Bill Thompson, June 13 2003.
How far do you trust Microsoft?
Can Microsoft win customers for its anti-virus product?
Technology analyst Bill Thompson wonders who would trust an anti-virus
product from Microsoft
This week Microsoft announced plans to buy a Romanian anti-virus
technology company, and instantly the technology sites were full of
speculation about what it all means.
Shares in anti-virus firms dropped in value, comparisons were made with
the browser wars when Microsoft used illegal tactics against Netscape's
Navigator web browser, and everyone assumes that the whole anti-virus
market would be completely turned upside down.
There are, of course, examples of technologies which were doing very
well as third-party add-ons until Microsoft decided to bundle them with
Windows and take over the market.
The web browser is the most obvious, but disk de-fragmenters, disk
compression tools and network software all came first.
This leads to the second point. Microsoft has a poor track record when
it comes to the security of its products and its ability to deal with
these problems effectively.
I suspect I am not alone in saying that I would never buy, trust or
install an anti-virus package with the Microsoft name on it.