21st October 2017
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March 15th, 2017 Cat: Bisnis Online

You have to wonder sometimes; when you buy a computer, you don’t have to have a media player, or an Internet browser, or a calculator or anything to get some basic use of it; but basically, Microsoft wants you to have a decent out-of-the-box experience getting everything done that you would commonly need to do with a computer. So how did they expect you to use a computer without even basic antivirus software, in a world where they say there are about 20 million individual pieces of virus and other malware out there just waiting to worm their wormy way into your computer? Shouldn’t they include basic Microsoft antivirus software for computer security like they include WordPad or CD burning? This isn’t just about how they should do the decent thing for their customers; this is also about the whole image of the Windows brand.

When a computer gets virus-infected you don’t even really know what it is most of the time; your computer just slows down a lot or acts erratic. And if you don’t know a lot about computers, you’re just going to blame Windows. Apple keeps trumpeting how virus infections on the Mac are practically unheard of, and the Mac experience is all about just getting work done. Across the pond in England, enough people are fed up with the general Windows experience that one in four computers sold now is a Mac. It looks like the Macintosh is approaching critical marketshare momentum and it will be unstoppable soon. So now, to protect the Windows image from further tarnish next to a very safe (and shiny) Mac OS, Microsoft has decided on the thing it should have a long time ago – free Microsoft antivirus software; they call it Microsoft Security Essentials.

Microsoft has indeed had an antivirus product for a few years now; it is called , or rather was called, Microsoft Live OneCare; but it cost just as much as the other paid packages, so it was nothing remarkable. What we have now today, is free. If so, why doesn’t Microsoft just include it with Windows and end it there? Why do they make you search for it, download it and install it yourself? Well it could be the kind of experience Microsoft has had in the past with Netscape and Real Player. When they put out Windows with Internet Explorer included for free ten years ago, Netscape sued them for being anticompetitive; if they put out Windows 7 with free Microsoft antivirus software included, they are surely going to have a bunch of antivirus software manufacturers, Symantec, Kaspersky , snarling away at their heels. So, all said, this should be quite a good call.

So what is this free Microsoft antivirus software like? Is it a case of you get what you pay for, which in this situation is nothing? Microsoft Security Essentials is easy to download, and after a Windows Genuine Advantage check, it pretty much installs and updates itself on autopilot. The user interface is neat and simple: there are no complicated-looking options like with Kaspersky or Norton. It updates on its own, as a part of the whole Windows Automatic Updates Function, and there’s pretty much nothing you have to do. I installed it personally on a computer infected with an AutoRun.inf worm, and Windows Security Essentials caught it right away and cleaned my computer up. I personally thought that Microsoft’s product was sure to be less of a problem in slowing my computer down like some other antivirus products, but there I was disappointed. My Core2 Quad did slow down somewhat, and there were annoying flickers on the screen. These went away as soon as I uninstalled it. It looks like Microsoft with its special inside knowledge of Windows still can’t make antivirus software completely problem-free. And you know, it does come for free, and it seems to be no less effective than the others.. I wonder when it is going to send all the other paid programs packing.

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