Microsoft To Enter Anti-Virus Market, Again

Remember Microsoft Live OneCare?

That’s okay. No one else does either.

It was Microsoft’s effort to copy what other companies already did better–provide virus protection. Like MS Live Search, it didn’t catch on.

Reuters reports that Microsoft is going to try to crack the anti-virus market again. The story is here.

An excerpt:

    Investors are closely monitoring the free service, code-named Morro after Brazil’s Morro de Sao Paolo beach, amid concern it could hurt sales of products from Symantec and McAfee, which generate billions of dollars of revenue a year protecting Windows PCs from attacks by hackers.

    “It’s a long-term competitive threat,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets, though he added that the near-term impact was minimal.

    Microsoft has said that Morro will offer basic features for fighting a wide range of viruses, which would likely make it comparable to low-end consumer products from Symantec and McAfee that cost about $40 per year.

It’s tempting to think that, since Microsoft left all the security holes in Windows to begin with, it should know how to plug them up, but I am skeptical.

As far as I am concerned, this is typical Microsoft “innovation”: Copy what someone else is already doing and try to undersell them.

Full Disclosure:

On my Windows boxes, I use AVG Free and Zone Alarm basic (I also turn of the “security center” nagware process).

On my Linux boxes, I use F-Prot for Linux and either the Firestarter Firewall or a simple rc.firewall iptables script. (I’ve used F-Prot in various incarnations since my Windows 3.1/DOS 5.0 days, but I did not like some of the interface changes they made with FP 6.0 for Windows.)

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