Well, this was to be expected: an anti-virus company complaining that Microsoft’s Security Essentials – by far the best anti-virus tool for Windows – is anti-competitive. Microsoft recently began offering MSE as an optional download via the optional Microsoft Update service (which is not Windows Update), and Trend Micro (a patent troll) is going into boo-hoo mode over it.
Trend Micro is one of those companies which sells those awful anti-virus tools you were almost forced to use back in dark and cold days of Windows XP, that dreadful operating system Microsoft used to sell before they finally released a decent operating system with Windows 7 (yes, I always disliked Windows XP with a passion – what gave it away?)
In recent times, however, Microsoft released the wonderfully lightweight and remarkably unobtrusive Microsoft Security Essentials, an anti-malware and anti-virus tool which runs on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. MSE always gets out of your way, has a small footprint, and you simply won’t notice its there. It’s so good, it has rendered those old, parasitic dinosaur programs from companies like Trend Micro obsolete.
And now, Microsoft has started offering MSE as an optional download via its optional Microsoft Update service. Note how Microsoft Update is a voluntary opt-in service whose sole function is to provide updates to more than just Windows (Office, for instance). In addition, MSE is not offered at all if another anti-virus tool (one of the crap ones) is already installed.
Trend Micro still went all boo-hoo to CNet, though. “Commercializing Windows Update to distribute other software applications raises significant questions about unfair competition,” Carol Carpenter, general manager of the consumer and small business group at Trend Micro, told CNet, “Windows Update is a de facto extension of Windows, so to begin delivering software tied to updates has us concerned. Windows Update is not a choice for users, and we believe it should not be used this way.”
This Trend Micro person doesn’t have a clue what she’s talking about, obviously. First, she fails to understand the difference between Microsoft Update (opt-in) and Windows Update (default). Second, she fails to mention the optional nature of MSE through Microsoft Update. Third, she fails to mention that if another security tool is already present, MSE will not be offered at all. Fourth, she works for a security vendor.
Of particular note here is that Trend Micro is currently in a software patent lawsuit with Barracuda Networks for its use of ClamAV; Trend Micro claims ClamAV violates one of its patents. In other words, not only is Trend Micro wrong, they’re also a patent troll.