Companies react to offering up Security Essentials through Microsoft Update

November 6th, 2010 at 12:12 PM  1 Comment

You know you’re probably doing something right when three of your biggest competitors start acting like the world has come to an end. In this case, it’s Microsoft versus the anti-virus world.

While we like to stress the importance of anti-virus products on all platforms, they’re sort of like insurance companies. Their products are usually expensive and bloated, and when you really need them most of the time they’re not that effective. Microsoft’s Security Essentials product is arguably one of the best anti-virus products on the market, and it’s free, and it’s got traditional vendors like Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro scared. Even more so now that Microsoft has begun distributing the software to users directly through it’s Microsoft Update service.

But Trend, McAfee and Symantec (and others who have yet to chime in) should really talk less and instead focus on their own products. Instead of getting their panties in a bunch prematurely, they should take a step back and look at the facts.

  1. The product is delivered through Microsoft’s optional Microsoft Update service, which, while tied into Windows Update requires users to opt-in to receiving.
  2. The product is only available to users who don’t already have an anti-virus program reporting in Windows. There are people who aren’t using other products as it is.

But instead of trying to make their own products better, or more attractive, they’re using hyperbole and crying “antitrust” to get people angry. In most cases, it’s only making people angry and them.

Trend Micro:

“Commercializing Windows Update to distribute other software applications raises significant questions about unfair competition,” said Carol Carpenter, the general manager of the consumer and small business group at Trend Micro, on Thursday.

“Windows Update is a de facto extension of Windows, so to begin delivering software tied to updates has us concerned,” she added. “Windows Update is not a choice for users, and we believe it should not be used this way.”


“It’s clear that today’s threat landscape requires more comprehensive protection than what Microsoft Security Essentials offers,” said Symantec in a statement. “From a security perspective, this Microsoft tool offers reduced defenses at a critical point in the battle against cybercrime.”


“Options that provide an elementary level of security, including Microsoft Security Essentials, mostly rely on traditional protection mechanisms,” McAfee said. “McAfee products offer not only more features but most importantly, McAfee products offer real-time protection using cloud-based intelligence to combat even the most sophisticated threats.”

Again, these vendors talk a good game, but a lot of it is just that. Talk. The truth is Security Essentials has been sufficient for most everyone I’ve ever given it to. These other companies would be wise to learn a thing or two from Microsoft instead of trying to just look superior.

I run Security Essentials on anything I have a choice to. You couldn’t force me to install anything from Symantec, McAfee or Trend Micro… nor would I recommend it.

via InfoWorld