Windows 8 to have built-in anti-virus - there's good and bad news

Filed Under: Malware, Microsoft

Microsoft will ship Windows 8 with built-in anti-virus software.

That's the big news that is no doubt being discussed furtively at the watercoolers of computer security companies around the world today.

What will it mean to them? A quick glance at Twitter reveals that some people already have pretty good ideas about how the news might have been received..

But seriously, is this good news for the existing anti-virus companies and - more importantly - consumers?

Microsoft Security EssentialsMicrosoft has been making a free anti-virus software available for a couple of years, in the form of Microsoft Security Essentials. But you had to download it from the internet - it wasn't bundled with Windows itself.

Microsoft has been bundling a program called Windows Defender with Windows 7, Windows XP and Vista, but it doesn't really compare to a proper anti-virus product.

With Windows 8, it sounds as if Windows Defender will be beefed up to incorporate the functionality of Microsoft Security Essentials. Effectively, Windows 8 users will be getting out-of-the-box protection against malware, as well as a firewall and parental controls.

So, it's a case of good news and bad news.

Good news for..

Consumers. Anything which encourages Joe User to run up-to-date anti-virus software has to be a positive thing. There are too many poorly protected home computers out there, which have been commandeered into botnets.

Windows Defender running on Windows 8

But at the same time it's also good news for..

Malware authors. You don't think they're going to ignore this development, do you? If most budget-conscious home users stick with Microsoft's built-in offering, then surely the first thing the bad guys will do is make sure their latest creation can slip past Microsoft's scanner.

No doubt they'll have a new template for their fake anti-virus alerts too.

Bad news for..

Security vendors. It's bad news for those security vendors who rely heavily on consumer sales of their software. It's questionable as to whether many home users will want to reach into their pockets and pay for security from them if there's already one built into Windows 8.

Frankly, it's their own fault. The two big security hippopotamuses have had years of opportunity to gobble up the end-user market, and yet still millions of home users were infected by malware, spyware and pop-ups each year.

It's understandable that Microsoft want to clean up the image of Windows - and if commercial anti-virus vendors haven't managed to do the job, then why shouldn't they do it themselves?

Microsoft's plans for Windows 8 might mean knee jerk reactions from some vendors, and even perhaps more price-cuts and giveaways in an already aggressive market.

I wouldn't be surprised if the legal eagles at rival security firms accused Microsoft of anti-competitive practices, and forced the software giant to offer users security products from a selection of different vendors, just as happened in the case of Internet Explorer.

Browser choice screen

But it's not just some security vendors who may struggle, with Microsoft's decision. There's another group who may find life isn't too rosey in the Windows 8 world..

Consumers. Yes, it could be bad news for users too. At least some of them. The thought of running the same anti-virus product as every other home user on the planet, gives me shivers. A security monoculture is not a good thing.

Clued-up folks may well choose to use a non-Microsoft anti-virus (either free or commercial) just to not go with the crowd.

We certainly live in interesting times.

Me? I welcome Microsoft doing more to protect home users from the huge problem of malware, but at the same time I'm pleased to say I don't work for a company which relies on anti-virus sales to home users.

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79 Responses to Windows 8 to have built-in anti-virus - there's good and bad news

  1. Tim · 1142 days ago

    Why shouldn't Microsoft be able to protect their own product? I imagine it would be the same as when they Windows Firewall. Sure, Windows Firewall isn't as comprehensive as others (paid?), but it does the job and is much easier for Joe User to use. If McAfee (aka Pig) and Norton (aka Hungry, Hungry Hippo) don't like it, then they can offer a free, comparable version of their products as well. To be more fair than they have to be, Microsoft could offer choices like with browsers. Honestly, I think it's a good thing and it's about time. I've always wondered why MS didn't include an AV.

  2. Rockin Rotty · 1142 days ago

    Personally, I don't think vendors will have a whole lot to worry about, especially as untrustworthy as Microsoft has always been known to be. The first thing I do when bringing home a new computer, after doing the initial setup & getting basic things accomplished, is to head straight for my favorite download websites & download the latest particular security programs I've always come to trust, & everyone knows they sure as heck are not located at Microsoft. Thank goodness for that! lol

    • Mike · 1038 days ago

      Well as seeing that the AVG home user would be AVAST sticking with Microsoft
      own security products I have to agree with you, it is better to go with a company
      know for Security products over one know for Operating Systems.

  3. warriet · 1142 days ago

    does seems to have Security Essentials built in - one of the first updates I saw

    • Windows20 · 1127 days ago

      Well, it may looked like it that when you run Windows Update. You would see Microsoft Security Essentials on the list. But, the choice is on the user if he or she wants to install it or use other program. Windows Defender and Windows Firewall are built-in. The first Windows OS to have these two built-in was Windows XP SP2. Windows 8 will have an anti-virus software built-in. Even Apple Mac has a built-in antivirus software.

  4. Sander · 1142 days ago

    Maybe MS should stick to making MS Windows and MS Office
    and leave the rest to other companies...
    Bad enough that so many countries make use of Windows to run their affairs...

  5. Hermes · 1142 days ago

    Has the IE browser ballot fundamentally changed market share though in the web browser market? Was it not already diversifying because other browsers don't suck for functionality (let's face it, your average Joe doesn't care about security within browsers) and speed of response?

  6. Guest99 · 1142 days ago

    I'm not keen on MSE becoming the 'standard' AV, seeing as I use it myself :

    My first thought when seeing this pop up on my facebook page: "Oh lord, malware like never before!" because people might think they're safe by having Win8 with built-in AV but said AV will be the first AV any malware needs to crack in order to be effective.

    Basically: Microsoft is telling malware authors "If you can't beat our AV, you need to stop trying to make malware" but at the same time hinting "If you CAN beat it... well, feel free to take these millions and millions of computers with ignorant users on them!".

    It worries me and, honestly, it's not the hardest thing to fix because, as has been suggested, Microsoft could just launch it with a variety of AVs to pick from and you'd be more overall covered (while also letting malware go through a portion of computers instead of a huge percentage if it goes through).

    • sansrity · 912 days ago

      just a question. do i need to keep windows update on for successful runnin of windows defender?i'm using windows 8n but since my laptop is dos based so i dunno whether i should update my wndows or not? please help me out.

  7. Matt Hand · 1142 days ago

    I know this is kind of off topic, but I think I'm really starting to dislike the interface. Not only does it look like it is designed for someone who uses there machine for the basics (browsing, creating documents, etc.), but it seems like the Mac in the sense that it seems like Microsoft want you to just let them handle everything behind the scenes, no questions asked. Comments?

    • Peter · 1137 days ago

      Agreed. But what can you expect from a free MS app? I have to avoid inserting some USB sticks because it would delete files - with no questions asked!

  8. Kiersten · 1142 days ago

    I prefer AVG anyway. the built in or comes with stuff annoys me

  9. Jim · 1142 days ago

    I currently use Security Essentials on my box, it runs great. Its light on resources and it doesn't have all the unneeded bloat that many vendors install. Plus Microsoft has been on top of things in regards of AV updates to latest threats, usually a day before most other vendors have signatures available for their products.

  10. Brad C · 1142 days ago

    I don't know if you've ever used Microsoft Security Essentials, but it is a steaming pile of dung that will slow your PC to a crawl. I suspect someone will be able to make a "Speed Up Your PC" software that simply disables the built-in AV software and it will make tons of money.

    • xplorer1959 · 1137 days ago

      It's clear ffrom your insulting comment that you have never used MSE. If you have used it then you're either simple-minded or have a really bad machine. I use MSE on all of my machines and I love it! McAfee's a joke, Norton is too expensive (junk really should be free), system intrusive, and a resource hog. MSE is none of those things and is as good if not better than any of the expensive 'aftermarket' oroduct.

  11. Pop · 1142 days ago

    I'll be disabling mine, i don't use AV software.

    • Good luck with the viruses.... No seriously good luck :D

      That aside, I recommend you to run a trial version/ some antivirus to clean up your PC, which I'm sure have been botted.

      • Sime · 1141 days ago

        My linux distro sorts that out.

      • Phil · 1135 days ago

        I also run No A/V and have no problems.

        I'm an IT guy and part of my job is cleaning Malware from computers. I cant stand the bloat and performance hit from A/V software

        I surf the internet every night on my computer while I game. I get nothing, nada for virus infections. I check about twice a year with Malware bytes or AVG (which remain dormant and inactive the rest of the year) and I have nothing show up. I use Firefox and I never download anything a website says is necessary to see content. I use flash, Divx, Quicktime (no silverlight) and if those programs cant run the content at a website then I move on. I only download stuff from Cnet or other established sites. I never get things from omglolsuperdriverwarehouse.com or any other stupid website. If I get a popup, it gets ALT-f4'd or task manager killed. I never click on unsolicited redirected screens.

        L2surf and you don't need malware. That or get a Mac. There is no malware or viruses on the mac. I surf with NO worries whatsoever on a Mac.

        • John · 10 days ago

          This isn't good advice for the average user. Safe browsing habits can only take you so far. Eventually, something can slip through. Without anything to catch it, you'll be left undefended. You should probably back up your data before you lose everything. There are plenty of antivirus products out there that aren't resource intensive like Norton. The AV field is a highly competitive market. Also, Mac does get viruses. they're not as prevalent than they are on Windows but they're out there.

        • I'm glad you've not found any infections but the behaviour you describe isn't good practice and it perpetuates some common fallacies.

          The web is one of the major vectors for deploying malware and malware does not restricted itself to stupid sites or to infecting PCs. Malware is written by criminals to make money - it's a very large, sophisticated and serious business and it will exploit any niche where money can be made.

  12. Allen · 1142 days ago

    Its a huge upgrade from any crap-ware that Symantec puts out. I used to manage 1300 laptops given to high school students. I was forced to use Symantec (which is the same thing as Norton) and the infection rates were sky high. some of the students switched to AVG (which technically they weren't allowed to do) and it cleaned up what Symantec missed.

    I also tried out Microsoft's security essentials. It also cleans up after Symantec. Not to mention both AVG and Security Essentials don't affect performance noticeably, but the installation of Symantec's junk greatly affected performance.

    • xplorer1959 · 1137 days ago

      My thoughts exactly Allen. I think some people are so blinded by baseless or irrational hated of anything Microsoft that they'll troll about every MS product that ever comes out.
      I used Norton for several years on several machines but my computer was virus infected more than once, but no problem at all since I first began using MSE and as you said performance isn't degraded at all.
      It just works.

  13. Mike · 1142 days ago

    People will be comparing Windows 8 tablets to the iPad. I would think features like this will kill battery life.

  14. Wile E Coyote · 1142 days ago

    Might also be a good idea if the default account does not have administrator privileges.

    Trouble is that might result in howls (similar to those raised against Vista) of "why am I being asked for permission all the time!".

    Morton's Fork comes to mind.

  15. MM23 · 1142 days ago

    MSE runs on mine, but I've never had a problem with other malware services. McAfee and Norton are out because of the crap nature of McAfee and problems getting rid of Norton, but Avast runs great on my new laptop.

  16. Problem with them bundling the AV software with Windows is possible conflict with third party softwares i.e. Sophos / Norton / McAfee / Kaspersky just to name a few.

    It has been generally recommended NOT to run two AV together on one machines.

    • xplorer1959 · 1137 days ago

      Then don't attempt to run TWO av programs together- don't install a second one and problem solved.
      IF MSE is made removable from Windows 8, that is.

    • Guest · 1137 days ago

      Yes indeed thats also my worry,I think Microsoft should give users possibility to turn off the windows live security essentials/defender/windows firewall so that they can use another security software and firewall.I think that the authorities should demand this from microsoft that they allow other security packages to be installed and activated.

  17. Josh · 1142 days ago

    Personally, I think the idea that Microsoft sees a need to incorporate anti-virus software into their operating system, to try to deal with what "other companies" have missed shows that there is not so much a problem with the software that is used, but the end users in general.

    I mean, if you know what your doing with a computer its pretty easy to avoid downloading malware. I mean, simple rule: Don't click on popups. But yet, millions upon millions do each year, and whats the result?

    To put it more clearly, if your an uneducated computer user, your going to download your malware and virus's no matter what anti virus you're running. So when it comes to the idea of Microsoft adding its own anti-virus, I say sure why not..But my uncle/grandmother/other relative is still going to call me every 3 months because their computer is "acting funny"

    -Fix the user, not the system.

    • xplorer1959 · 1137 days ago

      If you haven't noticed, malware of all sorts come from more than just clicking pop-ups. Even some web pages will be or get set up to automatically download a virus of trojan into the computer. So, by your method there is a "simple rule": DON'T view web pages. Think that will go over well with your uncle/grandmother/other relative?

    • Julia · 1137 days ago

      That's not necessarily true however. Just two years ago my windows XP home edition VAIO got infected with a virus from an ad in a chat software that I didn't even click on. You don't have to click on the ad to install the fake anti-virus/malware, sometimes it pops up with no clicks and installs automatically.

      And....

      because of MSE not catching the virus and taking care of it, and not being able to access the internet and download other 3rd party anti-virus programs, I had to take the VAIO to Best Buy's geek squad and pay like $330.00 for the repair.

      So Microsoft bundling an anti-virus onto their newest operating system: great!
      Do I think it is going to be super and catch each and every virus? No.
      Does any anti-virus software do that? No.
      Should you probably ditch the Microsoft provided av and install your own which you trust? Definitely yes.

      Basically, the IDEA of Microsoft providing a high-quality free anti-virus that will be bundled with their newest operating system is GREAT, because SO many microsoft users were hit with malware/fake anti-virus and some of the time it was their fault, some of the time, it was not. But whether it was their fault or not, the malware was still on there, and could not be removed by MSE (and users are ignorant and just stick with M's free av). But will this idea work? Probably not. As many of the other commenters on here pointed out, M's 'bigger better av' is going to be the first thing that the hackers will try to get past. And because of ignorant users thinking 'oh this will suit my computer needs' they will only have this av. And their computer is BOUND to be infected by something, even if they practice safe browsing. Pop-up/ad blockers do not block every single ad.

      So yeah.

    • "Not clicking popups" -really? That's it?

      I'm more worried about things like:

      * Malicious emails containing malware-infected links. Often spoofed to seem like they're from your live messenger contacts, for example.
      * Drive-by infections where your browser automagically downloads and executes the malware, without you needing to do anything.
      * Facebook malware of all varieties - users tend to feel safer on Facebook than on their email account.

      I think your advice combined with a proper AV solution, NoScript & some sort of adblocker(for infected banner advertisements) would be more effective at preventing infections.

  18. Steve · 1141 days ago

    Of course, had Microsoft not decided to put MSE in, this article would be titled "Windows 8: Less secure than Windows 7".

    • Mike · 1035 days ago

      Steve? MSE hasn't been put in because Windows 8 is only in Alpha stage. (I.E. Developer Preview) When the official beta is released it will indeed include MSE with it.

  19. elaborating from what tyw7 says, I only think Microsoft would be guilty of anti-competitiveness if their built in software conflicts with the major brands. Its one thing protecting your own product, its another by stopping other companies from protecting your product.
    As conflicts arise, as they undoubtedly will, the nightmares will start, and probably the lawsuits as well. It will be an interesting year.

    • xplorer1959 · 1137 days ago

      Interesting point. If a different brower than ie is chosen, as in Europe, can MSE either be uninstalled, or better- not installed until the user sets up Windows and makes the choice then?
      Either way, based on my experience I'd chose MSE every time.

  20. Scott · 1137 days ago

    It's like having the fox guard the henhouse! It was never a good idea - look at how they hid the *DLL's in Office in the 90's.

  21. maverick · 1137 days ago

    If Apple Mac is malware protected out of the box then why not Microsoft do the same thing.

    • I'm sure you didn't mean to imply that Mac's don't need a proper anti-virus solution? I mean, this is 2011 after all.

    • Mike · 1038 days ago

      NOT so much is it is protected out of the box. It isn't a actual target of Malware
      writers, never has been. I don't know if you ever written ANY kind of code to work on a RISC architecture or not, BUT a big time difference than writing one for a CISC architecture. That is the only REAL reason Mac have never been really attacked by Malware writers.

  22. maverick · 1137 days ago

    It makes sense for MS to protect its OS product like what Apple does

  23. DOMINICK · 1137 days ago

    I AM SORRY YOU ALL FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT MICROSOFT ANTIVIOUS
    I HAVE BEEN USING FOR TWO YEARS KNOW,IT TELLS ME WHEN I HAVE A BAD ITEM AND ASKED ME IF I WANT TO CLEAN IT,BUT IU DO BUNDLE IT UP WITH ANOTHER ANTI SPAM FIGHTER I LINE ARMOE,SO THINK WHAY YOU WANT IO WILL STICK WITH MICROSOFT SOFTWARE FOR WINDOWS 7
    PACK YOUR COMPUTER WITH SYSTEM MECHANIC, ITS A GREAT PRODUCT
    I SWARE BY IT.I DO NOT WORK FOR ANY OF THE COMPONIES I AM JUST A NORMALCOMPUTER HOME USER WHO LIKES TO DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE BEFORE I BUT IT,BUT I DO LEARN BY TRIAL AND ERORES,I RUN AN ANTIVIUS AND SPYWARE ON THEM AFTER I INSTALL THEM I HAVE HAD FREE SOFTWARE THAT CAME WITH A CORUPE FILE,JUST BE CAREFULL.
    HAVE FUN

    • sansrity · 912 days ago

      i've a prob regarding windows defender, the av provided with windows 8. it says update failed whenever i'm try to update it. also since my laptop is dos based so i dunno whether to keep my windows update on or off.

      other antivirus packages like quick heal r not gettin installed in this and av like speed up my pc or optimize pro r detectin threats tht r not being detected by windows defender

      pls help me out regarding both the issues

  24. Peter · 1137 days ago

    Every computer that comes in for repair/infection gets a free antivirus in my shop IF they don't already have one. Yes, I've used different ones.
    Some installed antivirus come in totally broken and 99% of them are free. The 1% seems to be outdated versions of a Symantec product ;)
    Now if a Win8 machine comes in the future and something slips past MS Security Essentials, then I'll highly recommend a paid for product.
    You see, many of the computers that come in are older than the currently installed software. MS Security Essentials and a few other freebies have a smaller footprint and have less of a demand on processing power. Those single core machines get really bogged down. (Kaspersky as an example).
    Now if someone could come up with a 'lite' version.......

  25. Bob · 1137 days ago

    Windows Defender Version: 6.2.8102.0
    Antimalware Client Version: 6.2.8102.0
    Engine Version: 1.1.7604.0
    Antivirus definition: 1.111.2565.0
    Antispyware definition: 1.111.2565.0
    Network Inspection System Engine Version: 2.0.7468.0
    Network Inspection System Definition Version: 10.2.0.0

    So basically merged Windows Defender shipped with MS Security Essentials

  26. Chris Piggins · 1137 days ago

    It's time to consider ReactOS, the developing successor to XP/2003. The thought of relying on Microsoft for antimalware makes my hair stand on end. Standardisation engenders greater vulnerability. Microsoft's questionable record on security says it's time to look elsewhere for an OS.

    Windows, post XP, is becoming a bloat of unwanted features as Microsoft attempts to survive. Microsoft's desperate need to maintain cash flow is not the best product development driver. The tangled mess that is Windows 7's UI is a huge put-off.

  27. Ben · 1137 days ago

    Once again we have the old argument of what is the best anti-malware product. There is no "best" product because no anti-whatever is 100% effective 100% of the time. If there was such a thing we'd all be using it and every other company would be out of business!

  28. Guest · 1137 days ago

    I do worry more about the (Windows)firewall capability.The Windows firewall has to be strenghtened and improved,it now only checks incoming traffic and not outgoing traffic,and I think the firewall is quite easy to disable by hackers/malware.I think MicrosoftWindows has to take an example by norton firewall and software (very hard to disable) and also take as example the comodo firewall which isoneof the best,if not the best! You can have the greatest antivirus,antispyware and antirootkit and so on but when the firewall sucks than its all useless.I hope that the new technology from Intel/McAfee (I can't remember the name) combined with Windows 8 and also a better (safer) browser than IE9 can make the life of hackers miserable.

  29. Gary · 1137 days ago

    Interesting stuff - maybe MSE has gotten better, but I had one computer I decided to try it on. Literally, within 1 week it was so badly infected that I had to reformat the hard drive and start over - not a fun time.

    I tried to duplicate the things I did on that computer on another one running different A/V software to see what happened and no issue.

    This was about 1 - 1 1/2 years ago.

    If MSE is that vulnerable still, then the good news goes to the computer techs that fix computers ;)

    • Mike · 1038 days ago

      Hey Gary, go download Window 8 DP (Developer's Preview) over at MSDN
      and RUN those same tests you ran with the other Operating System. WANNA bet me 1 Terabyte of RAM that the same results will not hold true?
      LoL

      People SEEM to have forgotten back in the Windows 95 (A thru D) days Windows came with a FREE anti-virus program, and it was fantastic. Altho
      by Windows 98 WE all found out it was in reality McAfee.

  30. DENNIS HARVEY · 1137 days ago

    Sorry Guys,

    It's all hot air. It will just not happen because of Microsoft's monoploy in the O.S market. Therefore such a move will not get past the Regulatory Authorities.

  31. Philip Gray · 1137 days ago

    Informative article.

  32. Mike Perry · 1136 days ago

    If MS are shipping MSE with W8 then they HAVE to allow other AV software to run with it - else they fall foul of EU anti-competition laws!
    I use MSE and Avast! at the same time on 3 PCs, only having to set them to ignore the definitions files of the other. So why don't AV software companies get round a table and thrash out a way for them all to co-exist together. That would solve the anti-competition issue and improve the protection as they each have different methods of determining what is good and what is bad.
    So simple it's too simple?

  33. D.G. · 1136 days ago

    dont worry the whole windows 8 is useless brings us just more to an apple like "i tell u what u run on ur machine" age and this is something where i dont wont to go
    the whole win 8 and this cloud computing is not a good thing

  34. Rov · 1136 days ago

    Josh said it right. The users need to be educated.

  35. Mill Center · 1136 days ago

    If Mac is so wonderful then why do I also run Sophos? Lets think it over now all OS have problems, why else are Chrome and Firefox and Opera, Mac updating so often?

    Why is Microsoft such a big target for your emity? It has been in existence since April 1975. How many generations of hackers have always had Microsoft to work on?

    With so much of the computer manufacturing being outsourced who knows what kind of back doors are manufactured into every chip. And with proliferation of hackers and phishers and whatever else why do you keep howling about Microsoft not being able to keep up? How many million lines of code have you written in the last 36 years?

  36. Vann L · 1135 days ago

    The real issue is not that MS is shipping an AV product, but WHY they are shipping it. W8 is being ported over to the ARM platform. MS has come to terms with the fact that the PC is on the decline and that Intel really hasn't done anything big on the PC side. The ARM CPU world has few companies that write AV for it, so MS had to step up and do something about it. Of course, now that this has been announced, you can look for the big AV boys to make announcements soon about their W8 ARM development projects.

  37. Darvick · 1135 days ago

    Let MS protect thier software. This built-in Windows 8 protection will become a baseline and likely not include some of the better features of other anti-virus products. Leading edge anti-virus companies will simply have to adapt by offering more limited, more specific types of protection - those that MS will certainly fail to offer - at least at until they copy the new protection and force new adaptations :)

  38. Guest · 1133 days ago

    Microsoft is still one of the most POS operating softwarevthere is. It's time for apple to dominate! 23 years of windows user to the end. F U bill gates!

  39. Peter Yellman · 1128 days ago

    Stupid. The dirty secret is that a properly constructed & serviced operating system should have no need for an "anti-virus" program or function.

    That is, with a good system updating protocol, and appropriate sandboxing and other functions to limit the damage from any rogue code, anti-virus is an irrelevancy. It's something Microsoft should have been able to achieve a decade ago.

  40. Windows20 · 1127 days ago

    Just like Apple Mac! Windows 8 will get it's own built-in anti-virus software. Mac has their own anti-virus software but looks like it can't stop a virus that affected Mac recently.

  41. Ian Bell · 1127 days ago

    If I can run the built-in AV alongside a third party antivirus, I will run it. In the case of Windows 7, a few third party AVs maintain compatibility with Windows Defender and leave defender turned on when you install their product. I would prefer to run a product that allows you to run both.

  42. mouse · 1122 days ago

    I probably won't use this myself (I'm very happy with Avast) but as the person who my friends call when their PCs blow up, it'll be nice to know it's running on their machines. No matter how many times I install Avast, AVG, or (god forbid) Norton on their machines, they all end up uninstalling it when they go to some favorite site that flags the program. Maybe this will help.

  43. bryn · 1084 days ago

    i have been thinking this idea for ages.....all web sites should protect thier users....ie facebook....what a great idea....also save users money...is there any reason why these web sites should have a built in anti virus.

  44. mike · 1000 days ago

    I have been working with pc's for over 20 years now, the one thing that has never changed is the amount of stupid users. they will continue to download porn, do online gambling, downloading "free" programs, and file share etc. no amount of protection saves them from being stupid.

    To give an example one guy comes to me to fix his computer, it was A.F.U in a big way he had no anti virus, so i fixed it and told him to get some protection, he's like yeah, yeah i'll do that. I also told him he needed to stop the porn and file sharing which I saw on his pc. 1 week later he comes back the pc A.F.U. again! I told him he had to pay again, he just did not learn I saw him 3 more times in the shop for the same crap.

    So the way I see it is MS offing free anti virus with its os will only succeed in giving the stupid, a false sense of security.

  45. Joe Bonham · 989 days ago

    Observation: Windows 8 will be a "true-tablet" OS, but also made for home PCs.

    Hypothesis: Windows 8 will be a horrible home PC OS.

    Data: Lifetime home PC user experience with all Windows operating systems.

    Analysis: Windows 95 - good. Windows 98 - meh. Windows 2000 - great. Windows ME - horrible. Windows XP - great. Windows Vista - horrible. Windows 7 - great. Windows 8 - ....

    Conclusion: Following the trend of microsoft to spew out another OS whenever they please to the consumer market, Windows 8 will be a horrible OS for home PCs.

    Solution: Don't buy Windows 8 unless you are purchasing a tablet PC. Wait until "Windows 9"... or maybe they'll make the name more appealing, like... "Windows Super-8 Ultra-Enterprise Edition."

  46. Anonymous Coward · 988 days ago

    I work for a software vendor where Microsoft has also invaded our space in the market. They have provided some features and functionality in their server software that has some of the features of our software. However, we have stayed competitive to customers by innovating to stay ahead of Microsoft, and increase our value add to customers.

    I suggest these security vendors do the same. I have no sympathy. It's called competition which drives innovation. This is a great thing all around. Good luck antivirus providers!

  47. Shawn · 964 days ago

    I personally do not like Microsoft offering av in windows. why? because they are getting to where they are trying to put so much in, and while their av may help, if all of your hackers start coding to beat Microsofts built in antivirus, then why have antivirus? personally I will stick to using avast. It is fast, effective, and very lightweight, I see little to no performance hit on my gaming pc, and I've seen it 6 months out of date protect a pc well enough to where you needed to do a quick cleanup after infections.

  48. Meh · 946 days ago

    I don't give a rats ass about Windows 8 and the cloud forget about av protection. Not willing to sell my self to this corporate propaganda, if they stop supporting Windows 7 anytime soon I will simply move on to Linux and they could go screw themselves.

  49. Curioso · 884 days ago

    Don't think Windows 8 is more safe fromproblems, THERE ISN'T any OS free of danger

  50. Brandon Alford · 855 days ago

    Since the early days of Microsoft they had their own antivirus. Anyone remember MAV for dos? Why is it any different now?

  51. Whaver · 789 days ago

    To anyone who thinks MS can do security, I have two words for you, Internet Explorer.
    I trust them as much as I can outbid them (which is to say, not at all, I am poor).
    So far nothing I have heard about Win8 has been good and this is just one more reason I will not be getting it.
    WIN 8; Screw PC's we're makin' Tablets!

  52. Kevin · 654 days ago

    Windows defender screen doesn't appear when trying to activate Defender a window appears with msg that windows defender is turned off It's as if the software isn't there?? what doe i do. I'm using a trial version of Kapersky that will expire soon.
    Thanks
    Kevin.

  53. Sharyn · 497 days ago

    Can someone tell me how to disable the AV in Windows 8?
    There must be some conflict between my anti virus and the one in Windows 8 as every attachment in Yahoo comes back as having a virus and the system automatically deletes it!
    Over it!!
    Please help!

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.