by Martin Veitch

Free Microsoft anti-virus? About time too

Jun 10, 20092 mins
Cloud Computing

There would appear to be plenty of concern over reported Microsoft plans for a free antivirus service, codenamed Morro. It’s anticompetitive, it’s bullying, it’s exploitation. It’s about Microsoft strongarming the competition, it’s about abuse of a monopoly, it’s plain unfair. For me, it’s about time.

Recent years have seen jursidiction used to great effect to curb the biggest powers in technology but it’s easy to forget how many technologies have been folded into other products to the benefit of buyers. Web browsers, TCP/IP stacks, task managers, file viewers, screensavers and so on are now built into the operating system or just given away when once they woulod have commanded large sums.

You can even use, gratis, suites of applications that cost tens of thousands of hours in development. The regulatory checkpoint should be whether a company is throwing its weight around to take out a competitor or exploit its position to the detriment of buyers.

Let’s face it, a great many virus issues have arisen on the back of Microsoft products and it should be Microsoft’s job to get rid of them. For Symantec (a company that built a large part of its reputation on slotting into the Microsoft world) and others, there are tons of opportunities outside of the specialist sector that is antivirus and they are acting accordingly.

Antivirus services are a pricey tax for many of us. Microsoft should swallow that tax and let others make money on more useful, differentiated endeavours.