I’m horrible at predictions. The more that I think about something the worse my predictions become. Movies, sports, politics, even my personal life. During my wife’s four pregnancies I failed to predict the gender each time.
One of my predictions made long ago (probably around ’97-98) was that Microsoft would soon get into the anti-virus business. Microsoft was expanding it’s core offerings with each release of Windows, be it Internet browsers or print drivers. But for some reason they were walking very gingerly around anti-virus.
When my prediction failed to come true I started wondering if Symantec and McAfee had members on the Microsoft’s board. Even when some of the prolific virus’ made headway (Mellisa, anyone?) Microsoft still was found in the periphery. They did make headway soon thereafter with regular patches specific to their core security, but all-in-all it became the users responsibility to purchase a 3rd party app to find any one of a gazillion viruses.
Enter MSE. Microsoft Security Essentials is working. No doubt it has the complete attention of its many competitors, as noted by The Windows Club blog.
Microsoft’s free antivirus offering, Microsoft Security Essentials downloads have crossed 2.6 million since its launch two weeks back.
And its doing well! Users of MSE are indeed very satisfied with its performance! Given this scenario, the security companies with a view to holding on to their existing users and getting new ones, have resorted to giving away free 6m/12m licenses of their paid versions.
The anti-virus community is going to watch MSE very closely. Interestingly it seems, to me at least, that AV has become a commodity. Users notice the resource requirements of daily scans more than they consider the quality of the signature base. If this is the case then MSE is in a very good position.
Still, many will be watching.