Tuesday, June 15, 2004

MS to Offer AV Software: How twisted is THAT?

Microsoft on Track to Offer Anti-Virus Software (TechNews.com)

Microsoft is planning to offer its own AV solution, which will compete against the likes of Symantec, McAfee etc. Knowing Microsoft, this latest offering will probably be so bug-ridden itself, that third party software might spring up to patch the holes. But I have a larger, more fundamental grouse with Microsoft.

Why, in the first place, does Microsoft charge exorbitant sums of money when its software is riddled with defects? Even allowing for defects, doesn't it become Microsoft's ethical, moral and maybe even legal responsibility to at least try and offer fixes without additionally charging users already burdened with its low-quality software?

Anti-virus software is a case in point. As everyone knows, today's proliferation of viruses and other worms that seriously affect the integrity of computer systems big and small, can be directly attributed to loopholes in Microsoft's operating system design in large part. Although Microsoft might have caused this `security issue' unintentionally, it resulted in the growth of a multi-million dollar anti-virus industry. Now, incredibly, Microsoft is aiming at earning revenue off its earlier incompetence! Those poor parasitic outgrowths face competition from the greedy host. Microsoft can probably buy out all these antivirus companies, and simply issue a small belch afterwards, being the huge cash cow it is.

A sorry state of affairs indeed. Is there any way out? Of course there is. Migrate to other operating systems. Although easier said than done, organizations should seriously consider moving out of the clutches of the Redmond gaint, at least gradually, if not at one go. Linux offers proven productivity, and at much more reasonable rates. And for those with the money to spend, there are always those Macintoshes.

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