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Windows 7: Why Microsoft's muscling of Symantec is good


13 Nov 2010   #1
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 
Why Microsoft's muscling of Symantec is good

Quote:

Here's a scenario we've seen before: Microsoft leverages its domination of the operating system to muscle its way into an adjacent space. Most of the time, that's a bad thing, leading to the disappearance of smaller, more innovative competitors. The company has been rightfully slapped around for that sort of monopolistic behavior by both U.S. and European regulators.

But when it comes to desktop security -- where Microsoft recently began offering free antimalware software via Microsoft Update -- Microsoft deserves kudos, not slaps. Ironically, Microsoft may be doing consumers and IT a favor by taking on Symantec and its lumbering, customer-unfriendly line of Norton security products.

Symantec, which has huge market share and is often the default security program placed on PCs by manufacturers, has taken its customers for granted for years. Shocking as it may seem, Microsoft may be coming to the rescue.

Microsoft's automatic security download

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), a perfectly serviceable antimalware application, has always been available free of charge, but compared to paid offerings by Symantec, McAfee, and Trend Micro, its user base of about 30 million is paltry. However, our buddies in Redmond have made it an option in Microsoft Update, which means that users could download and install it with a couple of clicks and no particular thought.

Symantec and Trend Micro have been pretty quiet about this, repeating the usual platitudes about how their products offer much more than the basic protection users get from MSE, how signature-based defenses are too limited, and so on. Security vendors have every right to compete on that basis, and if consumers would rather pay for their products, so be it. In fact, there is some truth to their arguments, and I wouldn't say that MSE is the superior product. But that's not the point.
More -
Why Microsoft's muscling of Symantec is good | The Industry Standard - InfoWorld


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Nov 2010   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64bit, Windows 7 HP 64bit
 
 

Don't put much stock in this author. He can't even figure out how to control Norton's scans. I just starting using NIS 2011 and have no trouble finding the settings I need to control NIS. I do remember that when I first tried NIS 2009 it was confusing, but this new version has lots of settings but are well documented. It is good that MS is in the anti-virus game and the more competition the better. I wonder why no one has complained about Windows Defender being installed with Win 7. They do sell programs that do the same thing.
If you can't compete with a good product then just sue everybody else. I found NIS 2011 on sale for $19.99 for 3-PC version and at that price it was a no brainer since in most tests it out performs the free products. I am set for the next year and will see how things shake out in the future.

Jim
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Nov 2010   #3

MS Win7 home premium 64bit
 
 

I still cannot figure out if using Microsoft Security essentials is enough to protect a computer from the evils of the internet or do we still need to use a paid virus protector?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Nov 2010   #4

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by runestaff View Post
I still cannot figure out if using Microsoft Security essentials is enough to protect a computer from the evils of the internet or do we still need to use a paid virus protector?
Hi there

Forget Corporations or small Work place computers -- Security on those systems is a different topic entirely.


For HOME users it really depends on what you do and how you use the Internet.

Some people work their whole lives and NEVER get a Virus -- I for example have NEVER been infected with any computer nasty except making "User" mistakes or installing stuff incorrectly. I confess that I have used some torrents in the past too --especially during the early days of Windows 7 before its "Official Release".

Others just seem to get caught every time they use a Computer, while I suppose the majority are in between.

MSE seem by all accounts to work perfectly well and is getting better by the day -- IMO who is better able to protect Windows than the manufacturers of Windows itself.

For Home use MSE should just about put an end to paid for HOME computer protection.

Sensible USER precautions in any case are far more effective than any Software so whatever you install you should use your computer SENSIBLY.

I find an almost 100% way of preventing infection is to only access the Internet via a Virtual Machine including downloads etc.

If the download checks out OK -- run of course the security program - in my case MSE on the VM as well - and it works then transfer it to the REAL machine -- if it doesn't then just ditch the whole Virtual Machine and start again.

Even a small Laptop is capable of running a Virtual Machine as well as the Host OS.

This method I know won't work for games and video applications -- but I'm not a gamer. It DOES work for Audio however for those that source music from "other places".

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Nov 2010   #5

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

This is my opinion. Thank you Microsoft for getting into the security business and doing it so well. I think in a short time it will get even better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Nov 2010   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Regardless of whether prefer MSE or Norton theres a couple things about this article in regards to Norton that made me scratch my head and say ... HUH??

1)
Quote:
What's worse, the program insists on doing background scans whenever it feels like it, no matter that it's in the middle of my work day and a terrible time to slow my PC. Digging around for settings to change that is unconscionably difficult.
True, Norton does do automatic scans.
Idle Time scans it called, and for good reason. it does quick scans whenever the PC is at idle.
If its in the process of doing so, moving your mouse is all it takes to cancel it.

What program is he using? Not the Norton Im using at any count.

2) Perhaps I have simply been very lucky.
But as far as customer service Ive only needed to contact them 1 time.
After rebuilding a new PC, Norton wouldn't activate as I had used all 3 activations.
I called them up, and 10 minutes later I was up and running without issue.

This may have been a stroke of luck for me, but that was my experience with them.



As far as MSE goes and the Windows update...

Good move on Microsofts part IMHO. If the machine has no protection at all, its offering to protect them free of charge.
It is not being forced on you, and you still have a choice to use it or a 3rd party.

I fail to see a issue with this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Nov 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Very good article, Jan. Thanks for the post.

I agree with Jimbo's assesment. MSE is really all one needs for home use. However, I do not like the fact that it does not have an email scanner.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2010   #8
s31

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by runestaff View Post
I still cannot figure out if using Microsoft Security essentials is enough to protect a computer from the evils of the internet or do we still need to use a paid virus protector?
MSE has the best benchmark for free versions and it's only up to the first version with version 2 out soon..

run it along side malwarebytes anti malware
enable UAC and windows firewall
enable router firewall if you have one
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2010   #9

Arch Linux 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by s31 View Post
MSE has the best benchmark for free versions
Which benchmark?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2010   #10

Arch Linux 64-bit
 
 

Quote:
customer-unfriendly line of Norton security products.
I'd say, at their default settings, they work exceptionally well. If you want to change a setting, it is described in detail.
Quote:
taken its customers for granted for years
Years ago they ignored the customer. In 2008, they re-wrote the program after years of customers complaining about bloat and resource usage and each version since has been lighter than the last. Since then, many things have changed due to user feedback and a few months ago, they started Norton Product Ideas - Norton Community.
Quote:
Then there's the never-ending feature bloat. Norton keeps getting bigger, using more disk space and other system resources.
In mine and others' experiences, it uses less resources than MSE.

Raymond.CC Antivirus Performance Benchmark Test
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Now that I've been automatically upgraded to the latest version of Internet Security
Automatically, as in, you chose to upgrade?
Quote:
it keeps telling that some system files are using a lot of disk resources. So what? The files in question are part of Windows and I couldn't turn them off if I wanted to.
Edit: Misread the above quote .

Like almost everything else in Norton, you can turn the whole thing off or parts of it off (you can even set this setting to log only). You can exclude files through Settings or when you receive a pop-up. You can set the "Resource Threshold Profile For Alerting" to Low, Medium or High. You can turn off the "Use Low Resource Profile On Battery Power". threshold You can set what it alerts for. CPU, Memory, Disk and/or Handles. Now that they have (generally positive) feedback from the community, they may develop it further. Have any ideas to suggest? Allow Performance Monitoring Alerts to be Configur... - Norton Community
Quote:
What's worse, the program insists on doing background scans whenever it feels like it, no matter that it's in the middle of my work day and a terrible time to slow my PC. Digging around for settings to change that is unconscionably difficult.
It does background tasks when the computer is idle. You can set the idle timeout from 1-30 minutes. Norton will enter Silent Mode (suppresses all alerts [which, due to user complaints, can be turned off permanently in Norton 2011] and background activities) if it detects an application running full screen (you can turn that off). Norton will enter Quiet Mode (suppresses background tasks) if a disk burning task or a Media Center TV recording task is detected (you can turn either of those off). You can specify any other program that will enable Quiet Mode when running. You can right-click the Norton tray icon and manually turn Silent Mode on for one hour, two hours, four hours, six hours, or one day. You can turn off all but one of the background tasks: idle quick scan, which, depending on the system, can take less than a minute.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Why Microsoft's muscling of Symantec is good




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