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Trend Micro calls foul over Microsoft offering free AV software via Windows Update


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#1 Union_Thug

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 08:07 AM

http://www.infoworld.com/d/security-central/trend-micro-calls-foul-over-microsoft-offering-free-antivirus-software-windows-update-336?source=rss_security_central

Microsoft this week began offering U.S. customers its free antivirus program via Windows' built-in update service, a move one major security firm said may be anticompetitive.

Last Monday, Microsoft started adding Security Essentials to the optional download list seen by U.S. users running Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 when they fired up the operating system's update service. The move followed an Oct. 19 kickoff of a similar program in the U.K.

"Commercializing Windows Update to distribute other software applications raises significant questions about unfair competition," said Carol Carpenter, the general manager of the consumer and small business group at Trend Micro, on Thursday.

"Windows Update is a de facto extension of Windows, so to begin delivering software tied to updates has us concerned," she added. "Windows Update is not a choice for users, and we believe it should not be used this way."

If Windows doesn't detect working security software on the PC, Microsoft adds Security Essentials to the Optional section of Microsoft Update, a superset of the better-known Windows Update, or to Windows Update if it has been configured to also draw downloads from Microsoft Update.


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#2 Animal

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 12:30 PM

Two comments get my attention in this report, first is "Windows Update is not a choice for users." Windows updates are a choice and can be turned off if one choses to do so. And one can be selective in their updates.

Secondly, "If Windows doesn't detect working security software on the PC, Microsoft adds Security Essentials to the Optional section of Microsoft Update". OK, doesn't detect working security software, gee ya know I would feel a lot better knowing people were proactive and securing their machines so malware doesn't spread so easily. With the addition of even some security it would be helpful. And the fact it's free it's available to those who wouldn't buy from Trend anyway. Not everyone is aware of free alternatives. This is educational, and information by any method is power. Last part of #2, "Microsoft adds Security Essentials to the Optional section of Microsoft Update." The key word here for me is Optional. It still allows the user a choice.

The fact that MS is offering security for free to those who likely won't be proactive enough to secure their machines is a good thing in my opinion. Those of use who have to deal with the consequences of unsecured malware ridden machines might be able to breathe once in a while.... Yeah right.

I think it's a step in the right direction MS. Not perfect and not everyone will agree but I think it is.

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#3 Blathnat

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 12:46 PM

I think it is a good thing as well, and very little different from the ISP's offering free security software. I would like to see them take it a step further and demand security of some sort before allowing a connection.

#4 Union_Thug

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 01:36 PM

The fact that MS is offering security for free to those who likely won't be proactive enough to secure their machines is a good thing in my opinion. Those of use who have to deal with the consequences of unsecured malware ridden machines might be able to breathe once in a while.... Yeah right.

I think it's a step in the right direction MS. Not perfect and not everyone will agree but I think it is.


I agree 100% Trend is being "whiney" & WAY outta line here, IMO. Maybe if they offered a less inferior product.....You also make a good point about the fact that Windows updates can be turned off. In fact, I think it's safe to assume that the user who, as you said, "won't be proactive enough to secure their machine" by installing & maintaining an active AV would LIKELY be the same type of user who might PERMANENTLY turn off those "pesky" Windows updates.

Pretty ironical, no? The same demographic that MS is trying to promote it's FREE product to is the one who is most likely to be inaccessible to MS's "sales-pitch" --like a consumer who never watches TV, therefore never sees the commercials.

Edited by Union_Thug, 08 November 2010 - 01:46 PM.


#5 Orange Blossom

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 03:18 PM

There are many people who turn off Automatic Windows Updates, not because they are ignorant of security measures but because they may wish to have more control over what specifically is installed as an update. Another reason is that many folks are still on dial-up internet connection. The size of some of those updates requires that they be downloaded piecemeal rather than all at once. That means doing the updates manually. Automatic updates does not inherently make a computer more secure; it just is a convenience for those with broadband who tend to forget to do the updates.

I think it's a good idea that MS provides this security product as an option through their updates particularly if it results in a higher percentage of secured computers. There are many people who lack the funds to purchase security programs and are, as Animal stated, unaware of good free alternatives to commercial products.

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#6 BlackSpyder

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 05:26 PM

Actually OB, Windows Vista Update will breakup the packages much like a download manager will and start/stop them on connect/disconnect automagicly (sorry, I haven't got to use that word in a while). I figured that out while getting the latest Vista SP even though I'm not "dial-up" per say I don't have a 24/7 connection and it is by no means as fast as my old connection so i thought that when I connected to get it I would be in for an all nighter turned out Update had already downloaded 75% of it.

7 and XP may be different though.

Edited by BlackSpyder, 08 November 2010 - 05:27 PM.

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#7 ABNINF

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 10:10 AM

I've just started using Microsoft Security Essentials on our machines but I don't know how good it is. Right now I have a log posted waiting for reply. I THINK the infection may have been there when I installed MSE but I'm not sure.

Anyone have any thoughts on how good MSE is?

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#8 HydroLar

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 10:35 AM

I think it is a good thing as well, and very little different from the ISP's offering free security software. I would like to see them take it a step further and demand security of some sort before allowing a connection.


Nice point! Make installation of a security package mandatory. I have so many co-workers and friends who cruise Internet without any kind of firewall or malware scanner. They simply do not know what these things are or that they need one.
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#9 ABNINF

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 12:55 PM


I think it is a good thing as well, and very little different from the ISP's offering free security software. I would like to see them take it a step further and demand security of some sort before allowing a connection.


Nice point! Make installation of a security package mandatory. I have so many co-workers and friends who cruise Internet without any kind of firewall or malware scanner. They simply do not know what these things are or that they need one.


I don't know how they do that. I know some people like that. Do they just not realize they are getting infected then run the pc until it is so virused up it can't function??

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#10 Romeo29

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 03:41 PM

The basic concern of anti-virus companies is why does not Microsoft let the user decide which anti-virus he/she wants? They should be a given a screen to choose a security software. There are some major free anti-virus products - avast!, Avira, AVG and Panda Cloud - which should be shown up along with MSE and let the user pick one.

From Panda Research Blog :

We agree with Microsoft; it’s better to have some protection than not having any at all. However the way the guys in Redmond are executing the idea is risky from a security perspective and could very well make the malware situation much worse for Internet users. That’s why we encourage Microsoft to continue using Windows/Microsoft Update but instead to push all free antivirus products available on the market, not just MSE.


Panda Research Blog lists many good points like -
1. MSE installs only on genuine Windows. There are 40% computers running pirated Windows. (other anti-virus products can be installed on pirated ones)
2. Monoculture is hacker's paradise.
3. MSE provides only basic protection and it is not sufficient.

Edited by Romeo29, 11 November 2010 - 03:45 PM.


#11 fgeelo

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 05:51 PM

The basic concern of anti-virus companies is why does not Microsoft let the user decide which anti-virus he/she wants? They should be a given a screen to choose a security software. There are some major free anti-virus products - avast!, Avira, AVG and Panda Cloud - which should be shown up along with MSE and let the user pick one.

From Panda Research Blog :

We agree with Microsoft; itís better to have some protection than not having any at all. However the way the guys in Redmond are executing the idea is risky from a security perspective and could very well make the malware situation much worse for Internet users. Thatís why we encourage Microsoft to continue using Windows/Microsoft Update but instead to push all free antivirus products available on the market, not just MSE.


Panda Research Blog lists many good points like -
1. MSE installs only on genuine Windows. There are 40% computers running pirated Windows. (other anti-virus products can be installed on pirated ones)
2. Monoculture is hacker's paradise.
3. MSE provides only basic protection and it is not sufficient.


How is MSE not sufficient? I don't see how its protection is basic, given that it removes all types of malware (including rootkits, something AVG doesnt do)

#12 Casey_boy

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 06:05 AM

As the article also states, this option only comes down through Microsoft Update and not Windows Update. So the user does have a choice, Microsoft Update requires an extra install and specifically states that it will give you the option to update Windows and other Microsoft products. If you didn't want this, you could just use Windows Update. Oh and as Animal has pointed out, this is an optional update...so you chose if you want to install!

Plus, as you guys have said it's only for those who have no working anti-virus installed already.

To be honest, I'm all for it...

Casey

Edited by Casey_boy, 29 November 2010 - 06:09 AM.

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#13 Romeo29

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 01:15 PM

How is MSE not sufficient? I don't see how its protection is basic, given that it removes all types of malware (including rootkits, something AVG doesnt do)

Other antivirus products like avast! (free edition) also provide behavior based detection, web traffic filtering, network traffic filtering, instant messenger protection, email-clients protection, P2P protection and much more. I cannot remember how many times avast! has blocked a web site from downloading malware on my computer.

As the article also states, this option only comes down through Microsoft Update and not Windows Update. So the user does have a choice

If someone tells a person (who does not have much knowledge of internet security) : "You do not have any antivirus installed, you are not protected, you can get a malware and it can steal your bank and credit card."
Then he adds : "Do you want to install Microsoft Security Essentials for free?"
What is the choice left? That person who is already shaking with fear would jump and install MSE.

Its like a waitress deciding the dinner for me without showing me any menu. Instead Microsoft should show a list of free and well respected products available on the internet. Then the end user would have a real choice.

The case in Europe about media player was also like this. Microsoft was promoting WMP without giving the end user any real choice. Now if you install N edition of Windows, you are shown a list of media players to install.

#14 Jayson201

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 02:15 PM

Its definitely a good step for Microsoft.
The first thing I did when I heard about MSE is download it and check it out.
With Norton, Comcasts Anti Virus of choice, Viruses still got in, undetected. Malwarebytes scans are what saved me on multiple occasions.
Since I've had Microsoft Security Essentials, I've had almost 100% surely ZERO viruses get in undetected, for more than a minute.
Months of virus free computing is great. Many people go without Anti Virus and complain about their computers being slow, and usually the last thing they think of is viruses.

In fact, I've been so virus free, Today I decided to knowingly download some malware (Malware that claimed to be Flashplayer updates...I knew it wasnt though) just to test if MSE was still working like I loved it to, and it was.

Thumbs up on my end.

As for Trend Micro. I could say they're equally good but I only had Trend for 2 months, so I wouldnt know. For them to complain like that, it's just childish.

#15 Romeo29

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 03:34 PM

According to the latest (30 Nov 2010) PC World reviews, Microsoft Security Essentials provides mediocre malware detection and is very slow.

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/product/730543/review/microsoft_security_essentials_10.html




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