Microsoft Anti-Virus - extortion, expedience, or the extinction of the AV industry: the jury has reached a verdict

Friday 26 September 11:00 - 11:30, Green room.

Randy Abrams NSS Labs

In a presentation at the 2006 Virus Bulletin Conference I asked the question: 'Is Microsoft's entry into the anti-virus space, extortion, expedience, or will it spell the end of the AV industry?' Having worked for 12 years at Microsoft and, at the time, 16 months at ESET, I brought a unique perspective to the conversation. For seven years at Microsoft, I worked very closely with the anti-virus industry as well as with security teams within Microsoft. In 2006, the jury was still out.

At the time that Microsoft announced its entry into the anti-virus space, Jimmy Kuo quipped 'I'll consider it a warning when Microsoft actually does it - because that'll be two tries. And Microsoft succeeds on its third try.' Shortly after Windows Live OneCare was released, Jimmy joined Microsoft.

Eight years after that VB presentation the answers to the questions are clear. Some predictions have proved to be true, and others not. There have also been some entirely unexpected results.

This year I will review the predictions of 2006 and compare them with the reality of the impact of Microsoft on the AV space today. (And I shan't pick on Symantec.)

Click here for more details about the conference.

Randy Abrams

Randy Abrams

Randy Abrams is a research director at NSS Labs, where he analyses, interprets and reports on security product testing and general security topics of relevance to consumers and enterprises. Randy's analysis of and commentary on current security stories is frequently sought by the press. Randy has been a regular presenter at Virus Bulletin, AVAR and several other security conferences since 1998 and has served on the Board of Directors for AAVAR since 2000. From 2005 to 2010, Randy was the Director of Technical Education for ESET. In this role, Randy put his passion for translating geek-speak into English to use in all aspects of his work. From 1993 to 2005, Abrams was employed at Microsoft. Randy designed and administered the processes used by Microsoft to prevent the release of infected software. The processes Randy designed continue to be used at Microsoft today. Randy's extensive experience working at Microsoft and collaborating with anti-malware industry researchers, six years working for an anti-malware vendor, and more than two years working with NSS, provides for a unique perspective on the anti-malware industry.


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