In a move that is sure to be unpopular with many, Microsoft quietly let slip that it is working on an anti-virus subscription service. MS recently acquired anti-virus company GeCAD in June 2003, and this is the first sign that it is working to release a product based on its acquisition.
Mike Nash, corporate VP for security at Microsoft said at a dinner with journalists in Seattle “I want to make sure customers have another choice. Some people will continue to use Symantic, and some will use ours.” Symantic’s share price then slid down 5% almost immediately.
Many people are furious that Microsoft is looking to make money out of a problem that is related to the many security flaws in its products, and considered to be perpetuated by poor coding in MS software such as Outlook and Internet Explorer.
Microsoft will have to tread carefully with this one – even if they make their product free and bundle it with Windows, thus providing maximum protection, they will probably be accused of anti-competitive practices and end up in court.
Oh, the irony.