It may be sounding good to consumers and somehow bad news to security software vendors since Microsoft has decided to provide the long free Microsoft Security Essentials in its latest build Windows 8. The Security essentials have been a free antivirus solution for windows of which most consumers did not know since it was a separate download.
Microsoft has already been shipping “Windows Defender” built-in with Windows 7, Vista and XP, but with “Windows 8” the company will be integrating their full-fledged “free anti-virus” solution “Microsoft Security Essentials” providing users an out-of-the-box protection against malware, coupled with firewall protection and parental controls.
Microsoft has been hauled into court all those years due to its anti-competitive behavior. I hope this will not send Microsoft back into court after Windows 8 formal release. The security software company also will have a big blow in terms of sale since most of computers shipped with Microsoft windows are their main target. Microsoft Security Essentials may lower the need of users to look for another security options. Is this the end of era for antivirus in windows platforms? For me, No.
Currently, Vendors ship Windows with antivirus trials, of which may be a hard error to solve for Microsoft since it’s torn between convincing the vendors to install or not. By any chance they install and Windows has its own inbuilt antivirus may cause some bloating usability issues and some time fatal errors. On the other hand if the vendors don’t install, the vendors may be facing business losses as most earn money from advertising the trial antivirus upon installation on their brands.
As to whether Microsoft will be taken to court over anti-competitive behavior, I don’t think it will work. The landscape has changed in terms of what classes as basic functionality for an operating system. It is now essential that everyone runs a security solution on their PC, and many of the PC infections that cause so many issues are due to machines not being properly protected. Microsoft could be viewed as helping to stop such activity by making Windows 8 more secure.