Microsoft may charge extra for Windows spyware protection software

“Microsoft Corp. disclosed plans Thursday to offer frustrated users of its Windows software new tools within 30 days to remove spyware programs secretly running on computers. But it might cost extra in coming months,” Ted Bridis writes for The Associated Press. “In a shift from past practice, the world’s largest software manufacturer said it may charge consumers for future versions of the new protective technology, which Microsoft acquired by buying a small New York software firm. Terms of the sale of Giant Company Software Inc. weren’t disclosed.”

“Spyware is a category of irritating programs that secretly monitor the online activities of Internet users and can cause sluggish computer performance or popup ads,” Bridis writes. “Microsoft, whose Windows operating systems have often been criticized for lax security, traditionally has given consumers – at no charge – separate programs to improve security. It also has increasingly built other protective tools, such as firewall software, into Windows to repel hackers.”

“Microsoft’s tool, expected to be available within 30 days, initially will be free but the company isn’t ruling out charging for future versions. ‘We’re going to be working through the issue of pricing and licensing,” Nash said. “We’ll come up with a plan and roll that out.’ Microsoft’s disclosure that it may eventually charge extra for Windows protection reflects a recognition inside the company that it could collect significant profits by helping to protect its customers,” Bridis writes. “Some experts blame Microsoft for Windows vulnerabilities that help spread spyware. Microsoft and some others, meanwhile, said blame should be directed instead at spyware manufacturers.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s a tried and true name for people that will pay Microsoft for Windows and then pay them extra for some promise of protection: “suckers.” Hate to break it to you this way, but if you’re that stupid, you deserve to use Windows, and only Windows, for the rest of your life.

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Fortune columnist: ‘get a Mac’ to thwart viruses; right answer for the wrong reasons – September 02, 2003
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  1. Damn! Was that the crack of a whip or just a rush of fresh air I just heard after reading that MDN Take?

    (My MDN Magic Word: “church.” Draw your own inferences.)

  2. I dont know about anyone else but as the owner of a PC repair shop here in Portland, I can say that I’ll never buy that crap from MS. They’ve had what? Over a decade to make a STABLE SECURE OS? They cant do it in a decade what makes anyone think that they’ll make a spyware protection tool that will work?

    And pay for it? Please. I use Spywareblaster/ Spybot S&D and Adaware. They give about 99% coverage and protection, and they’re all FREE!

    I just finished watching IRobot, and in the words of Will “Get Jiggy Wit’ it” Smith

    “You so need to die.”

  3. microsoft would have some nerve charging extra for a program to get the junk off a users system. Maybe the programs would get Microsoft to remove itself since it is the root cause of the infestation. I have more sympathy for those stuck with WIndoze though. I’ve managed to get two people here to buy Macs – two down 95% of the world to go!


    You gotta be realy slow to pay to protect the pruduct you just bought. This isn’t the same as and ext. waranty, an os should work when you purchase it. (for at least 12-24 months)

  5. Buy something that practically causes spyware, then pay them more to plug up their own holes. How stupid.

    To Microsoft’s credit, it’s good business practice. They aim to make a lot of money off of a product they really need. But the real issue is that they need to deal with spyware makers. If Microsoft has a way to find spyware on their operating system, they can certainly build it in, fix up the security of the platform, and that would really be a threat to Apple.

    I think Microsoft is sitting on a huge opportunity that we’re lucky they’re not taking. Imagine if they did plug the spyware fixes and made a secure OS…


  6. Look at it this way, if they are successful selling it, they will have reasons not to improve their OS and that will be the root of increased competitivity for Apple.

    If they do give it away for free and improve their lame OS people will have less incentives to switch.

    I say, sell it!!!

  7. In related news, Microsoft recently filed for a patent on something called “air”. The patent application was submitted shortly after they filed for a patent on “water”.

    Microsoft plans on charging licensing fees to anyone who wants to “breathe” or “drink”.


  8. This will sell like crazy. Hundreds of millions flying out the door. It will make the iPod freenzy look pale. Buy Microsoft stock now, which is low, and make a million off these suckers.

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