Microsoft’s New Anti-Virus Software

Posted by in Technology

Photo by Zingaro

Photo by Zingaro

What does Microsoft gain from offering it?s own anti-virus software? How about a little respect from the user? For too long Windows has been shipped as a defective product. Only Microsoft hegemony in the PC market can justify such a long period of acceptance from consumers. I can?t imagine any other product surviving for so long with as many security flaws.

In fairness to Microsoft, hackers are constantly targeting them. It is the unfortunate side effect of having such dominant market share. We may, however, be seeing the end of that dominance. Windows usage has dipped below 90% for the first time in 15 years. Macs are coming back in a big way and to further muddy the waters Google?s new Chrome OS is poised to take another chunk out of Windows usage when it is unveiled early next year. Microsoft has never before been this vulnerable. Perhaps this is why the software giant is finally taking the time to patch the holes in the leaky roof itself instead of leaving it to others. MacBooks were the top selling laptops in 2008 and an increasing number of PCs being sold are tiny netbooks capable of running Linux based operating systems. Microsoft must get its house in order as it faces increasing stiff competition.

Apple has been fighting a PR war against Windows for years. Increasingly one of Apple?s best points has been Windows? susceptibility to viruses. Many if not all Windows users will have to deal with a system-threatening virus at some point. Partly this is due to antiquated software. Let?s face it; over 70% of the public still uses Window XP, which is an 8-year-old operating system. Most people never upgraded to Vista. Microsoft is banking on Windows 7 to be a success and part of this achievement is reducing the system?s dependence on third party software to clean up the malware/spyware mess.

The problem with letting McAfee and Norton continue to dominate the virus protection market is one of perception. Microsoft can?t afford to be seen as letting others fix its broken software. In order for Microsoft to rebuild some trust with consumers the new Windows anti-virus needs to keep up with the bad guys.