Microsoft to bundle free security tools

7 January 2005 Microsoft is to offer free virus removal tools as part of its continued push into the security software market.

The company says it will make the anti-virus software available for download from 11 January. As part of a growing family of security tools, it searches through PC files and deletes well-known viruses and worms. A sister product for combatting spyware is already available on beta test.

The tools presage a full-blown Microsoft anti-virus programme, which is expected to be launched in the Spring. These latest bundled products are a response to the estimate that as many as 90% of all Windows machines have malicious software on board, with the average PC harbouring 28 separate spyware programs.

Microsoft signalled its intentions to join the anti-virus market with its purchase Romanian security software company GeCAD in June 2003. And last month it added further security expertise with the takeover of Giant Company Software, a New York author of anti-spyware tools.

As news of the move has filtered out, shares in leading anti-virus companies have fallen. Symantec stock is down by 10% and McAfee shares have tumbled by around 15% since the beginning of the year. In a recent annual report, McAfee stated its products would be rendered ‘obsolete and unmarketable’ if Microsoft began to incorporate security software in Windows.

Avatar photo

Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

Related Topics