Paying for inherent flaws

Something I realised today while browsing a computer store was the price tags on Anti-Virus/Spyware/Malware/Trojan/Crapware – these software packages cost between £20 – £50. Perhaps to the less-inclined, this isn’t a bad price for ‘security’ on your Windows machine, but consider this. How much would you be paying if you didn’t need an Anti-ware product? Anywhere between £0 – £0 I’m guessing. With UNIX-based systems that’s exactly the case. Ubuntu and Mac OS X are some of the main stream Operating Systems where Anti-ware packages are strictly optional. This is due to the fact that, from the beginning, UNIX was designed as a multi-user Operating System. Security was considered from day 1 with UNIX – unfortunately not so for Microsoft Windows.

Microsoft’s floppy excuse for a security-aware Operating System is not unfounded. Before the days of the Internet as we know it, Personal Computers were very much islands, disconnected and dis-concerned with the outside world. As time moved on and the Internet dawned, email viruses become commonplace, botnets started springing up, and spam accounted for 90% of all email traffic. Computer users and organisations who utilise this vulnerable Operating System called Windows have had to pay for it’s shortcomings – and I don’t Microsoft are going to change their ways any time soon.

In 2007, the global Anti-Virus market was in at about $5 billion. Imagine how much it would worth if Windows wasn’t so shabby over it’s security habits? Microsoft will never make Windows as secure as it could because the AV market is worth so much.


One response

  1. Indeed, and over the years I’ve seen ordinary Windows users being subjected to some fairly hideous “security software” practices, including business models which IMHO were tantamount to demands for money with menaces/threats.

    There has long been speculation about the relationship between companies selling anti-virus and other security software for Windows and Microsoft, which certainly appears to be a symbiotic one. Obviously the bigger the anti-virus industry becomes the less incentive there is to do anything about fundamental design issues in Microsoft operating systems, and malware events often result in positive publicity for these companies – highlighting their products and making them appear as the hero of the hour.

    2 October, 2010 at 2:20 pm

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