Microsoft to launch free antivirus product in the middle of next year

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windows-antivirus-2008.jpgHoorah! Another sign that Microsoft still knows what it’s doing, and ‘gets’ it, despite evidence to the contrary. Microsoft will, as of the second half of next year, stop selling its ill-fated and unpopular OneCare security software, and instead offer a completely free security suite.

The package will support XP, Vista and Windows 7, and will be ‘suited to smaller and less powerful computers’. It’s unlikely that it’ll come installed by default on computers – Microsoft has learnt that lesson – but it should prove popular with technophobes worldwide, who normally struggle with security software and lapsed subscriptions.

Of course, the real question here is what will happen to McAfee and Symantec. On the one hand, a free security product from Microsoft could blow their business to smithereens. On the other hand, though, years of alternative free solutions has failed to dent their lead, and nor has Microsoft’s ‘OneCare’ software. It’ll be interesting to see their response to this.

Do you pay for McAfee or Symantec antivirus? Do you use a free solution like AVG or Avast? Or do you just run naked through the pages of the internet, with your tackle dangling in the breeze? Let us know in the comments.

Microsoft OneCare (via BBC)

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Duncan Geere

7 comments

  • Macs can, apparently, get a virus – Apple is now advising Mac users to run anti-virus software on their machines. Also, one of the reasons Macs ‘don’t get viruses’ is because they have a tiny market share compared to Microsoft, which obviously makes Microsoft a big target for the virus-makers. Ironically, then, if everybody took Brad’s advice and ‘got a mac’, Mac users would probably find themselves bombarded with virus attacks in no time at all…

  • just don’t use microsoft products. Use Apple computers as they don’t get viruses and don’t crash and just work much better. You deserve to not worry about virus software. Just get a better computer that works flawlessly all of the time – get a mac!

    • Ah yes. I wondered if anyone would notice that. I just wanted a picture of something Windows and Antivirus-y, and found that, even though it’s highly dodgy software. It’s for illustrative purposes only. As soon as some pictures of Windows’ free antivirus product come out, I’ll use those.

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