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Microsoft Security Windows Technology

MS To Build Antivirus Into Win8: Boon Or Monopoly? 748

Posted by Soulskill
from the efficacy-to-be-determined dept.
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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MS To Build Antivirus Into Win8: Boon Or Monopoly?

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  • Anti-Trust (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:39PM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cptdondo (59460) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:41PM (#38126654) Journal

      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 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Karlt1 (231423) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:49PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sqlrob (173498)

          MAC

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

        • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:4, Informative)

          by mini me (132455) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:55PM (#38126874)

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

          • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Karlt1 (231423) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:00PM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

              by jbolden (176878) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:27PM (#38127432) Homepage

              Capability computing. You don't grant applications the rights of a user. Rather an application is granted the right to do X to thing Y. So getting access to a user's file doesn't mean access to all of them. Some other problem controls granting capabilities.

              As an aside the NT kernel 3.51 had an excellent capabilities and Windows still has it. Microsoft just never made their own software, including the shell / GUI work with it.

              • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:5, Insightful)

                by St.Creed (853824) on Monday November 21, 2011 @04:43PM (#38128394)

                Too true! Capability computing has for so long been neglected but it could solve many of the current security issues.

                For instance: I would love to grant any new app the following rights:
                - interact with my screen
                - interact with folder X and subfolders (read-only) in the program location
                - interact with folder X and subfolders (read-write) in the data location
                - interact with folder X in the registry (read-write)

                For games additional rights would be:
                - interact with my graphics card directly
                - interact with my soundcard directly

                Actually, there isn't a single reason why programs shouldn't be sandboxed like that as a default, and only getting additional rights when specifically requested and granted by the OS. Combine that with transparent redirects and most programs should run okay. Sandboxie (http://www.sandboxie.com/index.php) already does it so how hard would it be for the Windows engineer to incorporate something like that into the OS?

          • by ByOhTek (1181381)

            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 (Score:5, Insightful)

            by jgagnon (1663075) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:02PM (#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?

        • by Amouth (879122)

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

          easy - you let them do what ever they want and when their not looking you reverse all the changes you don't like (aka all).. so let them do what they want - just don't keep anything.

        • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:5, Informative)

          by tgd (2822) on Monday November 21, 2011 @04:12PM (#38128040)

          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.

          Take a look at the metro app APIs for one way.

          The system level APIs are so locked down in the metro app sandbox that a program like Acrobat, say, that says it reads PDF files literally can't even *see* that other files exist on the filesystem, much less open them.

          You can secure things by either locking down what users can do or locking down what the code itself can do. Win8 is taking strides in the latter direction, too.

      • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:5, Insightful)

        by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:55PM (#38126876) Journal

        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 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by vlm (69642) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:04PM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

            by afabbro (33948) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:15PM (#38127226) Homepage

            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.

            No, he's completely right. Windows is still 90%+ of the desktop usage and so is the most interesting target for that reason alone.

            The fact that it's also historically been an easier target is gravy.

            • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Dahamma (304068) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:32PM (#38127520)

              He's right about the "typically run by competent users" (or in the case of embedded devices, typically built by competent engineers) but "interesting attack target"?

              Hackers and botnet owners would love to have access to the millions of always-on Linux servers (often in colos with huge bandwidth available) or the hundreds of millions of TVs, BD players, and (again, always-on) DVRs that run Linux.

              • by letsief (1053922)

                Servers are generally managed by someone at least half-competent- at least compared to most users' home desktops. A Linux server isn't a particularly attractive target for malware developers. In the grand scheme of things, there aren't enough of them compared to Windows laptops/desktops, and the attack method is more difficult because you shouldn't have people running code from outside the server. Even if a server did get infected with malware, it should be detected relatively quickly. In the end, it's

          • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:5, Insightful)

            by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:16PM (#38127252) Journal

            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.

            That's because you're not in the "casual user" category. Any sane Linux user would use his distro's package repository first and foremost, and yes, this does reduce the risk of infection down to practically zero. But, so long as you can manually install a downloaded package - and in most Linux distros you can do so by e.g. downloading an .rpm/.deb file and clicking on it (and elevating) - you have to convince non-tech-savvy users that, no, "BARELY_LEGAL_THREESOME.rpm" or "Angry_Birds_2.deb" dropping into their mailbox is really not from some mysterious but benevolent stranger, and they shouldn't try to install it.

            In short, you need to make installing software not from repositories so hard that a casual user wouldn't know how to do so, and any instruction for him would be too complicated to be follow on a whim.

            • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:4, Interesting)

              by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Monday November 21, 2011 @05:08PM (#38128746)
              I think there is a fundamental flaw in the assumptions here though. You can't trust a package just because it happened to get added to Debian or Apples repositories. It does probably mean someone, probably a large number of someones and tools have been used to check the app which is a good thing. But you still shouldn't have to fully trust or fully not trust (by not downloading) an app. Just because I install Firefox doesn't mean I want it to be able to access everything I can on my computer. Apps should be installed in a sandbox and only allowed outside of the box when a user grants them access. That way for example the user can say "wait a minute why does Angry Birds want to access my email account?" Or "why is Google Desktop trying to send my data back to the mothership?" There is a lot of cool FOSS software out there I like to try, but it shouldn't mean that I'm giving bob@coolhacker.org "full trust" on my system because I want to see if his text editor is really as cool as it looks and more than I should be giving full trust to some random app that landed in a deb package on debian.org. The old rule: trust but verify holds.
        • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:5, Insightful)

          by gmuslera (3436) * on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:13PM (#38127192) Homepage Journal

          In Linux you have a "default walled garden" that is your distribution and related repositories. You can jump out the garden, but is not so trivial for the casual user and gives time to think what they are really doing.

          Still, nothing forbids you to install a .rpm/.deb that as root do evil things in your own system, if you really try and accepts all warnings, root passwords questions and install the needed certificates. There is nothing foolproof if the fool is smart enough.

        • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:19PM (#38127292) Homepage Journal

          A large chunk of the enterprise sector uses Linux, as do a large chunk of web servers.

          There is a large and interesting attack target. Usually when they do find exploits for a LAMP stack, it is within PHP or Apache, and not the Linux kernel. So both parties are correct in that Linux does have vulnerabilities as well, but even when people are targeting Linux, it proves to be more secure on the whole than Windows.

          A big part of the problem is that Unix and Unix variants have been designed for security from the beginning. They've been designed to sandbox apps, and not run everything with full rights.

          Windows was designed for users to have admin rights from day 1. Even when Windows started to introduce UAC, they did so in a manner that just annoys most people into turning it off. And so many Windows applications need full rights (because of the Windows mindset that they always could before) that it is difficult to properly sandbox everything.

          Windows has made great strides in security over the past 10 years, but that doesn't make it a secure OS.

          • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:4, Interesting)

            by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:27PM (#38127428) Journal

            A large chunk of the enterprise sector uses Linux, as do a large chunk of web servers.

            We were talking about viruses. Viruses are useless against servers, since virus, by definition, requires that the infected program is run on the attacked box. People don't usually run random programs on servers. Windows servers don't have a virus problem, either.

            A big part of the problem is that Unix and Unix variants have been designed for security from the beginning. They've been designed to sandbox apps, and not run everything with full rights.

            Most Linux distros don't sandbox apps - they still run with full user permissions, so any app has access to all user data of any other app. Proper sandboxing would be creating a separate set of permissions for every app that only lets it access and write data that it actually needs - as seen in Android or SELinux.

            Of course (as also seen in rooted Android), if your sandboxing has a "full privileges" option, and it only takes an explicit user approval to enable it, casual users will do so when an infected app asks for it. You basically can't trust the user on making that decision if you want security on a platform that's being used by non-tech-savvy users. That's precisely why there's all that heavy sandboxing with no opt-out on iOS.

            Windows was designed for users to have admin rights from day 1. Even when Windows started to introduce UAC, they did so in a manner that just annoys most people into turning it off. And so many Windows applications need full rights (because of the Windows mindset that they always could before) that it is difficult to properly sandbox everything.

            I've been using Vista since 2008, and Win7 since it came out. I have a lot of applications on my system, but none of them require full admin rights. This really is mostly in the past - it has been 5 years now that applications couldn't reasonably assume to have full admin lest they break the user, so anything that still does so is either old software that hasn't been updated in a long time, or some POS line-of-business app that's written to run on corporate PCs that all still have XP.

            • Viruses are useless against servers

              Seriously? I'm not even sure where to begin with such a statement.

              Most Linux distros don't sandbox apps

              Novell's SLES/SLED/openSUSE line shipped with AppArmor and AppArmor profiles for popular apps. I believe they have since changed to SELinux. Red Hat/Fedora ships with a configured SELinux out of the box. Given that I was talking about Linux servers, that is the bulk of the server market. Ubuntu server doesn't have it out of the box, but that is just one of many reasons not to run Ubuntu on an enterprise server.

              I've been using Vista since 2008, and Win7 since it came out. I have a lot of applications on my system, but none of them require full admin rights.

              I take it you don't work in IT,

              • Seriously? I'm not even sure where to begin with such a statement.

                You can begin with the definition of the virus, and note that not all malware are viruses.

                Against servers, you typically use remote access exploit, followed by local elevation exploit, and then install a rootkit. Why would you even need a virus?

                I take it you don't work in IT, or an enterprise environment. Proprietary apps in the enterprise sector often require extensive rights.

                I work in an enterprise environment (80k people over several different countries, and many have more than one networked machine). I practically never see an elevation prompt, except for when I'm doing development works and copy freshly built binaries to Program Files

          • by drsmithy (35869)

            There is a large and interesting attack target. Usually when they do find exploits for a LAMP stack, it is within PHP or Apache, and not the Linux kernel. So both parties are correct in that Linux does have vulnerabilities as well, but even when people are targeting Linux, it proves to be more secure on the whole than Windows.

            Most "exploits" aren't "exploiting" OS (or even software) problems.

            A big part of the problem is that Unix and Unix variants have been designed for security from the beginning. They've

        • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:5, Interesting)

          by devent (1627873) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:50PM (#38127746) Homepage

          The only reason why Linux don't have viruses "in the wild" is because it is extremely difficult to write viruses for Linux that can be run or installed without user interaction.

          Sure, I can get a virus for Linux if I go to virus.com, download and run the virus. But for Windows you can get a virus with different means. Like via Email attachment, autorun from a USB-stick, via remote access (in Windows XP I get virus only because I was online).

          In Linux you have explicitly tell the system to run the file. But on Windows everything with a .exe is run. Also, many programs are run automatically for the "convenience" of the user, like autorun USB or CDs. Windows still hides the file extension from the user, so if you have a file like porn.jpg.exe Windows will show you porn.jpg.

          Also it's very easy to get rid of a virus in Linux. Just delete the infected file and replace it with the original from the package manage. In Windows you can't even delete the file because it's still in use.

          Plus the whole-system update management of the Linux distributions. I can run my updates weekly and in the background and it will update the system and all of the applications.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          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.

          You're confusing viruses with trojans. Viruses need no user intervention.

          TL;DR version: the kind of security that you want is called a "walled garden".

          If your walled garden is fifty miles long on each side, it's not a problem. Ever had any trouble getting a needed program from a trusted repository? Neither have I. But in Linux, I do of cour

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        My thought was that this is like Ford including a car alarm and LoJack while their cars still had no door locks. The OS shouldn't do "virus scanning" but instead be hardened to prevent infections. Perhaps some heuristics based alarms, but not pattern-based scanning of data. A firewall should be sufficient to survive viruses (nearly all phone home and such or send themselves out so stop that and you stop the spread). And a good core OS design should help prevent infections in the frist place. Perhaps a
    • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Z00L00K (682162) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:43PM (#38126670) Homepage

      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 (Score:4, Informative)

        by blair1q (305137) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:56PM (#38126892) Journal

        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.

    • by roc97007 (608802) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:49PM (#38126794) Journal

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

    • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wisnoskij (1206448) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:52PM (#38126848) Homepage

      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?

      • by blair1q (305137)

        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.

    • What I find entertaining is watching Microsoft burn its remaining Wintel cohorts one by one. Who's next? Intel?

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

  • Argh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CannonballHead (842625) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:41PM (#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. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:50PM (#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.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 4pins (858270) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:41PM (#38126646) Homepage

    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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by redmid17 (1217076) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:47PM (#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?

    • 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.

      • Re:Perspectives (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:24PM (#38127360) Homepage Journal

        The reason I started using it on Windows desktops is I saw a fairly comprehensive review of 19 different popular anti-virus products.

        Security Essentials had the second lowest footprint, and the second best detection engine. And given the price (free and doesn't harass you to upgrade to a paid product) and I think it is hands down the best solution for the average user.

        You can blast Microsoft for a lot of products, but Security Essentials is pretty solid.

        • Re:Perspectives (Score:5, Informative)

          by JGuru42 (140509) on Monday November 21, 2011 @06:32PM (#38129864)

          I started using MSE because of a story here on Slashdot talking about a review of a large number of antivirus products and I was amazed to see people on Slashdot putting their trust in a Microsoft product.

          I've been a hater of Microsoft for a long time now thanks to all the anti-competitive and backstabbing stories I've heard but also because of using their various products. And yet now that I've been using MSE I've turned a corner and started to recommend it to friends and family.

          I casually help fix computers for people that know me, sometimes going so far as to do it all over the phone when someone lives too far to visit. At first I tended to browse through their machine looking for the troublemakers and then after finding everything I could I would install and run MSE only to watch it detect and clean 100% of the things I had found and even some I had not, like a trojan hiding in the MBR. I've watched it catch different varieties of the TDSS rootkits, clean up all manner of other nasties and only once have I seen it make a mistake, with Chrome being reported as a virus. Yet, even with that flaw Microsoft had detected the issue and it was on the "More Information" page and had been fixed later that night. Since then I've come to trust MSE to do it's job well and I've started to run it first then clean up afterwords and it hasn't let me down yet.

          If Microsoft wants to provide a built in antivirus with Win8 but allows it to be disabled to run other things, just like Windows Firewall, then I am all for it. I would do almost anything to keep people from installing the nightmares that are Norton & McAffee (and these days sadly Zone Alarm Antivirus). I've watched both those powerhouse antivirus programs completely miss fake antivirus programs that sneak through Facebook and in Nortons case it turned a simple "Safe Mode/Delete/Remove Registry Startup Command" into a three day slog that only worked when I finally got mad an uninstalled Norton from the machine.

          Microsoft might still make some majorly boneheaded decisions but providing a built in antivirus does not seem to be one of them.

    • by hellfire (86129) <deviladvNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:58PM (#38126922) Homepage

      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 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jd2112 (1535857) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:01PM (#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.

    • Re:Perspectives (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:08PM (#38127118) Homepage

      The capitalist in you screams? Well in that case, the automotive industry should make V8 engines standard and bring the MPG back down to 12. To do otherwise would be anti-competitive to the Big Oil. Face it. the AV industry has been thriving in a market that should (in theory) never have existed in the first place. Vertical markets are often short lived and come with extreme risk. Tough titties, not my problem.

    • Re:Perspectives (Score:4, Insightful)

      by RobinEggs (1453925) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:15PM (#38127218)

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

      You do realize that all businesses successful under capitalism engage in anti-competitive behavior, right? It's called competing, ironically enough. You compete by beating down other competitors, and if you actually care at all about profits and/or actually believe you have the best product you hope you beat them dead.

      I personally think the only capitalist system which won't be anti-competitive in practice and eventually miserable for the general public is one so heavily regulated it occasionally teeters on the brink of socialism. I'm also not averse to actual socialism, but I think pure capitalism was a cruel, inhumane fiction from the beginning (and now that I've said that this comment will be modded down into the depths of -1 troll/flamebait/'overrated').

      You can believe in the benefits of more than one of the fundamental economic systems at once. I promise you won't die. You can even mix them together; it's usually even better that way. It's like a tasty, tasty swirl cone with both chocolate AND vanilla!

  • by show me altoids (1183399) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:41PM (#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.
  • by Kenja (541830) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:43PM (#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.
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      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*.

  • Monopoly (Score:4, Interesting)

    by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:43PM (#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 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Tridus (79566) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:01PM (#38126976) Homepage

      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.

  • Bill was right (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:45PM (#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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jbolden (176878)

      They aren't monopolies. Non monopolies have far fewer restrictions on their actions. What Android, iOS, OSX... do would be absolutely illegal if they were a monopoly.

  • Dam(n) (Score:4, Funny)

    by clinko (232501) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:59PM (#38126942) Homepage Journal

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

  • by itsdapead (734413) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:12PM (#38127174)

    Is this a good move by Microsoft, or a leveraging of their monopoly as bad as bundling Internet Explorer?"

    If the authorities feel they should "do something" about the MS monopoly then they should force them to spin off MS Office and other business apps as a separate business, look deeply into how their Windows licensing deals with OEMs work, and require open standards for all Government contracts. Without that, arguing over whether they can bundle minor utility "x" is just inconsequential.

    Modern operating systems are expected to include a pretty comprehensive suite of utilities, protocol stacks and basic applications. Monopoly or no, its getting a bit silly if OS X, iOS, Android, and the major Linux distros can bundle a web browser (or, more specifically have HTTP and HTML APIs in their OS) but Windows can't.

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:23PM (#38127348)

    Security should not be handled by a third-party program, and equipping Windows with a builtin AV is a step in the right direction. Banning it because of antitrust claims would be ridiculous, but only a minor annoyance, those who want could still get it.

  • by jbolden (176878) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:23PM (#38127354) Homepage

    The problem with Internet Explorer was not the bundling. It was that:

    a) Internet Explorer was integrated into things like the shell, rather than separating the browser functionality from the OS functionality.
    b) Microsoft prohibited other browsers from being installed as the default.

    I'd say the appropriate analogy is bundling Windows Media player.

  • Anti-competitive? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by euxneks (516538) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:41PM (#38127628)

    How the hell is making your OS behave the way your customers expect anti-competitive?

    What if MS made their OS inherently secure, such that it didn't need AV? Would that also make it anti-competitive? That would completely eliminate the AV software companies!

    Ridiculous...

  • by bmo (77928) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:41PM (#38127634)

    But the sooner the anti-malware "ecosystem" disappears the better.

    You should not have to purchase third party software to keep an operating system secure or from eating itself (all the snake-oil "registry cleaners" and "application uninstallers"). Such functions should be part of the OS at worst, or better yet, unnecessary.

    --
    BMO

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