Microsoft Planning Paid Anti-virus Service

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.

Microsoft’s security site

AVG – free anti-virus software

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?