Eweek article on the effect of MS in the AV market

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by dan_maran, May 22, 2005.

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  1. dan_maran

    dan_maran Registered Member

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    Read the article here at Eweek

    This article brings up some valid points as to why this might be a good move for us as consumers. In short, the theory is that with MS joining the ranks we, the consumers, may be able to demand more bang for our buck from current AV vendors. Interesting idea that I am all for.

    Since I know a few people here work for AV/AS/Security companies, if you can elaborate, how do you feel about this? Since this may affect your wallets.
     
  2. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I agree with the basic proposition. For example, I found CounterSpy has created a better product, probably due to the fact they have to differentiate from MS AS. I think Symantec is going to have to create a much better product, going forward since the easy pickings are going to end pretty fast.

    It actually just takes some decent smarts (not money) to create a better product, so I think any security development house should be able to compete. Just look at the great products that are built by companies like Kaspersky, DiamondCS, Eset, etc. I also don't think, because of a variety of reason, MS's products aren't going to be all that good. They will compete in the mediocrity market against Symantec. May the most mediocre win.

    Rich
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2005
  3. dan_maran

    dan_maran Registered Member

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    Rich,
    The mediocrity market is where the easy money is at, as you stated. What was the latest poll, 75% of computer users have no idea which solution is better for them, and in these cases is where Microsoft's feared ability to low-ball prices will be felt, and also as you stated, Symantec, McAfee, Trend, etc. (larger OEM suppliers) will have to change their ways, IMO. Because from my experiences people love cheap, as do I don't get me wrong, and the "Big-boys" are going to have to cope. Eset, Kaspersky, Softwin, real niche companies in the states, I don't believe will have to worry that much.
     
  4. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I don't know enough to have an opinion as pertains to the enterprise market.

    With respect to effect on consumer level AV pricing, however -- I think the answer can be inferred from the Internet Explorer example. Based on history, M$ has never competed all that well based upon quality & innovation. Rather, they compete based upon either destroying or buying out competition. If M$ is allowed to do this in the case of security products, then it is my opinion that they WILL do it. Not immediately, but inevitably.

    3 Points to ponder...

    _/ Who knows more about the security weaknesses of a given OS than the maker of that OS?

    _/ As to an OS-maker who also sells security programs, would that OS-maker readily share information about that OS's security weaknesses with competitors in the security business?

    _/ If an OS-maker's security programs somehow just seem to work better with that OS than do the security programs of competitors, will that be purely because of *security-programing skill* on the part of the OS maker?

    Just questions. Don't shoot me for asking. :cool:
     
  5. Firefighter

    Firefighter Registered Member

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    Maybe a stupid question but anyway. If they (M$) really are aware of the weaknessies of their products, why do they make them at all? :D

    Best regards,
    Firefighter!
     
  6. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    Basic AV and FW security should be FREE, even if there is a small markup in the cost of Windows. It's more cost effective to integrate FREE basic internet security into Windows. This will significantly reduce worldwide mass infection.

    WXP SP2 is already moving in this direction...a working firewall with the default installation. I suspect Longhorn will also include a FREE working AV.

    And don't give me this crap about MONOPOLY. Adequate PC security should come preloaded with the OS without any cost, if we are going to adequately address the threat of malware applications.
     
  7. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    Do you think Microsoft's AV might have a very good heuristics engine? After all, they know the limits of the Win32 API, and what can be coded into it beneficially.....
     
  8. .....

    ..... Registered Member

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    It depends how many changes they made to the RAV engine. RAV never did have good heuristics, however its signiture database is (or was?) impressive ;)
     
  9. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    I've been noticing that a lot of AV vendors have taken big steps to improve their products lately, and suspect MS jumping in to be at least part of the reason why. This seems to lend some weight to that idea, especially this little blurb:
    Another article I saw a while back mentioned that a lot of businesses will shift just to consolidate support and billing- one place to call for help with all problems and one big bill to pay. This makes sense as well, it's the same reason I go with my phone company for internet service.

    My guess is that the other vendors will take a big hit in the first and/or second year, but then a fair amount will go back because MS won't have the exact same options or work the same way.
     
  10. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I agree in principle. However, consider again the example of Internet Explorer. Not long after IE was integrated into Windows, competing browsers became moribund. Once IE became overwhelmingly the dominant browser, significant improvements to it ceased.

    I believe much the same thing will happen if M$ is allowed to dominate the security market as it has done with respect to the browser and OS markets. Competitors will become fewer & fewer.

    Yes, the M$ AV might be free (included in Windows) but updates to the signatures will NOT be free. Once competition becomes weakened, there will be no restraints on the price M$ can charge for subscribing to updates of its signatures.

    Computer security is a giant *chess match* between the bad guys & the good guys. For every new malware from the bad guys, the good guys develop a protection. For every protection from the good guys, the bad guys find another hole. Round & round it goes.

    Once the M$ AV becomes the hugest target, all attacks by bad guys will concentrate upon it -- for the same reasons that those attacks presently concentrate on Windows & IE.

    Will M$ be a worthy adversary in this chess match, once they become the dominant good guy? Past history tells us that M$ will NOT be a worthy adversary for contending with bad guys. Monolithic, bureaucratic organizations such as M$ are seldom as good at innovation & *thinking outside the box* as are small, dynamic outfits such as eSet & Kaspersky.

    What, me worry? Not at all -- if things start going in the direction that I am predicting, I will switch to Linux or a MAC. I just hope that Wilders will create some areas for *mavericks* (non-Windows types) to post in -- should I become one of them.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2005
  11. larouse

    larouse Registered Member

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    I think that the Money ( $ USD ) is a Good fact to considere, Microsoft has a lot Money to make many, many things, any Security company has the resources that MS.
     
  12. Trespasser

    Trespasser Registered Member

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    Microsoft will probably dominate the AV market in short order due to it's name recognition with the "uneducated masses". Sad, but IMHO, more than likely true.
     
  13. StevieO

    StevieO Guest

    Here's an analogy for you to consider.

    These days most vehicles come pre installed with an audio system of some decription. Some of these are just badged versions of other peoples products. A few are actually designed and possibly made the vehicle makers.

    Some of these are crap, some ok, some quite good and very few are really good. Some of the electronics might be ok, but let down by the speakers and vice versa, but none that i've heard are outstanding.

    The best solution i have always found, is to rip out the system that the vehicle makers pre installed, and then install i high quality one myself. Others can get someone else to do it if they don't have the skills etc.

    This way you have your vehicle of choice, and a sound system of your choice. Not one imposed on you for whatever reasons no matter what the initial impetus was to do so.

    Why some software makers choose to be blind to the fact that, being skilled in one area or even more areas, does not make them skilled in every possible concievable area is just arrogance at the very least.

    If the AV/AT etc makers wrote a new OS i'm sure MS wouldn't be too pleased and wished they hadn't, and probably even say that the world doesn't need another one. Whether we do or not is irrelevent to what they might think, say and do about it.


    StevieO
     
  14. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    I do not think that MS will dominate the security market for two reasons:

    1) They have to overcome a lot of inertia (those who already own another AV) without using their monopolistic position. If they even breathe a breath of unfair practice (it has been ruled that they are indeed a monopoly and have to follow a different set of rules), the government will come down on them hard. If not the U.S., then certainly the European.

    2) They are not going to get much help from any hardware vendor, in terms of bundling.

    3) Symantec will probably be forced to improve their products enough to keep a substantial amount of the current user base.

    4) MS products will only be mediocre and usually mediocre can only command so much of a marketplace, especially when MS cannot use their monolopy to force vendors to adopt their technology.

    I good example would be the home finance market where Quicken continues to do very well despite all of MS's attempts. Other markets other similar. E.g. the ability for Adobe to continue to compete very successful. Despite the fact MS has lots of money, they seem to have a lot of trouble entering into any new market where customers have some independence in their decision. Many people thought that the Xbox would dominate, yet Sony continues to do extremely well.

    It should be interesting, and I don't mind one bit that Symantec is sweating.

    Rich
     
  15. The Hammer

    The Hammer Registered Member

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    Companies will have to improve customer support and Help/Documentation regarding their products. Eset is an example of a company that needs to improve their web site. They released a new product but their support section does not reflect the changes. Particularly the FAQ section and downloadable user guide.
     
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