Gates: Antivirus Software? Fuggedaboutit!

from the so-why-should-we-spend-on-yours? dept

theodp writes “Bill Gates startled WSJ Conference attendees with his observation that “during the last year, if you had up-to-date Windows, you would have been safe if you didn’t have” antivirus software. Gates endured a hostile question from an audience member claiming to be from ZoneLabs, who blamed MS for a litany of security problems and decried Microsoft’s forthcoming pay-for-security move as “like something out of The Godfather.” Gates also shrugged off a suggestion that MS should partner with security-software makers, saying “we’re partnering with [Romanian antivirus company] GeCAD, which is a company we bought.”” So, wait a second… if everything is so safe, why should we rush out to spend on OneCare’s anti-virus components? And, also, if a patched Windows and GeCAD were enough, why did Microsoft go out and buy another anti-virus company a few months ago? Anyway, it appears that this year’s WSJ Conference is where all the execs are saying stuff that people find shocking.

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Comments on “Gates: Antivirus Software? Fuggedaboutit!”

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bob says:

That is so not true

In the last year at microsoft I’ve had my network access yanked twice due to a fully compliant and up to date machine (by internal M$ standards) being infected.
This is on M$’s internal LAN. The IT people replied to me … yes, even with antivirus software and a fully updated machine you can still be vulnerable.

TJ says:

... so long as there is no user at the keyboard

Proper patching would avoid most remote exploits without the use of Antivirus software, true. But plenty of exploits are still launched by the unsuspecting user themselves, through e-mail especially. Since Microsoft has defaulted to standalone PCs users being Administrator, and made it difficult to do otherwise with even many of their own apps, Antivirus still serves a key roll in protecting the user against their own naive actions.

But Microsoft is getting into a pickle: ‘Spin’ that Windows itself is good without add-ons, while trying to market and sell said enhancements. So Bill, tell me, when it comes to Windows: “Is it safe?” There must be a way to balance that, since car companies get away with charging extra for side curtain airbags, stability control, etc. But perhaps it is easier to sell for a tangible product.

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