Webroot Justifies Its Own Over-Valued Existence
from the gotta-spend-that-money-on-something dept
We were among the confused masses who wondered just what anti-spyware vendor Webroot Software would do with the mind-boggling $108 million they raised earlier this year (though, we’ve been told that the number supposedly includes quite a bit of cash used to buy out existing equity holders, rather than as a direct investment in the company). It turns out that part of the answer is to use that money to conduct surveys to justify their own existence. Webroot has come out with a study saying that 88% of computers have unwanted software included. Even with all the spyware out there, that number seems suspiciously high — but remember, the company is trying to pump up its own value. What isn’t mentioned in most of the articles covering this study is that Webroot is using the highly controversial method of including tracking cookies and lumping them in with spyware. With tracking cookies included, the number actually sounds low. Tracking cookies, placed by advertising firms, are usually mostly harmless compared to actual spyware and adware programs — and including them to boost the apparent size of the market is just plain misleading, but most people (especially reporters) who don’t deal in details will probably gloss over this fact.