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Microsoft steps on security firms toes with offers of free MSE!

#1 User is online   James (Jim) Hillier 

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    Posted 12 November 2010 - 01:56 AM

    It appears both the Trend Micro and Panda security companies have got their collective noses out of joint by Microsoft making its free Security Essentials software available to customers through their Microsoft Update service as an optional download. The updates started appearing on November 1st for U.S. customers and October 19th for U.K. customers. However, Microsoft are offering the download only to customers who do not already have any anti-virus installation that can be detected by the Action Center.

    Both companies are claiming Microsoft is employing "unfair competition" by leveraging off its update service to offer their own MSE anti-virus solution to the millions of Windows users.

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. Apparently both Panda and Trend Micro are contemplating civil action.

    Seems to me there is nothing wrong with offering a free security solution on a purely voluntary basis and only to those who do not have such protection already installed on their computers.

    In fact, that sounds very much like a common sense approach to me. Who can argue with a company offering people a free download of security software if they want it? Panda and Trend Micro can, that's who!

    Perhaps these security companies should invest more time looking into ways they can decrease the often exorbitant prices for their own products. Maybe reducing the cost of their subscriptions would be a more constructive and proactive method of gaining a competitive edge in the market place than continually moaning about what Microsoft is doing.

    What do you think?
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    #2 User is offline   marko 

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      Posted 12 November 2010 - 07:21 AM

      Think this is one of those 'damned if you don't', 'damned if you do' situations Jim, MS had a time of it in the past by including their own browser in their operating systems and now they have to give the end user a choice rather than just assume they want to use IE - we now have the situation that although they produce a good security package other vendors aren't happy presumably because of the weight MS have within the market. As you rightly point out, there is nothing to stop these vendors reducing the price of their products or introduce other features for the same price, instead however they chose simply to gripe and moan about 'competition' - MS have always been on top and when sales begin to slow down as they most probably are just now everyone looks for someone to blame, and yet again it's MS in the firing line!.

      These companies could even offer their products for free for a limited time, start a buzz and get people interested in downloading their software instead of jumping up and down like the proverbial spoilt brat!.
      Cheers
      Marko
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      #3 User is online   James (Jim) Hillier 

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        Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:23 AM

        Hey Marko - Well said my friend!! I agree 100%. :yes:
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        #4 User is offline   TheRaven 

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          Posted 13 November 2010 - 06:48 PM

          Quite pathetic.

          I have used MSE since it was released as freeware for Windows Genuine Advantage Users and have had no complaints about the technology. It has, like anything Microsoft related, started its life receiving undeserved ridicule in contrast to its performance and reliability. There was a free anti-virus tool that was made available, before MSE was re-licensed, right about the time Vista hit the market and the tool was available for Windows XP as well. Since MSE went commercial freeware the older Anti-virus tool has run the end of its commercial support life cycle and everyone migrating to MSE is only natural.

          More profound is that who would truely know Windows more than the party responsible for its creation and publication -- Microsoft. If any concern would arise from the MSE re-license it would be complaint from individuals that had previously licensed the product commercially for payment but, that has gone to the way-side as it could be chalked up as R&D cost dispersement in the earliest stages of the product's development life-cycle; so, the next complaint would be anti-trust, being that the MSE product is "manufactured" by the same company that makes the operating system leaving the question: the MSE product would or could be overlooking possible inappropriate behavior by the Windows O.S. Somehow this argument landed in post script as Microsoft is working with the federal government in the United States as well as Homeland Security and possibly the FBI and CIA regarding security. Working with the afore-mentioned security institutions, Windows Vista was impenetrable to net based attacks up to and including all threats at the time of testing in 2006. The O.S. could not be identified or cracked by port wranglers and sniffers. The user actually had to download, install and grant permission for the attacker to actuate its system.

          All of the above along with MSE and a highly regarded Google Chrome browser creates an awesome, secure and stable environment for digital computing that the community has been long overdue in receiving.

          Windows has a standard security mechanism that was deployed with Vista initially which, outlined above, is available in Windows 7 -- the same security technology that made Windows the most secure O.S. in history. With this, MSE fills a niche that covers the internal side of things that can safe guard the fact that the end user can become the short fall of Windows new Unrivaled Security Stature making the O.S. even more so "All That!" You take all of this and throw in Google Chrome "the un-hackable browser" and you have a system that you can go to sleep at night not to worry. This creates a system that developers and manufacturers used to fantasize about in the bathroom like dirty old men -- now it is a standard way of digital systems deployment, implementation, and maintenance. As the technologies inherent become more familiar to everyone the more simplistic it will become to employ higher levels and standards of security for everyone. Moms, Dads and Uncles like myself will enjoy knowing that their kids will benefit from all of this.

          Conclusively, where then do ISVs like Panda come off screaming class action based on monopoly -- this would be their only recourse as I had dabbled in business law briefly. Their claims to Microsoft playing a role in impropriety would fall short as the company, Microsoft, has not vendor locked anything so all ISVs can develop their systems without undue burden. They now have to perform on more than providing a service that it would appear that they believe themselves privy implying that they are in fact the entities trying to enforce an indirect monopoly on the security market technology segment.

          Those whom live in glass houses should never cast the first stone -- how's that Marko?

          With the monopoly argument in closing, one could easily assume that ISV Anti-virus companies could be behind a vast majority of if not all of the digital threats out there in the web space -- let us face the fact that this would certainly indicate job security for such a business. This same thought could be a serious motivator behind why Microsoft had decided to release MSE as it has. The release of the product covers their butts on several levels like: support for the Windows Security platform by guarding the internals now, increased Windows marketing platform for reliability, increased sales due to market satisfaction and assurance, seriously limits liability on Microsoft's behalf lowering overhead and reducing overall expenditure allowing Microsoft to lower product price points further increasing sales and product satisfaction and closes the doorway for anti-Microsoft platforms to attack the product(s) using the end user and his/her licensed products to do so against their will as well as compromising their personal information unlawfully. (run on sentence from hell)

          There are some serious ramifications that go into managing security and who would have thought that Microsoft releasing MSE would have stirred up so much discord. My question is this -- since when did I sign disclosure to Panda stipulating that they owned me or my possessions in any manner that they were allowed to decide the course of my existence regarding my own security and sense of well being that that is not monopoly. They can take over my life when they are paying all of my bills and doing all of my work and I get to sit around on my A** doing nothing but telling everyone else what to do with total immunity. That crap all smells of something other than democracy or freedom on any level.

          They can all pound salt.

          In my opinion -- the ant-virus/anti-malware deal is Microsoft's responsibility to its Windows Users because to deny that fact would implicate them in what could really snow ball into a serious class action suit as liability would become a poetic nightmare. Understanding a little about Microsoft, like I do, I have to believe that the release of MSE as it is, is for all of the good reasons mentioned in this reply and nothing more or less. It will make the users happy, it will keep the customers and everyone's kids safe, it's an excellent marketing platform, and it will keep Uncle Sam and NATO out of their nightmares -- as we all know SAM and NATO do not play that mess contrary to what terrorists and thieves would have us believe.

          Good day gentlemen.

          P.S. - I knew this crap was going to happen when MSE hit the open circuit. My little rage is exactly what I thought then and somehow has gone unchanged -- so, wrong or right that's my view of the matter and who I am on the matter. It is nice to know you guys see the same crap and junk as I do; lets me know that there are discerning minds about killing the notions of being the only one that sees the B.S.


          Strength is in numbers comrads.
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          #5 User is online   James (Jim) Hillier 

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            Posted 13 November 2010 - 10:28 PM

            Hey Raven - Well said Sir!! (even if some it was just a tad over my head :) ).

            One point I failed to make in my initial post:

            The security companies are largely complaining about Microsoft employing 'unfair competition' tactics by leveraging off its update service. What about the security companies forcing their products on consumers via software bundled with new computers, obviously as the result of some 'deal' arranged with the major manufacturers. That is not being done 'out of the goodness of the vendors hearts' and is surely employing the same (or very similar) tactic by leveraging off the brand name manufacturers' reputations and widespread (major) market share.

            At least prospective MSE users can choose whether to install the software or not. The security companies software, on the other hand, is pre-installed without any prior consent or approval from the consumer.

            A classic case of the kettle calling the pot black perhaps??

            Cheers....Jim
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            #6 User is offline   TheRaven 

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              Posted 14 November 2010 - 04:12 AM

              View PostJames (Jim) Hillier, on 13 November 2010 - 10:28 PM, said:


              A classic case of the kettle calling the pot black perhaps??

              Cheers....Jim



              Classic indeed -- "perhaps" naught; it is a clear cut and well defined case of greed meets bigotry and you, Jim, are shooting bull's eyes.

              The branding round robin of marketing would in fact purvey the scenario where "anti-virus" software authors would connect with hardware manufacturers and "work out an agreement" where a product ships with a laptop, for example, and would also be "pre-installed." Microsoft gives the end-user a choice as to whether or not the MSE product is downloaded and installed. Further more, any ISV can elect to join the Microsoft Window's Logo Program and upon meeting all basic requirements can opt to have Windows Automatic Update Services deliver their products updates routinely. It is now painfully apparent that they are against the ropes with a tag team match up of "convenience" and "product quality" kicking their cans all over the ring now. No one gave two squirts about Microsoft Security Essentials until testing and product comparisons by third party testing and auditing bodies finalized research on various levels to conclude that MSE was growing in superiority and ease of use.

              Kind of funny how I used McAfee in the past and once the subscription ran its life out my system would mysteriously start to perform ill-mannered and house many trojans -- I grew rather suspicious at the convenience of this natural phenomenon as to the sincerity and trust of the company and opted to never again purchase a product released by the company be it free or otherwise. It had come to pass as I would meet individuals over the course of a decade that many had used McAfee anti-virus software and recognized the same behavior and when I spoke of my same situation with the product they said goodbye to McAfee "Security" Products as well.


              Over time shady behavior and what would seem to be obvious sabotage like what I had described above by anti-virus software is going to become noticeable by security agencies and other corporations like Microsoft. These security software providers seem to be convenient magnets for online threats and when they are disregarded/discarded for a trust worthy tool like MSE it's odd how your system seems to run a helluva lot more like it should. This stuff has been a hot bed for debate, I kind of like the concepts behind security programming, for quite a long time and it is now getting to the point that Microsoft would have to provide something to their users or suffer further destruction on their credibility platform. MS also had their ears beaten as to the fact that they should provide something like MSE at no cost for Windows Users as thats an obvious part of the services that an O.S. should provide; so, MS did what they were told to do and released the program as a commercially licensed freeware product and did so in a fashion as to not step on end user choice as they were also directed to do.

              Many just do not realize that Microsoft is actually doing what the Windows users want and many that complained were corporate clients. Panda and all others are beat and the fact that they spoke up says that they do not know that Microsoft was basically petitioned or totally disregarded the information. The competition is so out of luck it is not even worth a snicker -- they're supposed to be our last line of defense and they can't even read. They aren't going to be on my team thanks -- I like to win or at least break even and that's hard enough to do without the additional burden that goes along with putting idiots in charge of your sanctity.
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              #7 User is offline   jjj 

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                Posted Today, 01:40 AM

                For XP users the MSE icon has recently been removed from the list of alternative anti-virus providers when accessing from Security Centre in Contol Panel on initial install.
                You now have to click a few more times to locate it - still ok for xp tho.
                Unfortunately the more users of MSE there are will result in more activity by scammers to circumvent it - just like windows- so alternative AV programs are beneficial to MS.
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                #8 User is online   James (Jim) Hillier 

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                  Posted Today, 02:12 AM

                  Hi jjj - That's a lot of j's....John Joe Jones perhaps?? Just kidding!! ;)

                  Quote

                  Unfortunately the more users of MSE there are will result in more activity by scammers to circumvent it - just like windows- so alternative AV programs are beneficial to MS


                  Absolutely agree. The point is though, the security companies moaning about 'unfair practices' when they are, apparently, the only ones who see it that way while employing very similar tactics (to the ones they are complaining about) themselves.

                  Competition is always a good thing but that can be promoted either proactively in a positive way (like MS) or negatively by complaining about and attacking ones competitors (as the security companies appear to be doing).

                  Cheers .....Jim
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