to them, no segmentation or tricky BS needed. All memory would be equal.

        QEMM continued to sell after memmaker came out because it did work far better. Its sales started dying with Windows, since it didn't do anything for you. Windows 95 was when it was all over.

        Please remember that the conventional memory/640k thing was NOT a Microsoft creation. It was a combination of Intel and IBM. The 8088 had 20 bits of addressing, giving it 1MB of addressable memory. Now on a system, actual RAM itself isn't the only thing that needs memory addresses. Hardware, notably video memory but other things as well, need to have memory addresses to be used. So IBM divided the addressing as 640k for system RAM, 384k for other usage. At the time they made the system, this was not a problem as you couldn't get 640k of memory. Later the limit got hit.

        Thus whenever you ran an Intel processor in 16-bit mode, this is how addressing was done. Still true to this day. Modern Intel and AMD CPUs boot up in 16-bit real mode and they still address memory in this fashion. However the OS boot loader switches them over to protected or long mode and then it isn't an issue.

        You still can run in to similar issues though, at least on 32-bit systems. You discover that on 32-bit systems you hit the 3.something GB limit. You knock 4GB of memory in to it, yet only 3.something (the something varies) are available to the OS. Why? Hardware that uses memory mapped IO. Your video card, sound card, etc. They all need memory addresses in the 4GB space the CPU can use. As such it can't actually address all 4GB of physical RAM. Wasn't a problem for a long time as 4GB was way more addresses than a system would have RAM, but no longer.

        64-bit systems don't have this problem, as they have 16 exabytes of total address space. Plenty for whatever RAM you've got, plus all the addresses for hardware. However, if in the future we ever do have computers with that much RAM, the same issue will again reappear.

    • by AmberBlackCat (829689) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @01:27AM (#29589589)
      Long ago, we had Norton Antivirus for Windows 95. I guess this was when online updates were a new thing. The box said something like "never buy antivirus software again!" and boasted about how it would always be updated and current. Then one day it stopped updating. Our reply from the customer support people was "this product is no longer supported". They told us we had to buy the new version. Let them die.
  • by farbles (672915) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:31PM (#29588919)

    It's a sweet little anti-virus program. A well designed and simple user interface, updates unobtrusively, doesn't bog down the computer and it is very effective at detecting all threats I've thrown its way. It also is easy to tell when it is unhappy thanks to a well designed and simple system tray icon. Credit where credit is due, Microsoft has put together a good program. I've tested this on dozens of machines and have not a single bad thing to say about it, which is not something I would have thought I'd ever say about a Microsoft product.

    If I do have a quibble, it's that it requires a validated Windows. If I were Microsoft I'd throw this on automatic Windows Update and push it out to everyone not already running an anti-virus.

    Symantec can blow me. I've seen more hosed computers where the owners thought they had current updated Symantec AV just to have me discover that their definitions had last been updated in 2007 or something with no indication from their Symantec AV they were vulnerable.

    /not an MS fanboi but when they get one right, they deserve praise, and they got this one right folks.

  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:40PM (#29588963)

    I've used Avast Antivirus (free), Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (free) and Comodo Firewall (free) for a couple of years now. I've never had a virus and various other types of malware are promptly and efficiently dealt with.

    Trust the inventors of Windows Genuine Advantage with my security? Or freakin' Symantec? I won't bore you with the horrible, hellish experience of getting Norton Antivirus off my machine. It was harder to get rid of than the virus it failed to catch.

    Fat chance. I'll stay with something that works, thank you very much.

  • Big name for just adding the "Uninstall" option to the Windows menu.
  • Is This [youtube.com]

    Frankly If this was an actual product Demonstration, Chickens would become Extinct before Norton did anything about it.

  • The bastards blacklisted my IP claiming it was dynamic and a possible source of spam and it was neither. Bunch of jerks and I'll never believe anything they say.
  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @11:53PM (#29589069) Homepage

    I just formatted and installed XP SP3 on a machine running an Intel 2.4Ghz CPU (Northwood and non-HT). I've noticed that installing applications take about four times as long after having installed this program. The culprit seems to be a running process "MsMpEng.exe" pushing CPU utilization to a total of 100%. I did not have Windows Defender installed, but it's interesting to note this is the same file that it uses too. I'm guessing Microsoft Security Essentials is a close cousin to Windows Defender code which would explain a lot.

    Other than that, it seems to stay out of the way under general computing. But for those looking to do a format/reinstall of Windows, I recommend installing this program AFTER you get finished with everything else on your to-do install list.

    • Try setting the priority of MsMpEng to BelowNormal or Idle, this should keep it from eating all your CPU time.

      You can also try disabling real time protection temporarily if something is going too slow thanks to the slower disk access and CPU.

      I seem to recall having some framerate slowdown in online games while playing with the beta. I will have to try this new version though because of all the good reports. It shouldn't be too bad if I disable real time protection while I'm in-game... I'll do my own benc

    • I'd love to know what you did. I've run this since the beta (just updated to the full version) and the only process it runs is MSSecEs.exe which rarely takes up more than 1% of my cpu (2% max) and maybe 8 MB of RAM doing a full scan. So I have to say, your results are NO typical and I think your MsMpEng.exe is from something else you installed, not MSE.
    • by GF678 (1453005) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @01:05AM (#29589475)

      I'm guessing Microsoft Security Essentials is a close cousin to Windows Defender code which would explain a lot.

      According to the Ars Technica link in the summary, MSE is a superset of Windows Defender, to the point where the MSE installer will disable Windows Defender completely if detected.

      As for the single core issue, quite possible. I noticed for example that Vista's Windows automatic update detection check utilized 100% CPU of my (then) single-core machine for several seconds, affecting performance considerably. But when I moved to a dual-core, the effect was completely unnoticeable. Seems as if single-core is no longer considered when testing software performance and impact on the rest of the system.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        According to the Ars Technica link in the summary, MSE is a superset of Windows Defender, to the point where the MSE installer will disable Windows Defender completely if detected.

        Not really true. It uses the same malware definition database as Defender, and of course it disables Defender, since it completely replaces its functionality. But the engine is very different - it's rather a cousin of that one used in Microsoft Forefront Security [wikipedia.org].

  • Okay, now that Microsoft makes an antivirus, someone explain to me why they haven't simply dedicated all this effort to debugging Windows, closing security holes and stabilizing code? Can anyone now sufficiently explain their motivation to do so? I don't see anymore reason for Microsoft to clean up the mess that they made, now that they've thrown a board over the pothole instead of repaving the frickin' road.

    If Microsoft makes Windows secure and stable, then, in theory, the antivirus industry is out of bu

  • Symantec's vice president of engineering, dismissed MSE as a "poor product" that will "never be up to snuff."

    That has been true of every major Microsoft product when it was released; it has never stopped Microsoft from killing its competitors through persistence, pressure, backroom deals, marketing, and deep pockets.

    Like an army of dead zombies, Microsoft products may be ugly, stinky, and brainless, but they just won't die.

  • by WiiVault (1039946) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @12:53AM (#29589415)
    to make everybody on Slashdot rush to defend MS.
  • by wesslen (1644543) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @01:13AM (#29589517)
    I've been using Microsofts OneCare security suite for over a year now and I absolutely love it. It has been able to stop, detect and remove and lot of pieces of malware, spyware and trojans. I can see how Microsoft got a bad rap in the past, and I used to believe Microsoft software in the security field was unreliable but OneCare has changed my thinking. I think Symantec might be rushing to judgment a bit quickly but time will tell whether Microsofts new innovation is a worthwhile endeavor
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @01:14AM (#29589521)
    "Norton" Utilities started to go downhill the moment it was acquired by Symantec, and after just two years I could no longer stand to use the product. Not only did the "utility" of the product steadily decrease, I found the virus / malware detection to continually be substandard compared to cheaper and even freeware products.

    I am aware that there are people who still swear by Symantec products, and I do not wish to argue with them. But I was with that family of products ever since Peter Norton put them together into a package, and is is simply not up to the standards that his personal software met... no matter how big their corporation is today.

    Boo, Symantec. I use Kaspersky and a few other tools now, and even though it takes several separate tools, I find the whole to be both superior in performance and also less intrusive into my system than Norton Utilities and other Symantec products.
  • Rootkit Detection (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gordguide (307383) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @02:33AM (#29589889)

    Microsoft purchased Komoku, a developer of RootKit Detection software with clients like the usual government and military suspects, banks, that kind of thing. Komoku's technology has been rolled into Microsoft Security Essentials.

    I would think that right there is a good reason to check it out, and possibly implement it in your XP/Win7 system, especially since MS probably had a chance to do some tweaking on the RootKit detection engine using their proprietary knowledge of some of the more obscure aspects of Windows file systems, the still unpublished NTFS specification, etc.

    Of course, if you have no RootKits installed, it might be more of a pain than necessary ... after all, every AV app you now have running says nolo problemo, si?

    Then again, how would you know?

    if you do have a RootKit lurking, I find it very difficult to believe that Norton or Symantec would tell you so ... the whole point of RootKits are to avoid detection, whether by conventional AV applications or otherwise, and to avoid removal by the usual removal tools available to AV product users.

    Some RootKits are even stealth-installed by law enforcement, and the "person of interest" isn't supposed to have Norton go all five-alarm on them, if you get my drift. Not that we can be sure this will either ... I'm just sayin' they are not trivial to detect, is all.

    It remains to be seen exactly what MicrosoftSecurityEssentials does turn up, but in at least one aspect, you are getting (for free) security software that cost thousands of dollars had you contracted with the original developer prior to Microsoft's acquisition (March 20 2008) and prior to MS's adding at least some of that same software to this new app.

    There will be plenty of people who will jump in right away and download MicrosoftSE. If you're one of them, fine; don't change for my sake.

    But, the best advice might be wait a week or so, as the prudent should, to see if major issues develop once widespread deployment exposes the suite to a wider set of configurations. If all is well, I say "run her". When MS offers you the equivalent of "free money" I say take it. I never see them refuse mine.

  • by sebsauvage (771545) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @04:05AM (#29590337) Homepage
    Not happy with forcing WGA and automated WindowsUpdate when you install this antivirus, MSE also forces DRM and Silverlight down your throat. Oh... and you are not authorized to talk about MSE without written consent from Microsoft.
    Just read the license.

    Doh!

    Well, I always welcome free solutions which enhance overall end users security, but this licence is a no-no for me.
  • by amn108 (1231606) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @05:52AM (#29590881)

    Actually they are just trash talking MS in the true spirit of corporate competition. It is like brushing teeth in the morning for them. You are not taken seriously as a competitor if you don't issue some form of short press conference where you can say how bad everything but your own products is.

    The truth is, through my "fixing" of countless laptops ridden with Symantec products, I can honestly say, disregarding their security track record, I despise and resent their products as much as I ever could. Large, monolithic but with 10 services to get rid of, poorly uninstalling or not uninstalling at all, horrible user interfaces - at least Microsoft products are benign compared to Symantec, use FAR FEWER resources to the point where you don't notice them (but they still do the job), have usually quite well designed GUIs and remove themselves without question. Thing is, Microsoft has different divisions, and clearly divisions that work on Windows Defender, Windows OneCare Live, and now Windows Security Essentials are, by evidence, not the same division that work on builtin Windows security, although situation seems to be improving on the latter.

    Symantec and those corporate benemoths have been preying on customer fear for malware, and feeding us crap for more than ten years now. There was once Peter Norton and his Norton Commander, ever since that it went downhill with all things related to him and his company. Symantec has a lot of fat around the waist now. And they are afraid Microsoft is onto them.

  • by argent (18001) <peter@NOspam.slashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @06:20AM (#29591035) Homepage Journal

    The whole anti-virus industry is kind of like a dysfunctional family sitcom, with Microsoft as the wacky uncle whose crazy antics ironically bring in new customers for the family business by the end of every episode. Every other season the crazy uncle threatens to leave and the kids go nuts trying to convince him he can't make it without them, but everyone knows he's going to be back by next season's premiere. This story arc is no different.

    The funniest episodes are when the kids go out and try and pitch woo. They seem to think that everyone else is crazy as "Uncle Mike" and leave a trail of property damage all over town as they fail to convince Apple and Palm and everyone else that their nutty schemes are JUST what they need for success.

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