Will you be installing Microsoft’s anti-virus software?

You might at least be considering it after reading the latest announcement that Microsoft made this week.  After all, most virus scanners at the moment cost money, and if you combined them with a firewall they become even more expensive.

I have probably used nearly all of the major virus scanners in my time.  My first experience was with a scanner from McAfee that ran under DOS.  It must have been around 1990 and I remember removing the Jerusalem virus with it – from a 60MB (yes, MB!) hard drive.

Later I moved on to Norton (later Symantec) Antivirus, and even the Internet Security versions.  A number of my employers used their corporate versions as well.

But one year I had trouble installing the annual update, and so then I discovered F-Secure.   I stayed with them for about a year, until I finally ended up with Avira’s Antivir.  Here I have used the free version (privately), the premium version (which scans e-mails and websites) and the professional version (for my business computers).  I still find it the best virus scanner out there at the moment.

Other employers have used Trend Micro and McAfee (for Windows), whilst I have customers that use Kaspersky and G-Data solutions.  So you can see that there are a number of solutions out there, and I have experience with most of them.

Let’s turn now to Microsoft.  For the last couple of years there has been a programme out there called OneCare – Microsoft’s security package.  I have yet to see this running on any PC that I have come into contact with, not even at any of the trade shows that I go to.

So what will happen when they release their free anti-virus solution?  Of course, various computer publications will test it and then we will know fairly quickly how good it is.  But even if it doesn’t recognise absolutely everything, will users still be prepared to pay for a better scanner if they can have it for nothing?

It will be interesting to see if it comes pre-installed new computers.  If it does, then I am sure that Microsoft will have the same problems in Europe as they did with the pre-installed Windows Media Player.  Maybe they will have to pay another fine to the EU and produce a version without the pre-installation, but that doesn’t mean that user won’t still see it as a cheap alternative and use it anyway.

Although I can have Microsoft’s Windows operating system without the Media Player (so-called “Windows N”), I have seen very few computers that do not have it installed.  But the number of installations of other products such as QuickTime, RealPlayer, WinAmp, MusicMatch etc. are – in my opinion – declining.

Are the current anti-virus products doomed to suffer the same fate?


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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.


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  1. newstube.de says:

    Werden Sie Microsofts Virenscanner installieren?…

    Microsoft hat diese Woche einen kostenlosen Virenscanner angekündigt.

    Werden Sie diese Software im kommenden Jahr installieren?

    Wird sie vorab auf den Computer installiert werden?

    Was passiert mit den bisherigen Hersteller?…

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