back to article Security major strops over MS free scanner auto-downloads

Trend Micro has cried foul over plans by Microsoft to offer its Security Essentials freebie scanner as an automatic download. Plans by Redmond to offer its scanner through its built-in update service could stymie competition, according to the number three security software supplier. Microsoft introduced the auto-update …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    ho ho ho

    Won't these folks ever learn? There's no such thing as a "Microsoft Business Partner". Sooner or later you're a competitor or a technology donor or both.

    Take it right back to the Stac, Jack (1994: Stac vs Microsoft re Doublespace). And many many many more since then.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Technology döner?

      Hmmm... tasty!

  2. Red Bren
    Gates Horns

    Poke that 800lb gorilla

    Are Trend picking the wrong fight here? With a bit more quality control, Microsoft could eliminate Trend's raison d'être...

    1. Chemist

      @Red Bren

      With a monumental amount more quality control, Microsoft could eliminate Trend's raison d'être...

      There fixed it

      1. Red Bren


        Good work!

  3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


    Trend are throwing a hissy fit over Microsoft trying to secure their OS a little better...

    Of course, Trend wouldn't have a business model at all if Windows had no flaws in the first place. If Microsoft want to try and fix the problems that are of their own making, then tough titties, Trend. Better go and write some software that does something else...

  4. Anonymous Coward

    For once I'm on Microsoft's side

    For years we've attacked Microsoft's inability to take security seriously, as a result there are millions of spyware, trojan, virus and worm infected Windows computers out there. Most of the spam, DOS and hack attempts that the rest of us have to put up with originate from these machines. To properly ensure that every machine is protected the counter-measures need to be included on every single machine, not offered as an optional component that many users will either not bother to install or will mis-configure if they do.

    While I would prefer Microsoft to address other areas of their approach to security, not least fixing vulnerabilities in a timely manner and locking down machines as the default, I recognise that there is defence in depth which is where a decent firewall, anti-virus, anti-intrusion etc come in.

    Will it reduce the ability of Trend, Symantec and others to compete? Yes, absolutely, but they've traded on the failings of Windows for years, can they really be complaining now that Microsoft is trying to take security more seriously? If they want to compete they should be working out what value their product adds when compared to MS's offering, not suggesting that machines are shipped with no protection. If they really can't add something extra for the money, then maybe they should get the European courts to enforce a 'security choice screen' as they did for browsers?*

    * With the restriction that users always need something installed. If they uninstall a third party tool kit, then the system will re-enable/re-install Microsoft's tool.

    1. Reality Dysfunction
      Thumb Up

      Great idea

      All versions of windows should come with basic MS av as default, if you want to fork out for an additional package thats up to you.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Basic AV

        Windows already comes with the same basic AV that Linux does. It's called not running as root and not running untrusted software. Works fine for the penguins.

        More seriously, it proves that AV software is *not* a necessary part of the OS. It's an application. Consequently, if they bundle an AV app through Windows Update (or MS Update, it hardly matters), they'll be leveraging their OS monopoly into a new market. That's illegal in most places.

        Since this is hardly the first time they've been accused of such sharp practices, they could expect to be hit quite hard if a court finds them guilty.

  5. Tom 13

    The difference between MS Updates and Windows Updates is trivial.

    And ought not constitute sufficient ground to deflect Trend's complaint if the go full bore lawyer on this. What I think will constitute a problem for them is that I believe the Netscape vs MS settlement has expired. The predecessor which allowed the Netscape vs MS case (illegal DOS distribution practices with one of those quasi-court/out of court agreements) certainly has. Which means MS is no longer legally covered by the requirement that they not bundle applications with their OS. And therefore Trend have to argue that all over again.

    On a side note, if Trend want to depose me for their case I'm available. I'm a consumer, I buy their product, and when I build out my PC at home I always start by applying service packs, then running Windows update, then switching to MS Updates and patching until there are no critical patches left and nothing in the optional software that interests me. In my particular case they wouldn't lose a customer, but for others in the populace they might.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Well done MS

    Nothing wrong with MS finally offering a very capable and free software to help shore up its OS security deficiencies. Companies like Trend whilst arguably innovative and entrepreneurial are however ultimately parasitic. There is no way the MS can fix all their holes and so they do right to make MSE freely available, but they really should bite the bullet and be working on a complete redesign of Windows to make it really secure from the bottom up.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Tried it - uninstalled it

    I've tried MSE on three machines - a quad-core desktop with 4GB RAM, a dual core laptop with 4GB RAM, and a dual core laptop with 8GB RAM, all running the 64 bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate. All three machines slowed to a crawl while scanning, and the initial scan took between 3 and 5 hours per machine. Signature updates also took > 1 minute on my 24mbps connection too. Swiftly uninstalled and back to Avast I went.

    1. Dave Cradle

      You're doing something wrong then

      I've installed it on umpteen machines, possibly even a plethora, and I've never had any problems. It goes on, does the business, and doesn't cost anything. Easy life.

      1. James O'Shea
        Jobs Halo

        Indeed he is

        it is _extremely_ difficult to screw up an install of MSE. Why, even a Mac user can do it... assuming that they have polluted their environment by allowing a WinBox into the vicinity, that is.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    We can have a reasoned argument about the extent to which Microsoft should produce vulnerability-free software (a nice trick: try pulling it off, please do), and the extent to which a valid security strategy is to try to spot bad stuff before it happens.

    To cry foul about Microsoft doing the latter rather misses the point. The core business of the AV companies is parasitic, living off the weaknesses of the host product. If Microsoft get better at security - by one or more of the strategies above, or similar - the parasites will have nowhere left to lodge themselves. That's hardly Microsoft's fault: and I sincerely hope no court ever orders them to decrease the security functionality they ship, just in order to enable some other company to make money from filling the gaps.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oddly, I disagee...

      Microsoft has shipped security deficient software for years, from its beginning. Companies have grown up to fill this gap. So, if Microsoft now wants to fill its own security holes let it do so by rewriting there software. Fix what you started don't just create more apps to run on top of a holeful OS, if that's all you want to do leave it to those who already do that.

      I would like to add that I do not work for any antivirus/security application firms, but if the OS creator wants to make it more secure they should do it right.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    in a lot of cases I view the anti virus vendors as leeches. for years they've been preinstallling bloated nagware crap on new machines that's next to impossible to clean properly and spreading FUD to help sell their crap that mostly just slows the machine down.

    Trend, NOD32 and ironically Sercurity Essentials seem to be slightly different in that they all do a pretty good job with a minimum of fuss... but as the earlier commentors have mentioned... their business is built on a weakness in Windows so it's only fair that Microsoft stands up to the critisism and provides a solution... Trend, Norton et al are just going to have to step up and find a new niche, because this is good for users (SE as a standalone can probably react to threats a lot faster than developing and fixing a problem in the core of Windows...)

  10. Miek

    Security "Essentials"

    Simply put, these tools do not work for a vast majority of threats. This move will only really give $MS users a false sense of security.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      "Simply put, these tools do not work for a vast majority of threats."

      Based on what evidence?

      Put up or shut up.

      1. James O'Shea


        I'd like to see some support for "Simply put, these tools do not work for a vast majority of threats." myself.

  11. Fred 24

    The perfect excuse...

    ... for microsoft to scan your files and upload your documents to their hq.... go on, prove me wrong!

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      "prove me wrong"

      Shan't. Instead, I'll merely point out that Microsoft wrote the OS and have therefore been in a position to scan all your files since the early 1980s. If they haven't done so already, it means you just aren't interesting enough.

    2. James O'Shea

      easily done

      "go on, prove me wrong".

      Step 1: Start a Mac in OS X.

      Step 2: Install Little Snitch. Little Snitch does one thing, and one thing only: it looks for stuff trying to connect to the Internet from your box and checks to see if _you_ gave them permission to do that.

      Step 3: Install a VM box, such as Parallels, VMWare, or Virtual Box.

      Step 4: Install Windows inside the VM box..

      Step 5: Install MSE inside Windows inside the VM box. Should MSE, or anything else, running in the VM box attempt to contact Microsoft, or anyone else, you will be notified.The direction of the contact will be listed; if MSE says that it is downloading malware file updates but is, instead, uploading data, any data, this will be logged.

      Step 6: Engage the law firm of Dewey, Chetam, & Howe, Fulchester, UK.

      Step 7: Profit.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You'll give Google ideas, you will

      Dangerous talk costs bytes.

  12. b166er

    Cry me a river

    AV companies should have seen this coming and stopped 'infecting' OEM machines with their cycle-sapping bloatware.

    I've been telling friends and relatives to go with MSE, and that's got nothing to do with Microsoft Update

    AV software is shite these days anyway, I find SAS or MBAM and bleepingcomputer much more helpful and that's because most threats get past AV.


  13. Tron Silver badge

    An OS should come with free AV on by default.

    It's basic to a modern OS. Not including it makes the web less safe for all of us and increases spam.

    Screw the anti-virus companies. They are parasites.

    Force Microsoft to include it by law.

  14. JeffyPooh

    MS-SE is not bad

    Symantec is horrid. McAffe is horrid. AVG is good.

    But MS-SE is the least annoying of them all.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL them to do the job?

    excuse me?

    we have a bloated OS full of holes and security weaknesses ....and we're expected to secure it with software from the same company?

    sorry, if MS cant write the OS properly, how are we supposed to trust their AV solution?

  16. Matt 53

    Problem is

    Many average users don't actively opt in to Mucrosoft Update. Just installing Live Essentials gets you enrolled. Office shoves it down your throat. Changing a simple setting in WU gets you registered. Other companies don't get that priviledge. Perhaps Apple, Adobe, etc should all have access to the update service? Perhaps MS will be forced to shove an AV choice screen in the faces of EU users, just like Browser Choice (that pisses me off too!). Maybe the AV choice would also remove the icons to your existing AV software just to confuse you!

    1. hitmouse

      Microsoft has better update service

      I'm not sure what update Office shoves down your throat but it's surely much more palatable than the offerings for updates from Apple, Adobe et al.

      I'd almost rather Apple and Adobe had access to the Microsoft service because Microsoft's service is lightyears ahead of theirs. Apple can't do incremental patches at all, and so it and Adobe seem to require 80MB updates each every other week. Also, there might be less chance of Apple trying to push Safari, Bonjour and other products with iTunes updates.

  17. John F***ing Stepp

    Well. . .

    Not really the first Micro-Soft AV package, remember back when there were about 200 viri in the wild propagating madly off of floppy disks?

    One of the Compiler companies sent us Monkey Brain; (can't say which one because they are sue happy SOBs); took damn near 15 minutes to remove.

    Good old MSAV, the signature files are in the mail.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    Trusting MS to look after your security is like trusting Gary Glitter to look after your kids...

  19. micheal

    remeber the days

    when AV software was just that, small quick and easy to use....then Norton et al decided "if windows can be bloatware, so can we" and started being a firewall, nanny, print engine and everything else we didnt want but were unable to lose because it was an internet security "package". even avast doesnt get used in corporate environments because of this trendy notion of be jack of all trades, do none of them particularly well anymore.

    If M$ fills the void, good on still have a choice, but free beats costly and simple beats memory hogging....people will vote with their wallets, as you can do with the OS, processor type and choice of colour.

    1. hitmouse

      Voting with wallet

      Interestingly I find most people who don't know better pay $$$ for horrendous AV tools like Nortons over much more effective tools like MSE, AVG, Avast etc.

      A large number of PCs I encounter in friends' homes or in hotel receptions have paid AV software that has expired. In the former case, people can't figure out how to renew or replace the software that's there.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Trend can just piss off

    I have supported Trend, McAfee, and Symantec in the enterprise environment.

    Trend was always the least effective solution of the three. We had infections that Trend couldn't resolve and it took days to get a fix (even with expensive priority support), this happened on numerous occasions at our facilities in Malaysia. I usually ended up donating a McAfee licence so the systems could get cleaned up.

    There is NO fully effective solution, all AV/ anti-malware products are only partially effective.

    The Microsoft FREE products are at least as effective as Trend's products and probably much better.

    Trend can just piss off, I'll never allow my employer to purchase Trend products again.

  21. Rab Sssss
    Thumb Up

    Not sure how

    It stacks up against trend software, but MSE kicks the shit out of mcafee. I know it protects against some malware that went through mcafee like it was not there <much of the scareware investations that made last year so much fun>.

    I also recomend it to anybody that asks, its free and its pretty light on the machine resources. I view it in teh same vein as bundling a firewall with windows...A good thing.

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