Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Something Rotten in Redmond: The Latest BS from MS

In case you had no idea, Microsoft is entering the anti-spyware market: Why should this announcement about a new product rollout from a large software company be considered newsworthy or even of interest? Because it means that MS is a few scant inches away from completing another one of their brilliant marketing maneuvers, and the computer using public is largely unaware of their impending victimization. You see, the gang at Microsoft works like this:
  1. Create a browser with enough (security) flaws that it has to be regularly patched.
  2. Be so agonizingly slow to address these flaws that a whole fleet of third-party businesses arise to offer products that protect a user's computer from virus and/or spyware threats that could exploit the holes in the aforementioned browser. Some of these products are free, some are not.
  3. Continue development of said browser, adding new features but doing very little in the way of correcting critical problems. All the while waiting for consumers to not only become comfortable with the concept of using third party software for protection, but also dependent upon such products.
  4. Acquire one of the third party companies (in this case, GIANT) and offer the purchased company's product (GIANT AntiSpyware), newly re-branded as a free beta under the MS flag.
  5. Once an established user base is dependent on the beta product, discontinue it and replace it with a paid version -- a paid version that will undoubtedly cause its own problems that require further patching down the road.
  6. Rinse. Spit. Repeat as needed.
Nice, huh? Personally, my computer usage is split. Only some of my time is spent in the realm of Microsoft Windows and the remainder of my time spent on UNIX and MacOS machines. And I am actually somewhat fortunate in that I did not get locked into GIANT AntiSpyware (although it was highly recommended). But will Microsoft's acquisition of GIANT nullify the remaining competitors in this niche market? The browser wars are over and -- except for small pockets of resistance (Mozilla and Opera, for example) -- the majority of computers out there are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, simply by default. Perhaps that is a bad example simply because IE is free (well, free with the Windows OS). I just don't know how this will eventually pan out. But I am disgusted with this bold new initiative for Microsoft and paid support. I think I need a little (geek) humor right now: Microsith


Ogie said...

Firefox from Mozilla is one of those new browsers you might want to try to at least intercede on behalf of your computer. I've been using it for a month now and friends even longer, and I've only had one or two instances where it couldn't provide online content I wanted. I simply decided that if they wanted me to use IE instead, then I don't need their content.

In the last two weeks I've started IE twice, and when running my latest free spyware application I only found 5 spyware/hijackers on my system. And we both know what application allowed that. Usually I was removing anywhere from 20 to 100 hijacks/spies a week.

Give it a try, and link to it on your site for others to try too.

Worth a shot.

There's always a MAC you mentioned.


Brainwise said...

Thanks for stoppieing by, Ogie!

I do have the Mozilla link right in this post, I just didn't mention Firefox by name. But you're right, I should post the link as many places as I can!

I only recently downloaded Firefox for my PC. On the Mac, I have been using Mozilla's Thunderbird as my email client. But for browsing on that platform, I just use Safari.