Microsoft Sets Price To Fix Its Own Security Holes

from the tricky-question dept

Last year we noted the extremely difficult spot Microsoft was in with its security efforts. If they charged for their new security products, people would complain that they were charging people to fix the vulnerabilities in their own software. However, if they gave the software away, then it would turn some heads concerning anti-trust questions, since they would basically be undercutting all those other security software firms out there. It appears that Microsoft has made its choice between the two options — deciding to avoid the anti-trust issues by simply charging for their security offerings. It’s going to cost $50/year which is about what others charge. It would appear that Microsoft figured a little bad publicity over the charging is much better re-awakening the Justice Department concerning anti-trust violations.


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Comments on “Microsoft Sets Price To Fix Its Own Security Holes”

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44 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Free is a problem?

“Free” is not free if you count your time and effort to maintain your computer.

If you have to spend ten minutes of your time per day to make sure that:
1) You have the latest signatures for anti-virus
2) You have the latest signatures for anti-spyware
3) Your firewall is still up

Weekly:
1) Check your anti-virus, anti-spyware logs
2) Verify latest urgent MS Security Updates
3) Verify with full scans for viruses and spyware

Then it is not free. Your time is worth something.

Using MAC OS X for some (and I mean some) users is a very viable alternative. To eliminate alternatives is to eliminate any proactive action, you are only reacting to the situation.

I use the best system (either Win/Mac) for the task.

Microsoft (or any other company) loves you to believe you do not have a choice. And that is the trap.

Jesse (profile) says:

Microsoft charging 50 a year for updates.

If Microsoft wants to give away updates for free, but is facing anti-trust problems, can’t they charge for the program, but make it open source, or remove their legal rights to it. That way, yea someone would have to buy it, but it could be legally redistributed on pages like download.com. Would that meet anti-trust laws?

MrMcLargeHuge says:

There is a solution to bugs and viruses....

There is a solution to bugs and viruses that is 100% effective and guaranteed to work. More and more people are discovering this great product everyday. you want to know what it is, you say? then simply click here and be elightened. you want to know where to buy this product? Then click here.
PWNED!!!

Disclaimer-to all you Windoze fanboys out there, please don’t send unintelligent hate mail responses to me. I will only accept intelligent well thought out arguments against this……..oh yeah, i forgot there are no arguments against it for the average user. the only intelligent response would be to say that you are forced to use Windows for work or else your programs won’t work. but I guess with the new Intel chips inside, even that argument holds no ground.

MrMcLargeHuge says:

Re: Re: There is a solution to bugs and viruses....

OS X runs on a unix core, if you didn’t know (Darwin, a Debian/BSD variant). OS X is linux on steroids, the best of both worlds if you will. A secure, stable, open-source core with a beautiful interface on top of it and the ability to run X11 apps. the only argument is the price. but there are 6 viruses for linux if the user is dumb enough to allow them root priveledges. with 20 million users, OS X still has absolutely no viruses. 0!!

MrMcLargeHuge says:

There is a solution to bugs and viruses....

I know of a 100% effective and guaranteed method of getting rid of viruses, spyware, and every other nasty thing on the internet. Want to know where to find this guaranteed to work solution? Then click here. Want to know where to buy this product? Then click here. And to all you Windoze fanboys out there, don’t send me any unintelligent hate mail responses as I’ll only accept the intelligent arguments. On a second thought though, there are no intelligent arguments. With the new addition of Intel, they are the perfect machines: no viruses or spyware or anything like that when running normally, and the ability to run windows when forced to (altough the piece of crap will still have to be protected, it’s the software, not the hardware that creates vulnerabilities.

MrMcLargeHuge says:

Re: Re: There is a solution to bugs and viruses....

it’s the only way to help the situation. did you actually believe there was a cure-all for Windows?? haha, what a naive thought. the only way to protect windows is to be behind a hardware AND software firewall, with AV software running in the background, and a program like Ad-aware or Spybot installed.

Lump Beefbroth (profile) says:

Re: There is a solution to bugs and viruses....

Your first name wouldn’t be “Big” would it?

As a Windows user, I really am getting sick and tired of dealing with anti-virus software. Anti-trust risks or no, as a customer, MS owes me at no additional cost, and everyone else, the software necessary to put their OS in the same time zone as secure. It’s not my fault an unsecured Windows machine can be completely PWNED in minutes, far faster than you can download the appropriate updates to fix the problem.

I don’t expect perfection, but I shouldn’t have to shell out ~$50/year per machine just to prevent my system from getting damaged. I’m an experienced user, I know what you shouldn’t do, but when your OS is as riddled with flawed security design as Windows, just being smart isn’t enough.

MrMcLargeHuge says:

Re: Re: Re: Huh?

While I will concede that marketshare is a factor, you cannot deny that OS X, or any unix OS for that matter, is more secure than Windows. What do you mean by the hardware sucks? Price-wise I’m assuming, which is a valid point. But you buy a mac for the software, not the hardware. The hardware is adequate enough. you pay the extra price for OS X and the awesome iLife suite.

WOW says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Huh?

by that i meant their hardware sucked, enough said. Their cpus were inefficient and slow, they used slow ram and in small amounts, and it all cost too much. Using intel will help, but you’d have to be blind to not see that they’re slowly evolving into what windows machines (i mean the hardware in the average non-mac computer) has always been. and it’s a good thing, but personally i’m too used to windows to make the switch, that and too poor. Linux is enough for me, you go ubuntu.

MrMcLargeHuge says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Huh?

you must be a gamer. apple’s hardware is more than adequate for the average user. And so you know, you cannot directly compare PowerPC chips with x86 chips. if you had one of each running at the same frequency, the PPC is faster. By the way, Ubuntu rocks, but Kubuntu is even better.

WOW says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Huh?

Not really much of a gamer, i have some hot games, but i spend a lot of time editting video and sound, as well as some 3d designing, so I do need a powerful rig. and i know you can’t compare ppc chips to x86, but answer me this, if ppc is better, why are they switching to x86 chips. (rheotorical question) the obvious answer is that they’re better. and I would use kubuntu, but my internets way too slow to dl (i have some really bad satelite internet).

MrMcLargeHuge says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Huh?

they are switching to Intel b/c IBM wasn’t delivering on their promises for the PPC. Intel has a much stronger road-map, especially for mobile chips. Intel will be much stronger down the road. it kind of surprises me that someone who does a lot of video editing and 3D stuff doesn’t already use a mac, that is what kept the mac alive in the suckiness that was pre-OS X.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Huh?

MrMcLargeHuge, there is one flaw with your argument. It is completely off topic! You posted about MS Antivirus? What does that have to do with a Mac? Sure, you can throw all the arguments you want at me, but the problem will still be you are just so sickly in love with your computer, that you feel the need to post in every single forum about how great it is. I’m sure you are 100x more productive when every waking hour you spend looking for sites where you can debate about some stupid platform argument that no one cares about anymore. You can buy your pretty iBook and iMac and iLife and iTunes and iDONTCAREANYMORE. Buy what you want to buy, stop forcing yourself on me.

MrMcLargeHuge says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Huh?

actually I spent no time looking for this site. a friend, a windows user, sent the link to me. it is not off topic at all. it is a solution to all the windows problems. and to try and say i’m sickly in love with my computer. yeah, i like it a lot. but i like windows too. what i prefer mac b/c i don’t have to worry about all the security junk and i don’t have to worry about it crashing. not trying to force myself on anyone, just enlighten them. if you found something so great, wouldn’t you wanna share it with everyone (Apple obviously isn’t going to, they seem to have no mac marketing division, or else it is on crack). not trying to be rude. but i get tired of ppl complaining about windows and not noticing what options are available.

Rikko says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Huh?

While I will concede that marketshare is a factor, you cannot deny that OS X, or any unix OS for that matter, is more secure than Windows.

I can deny that. Where is your proof of this? There is none. Windows has an overwhelming majority markey share of individual PCs in the world – any malware writer is going to target the widest base. You have the best and the brightest putting a tremendous amount of effort into bringing down Windows machines.

Is anyone bothering with MacOS? I wouldn’t.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 OS X vs Windows

I managed both Windows and OS X, and OS X are a hell lot easier.

Our Total Cost of Ownership went down when we spent our money on the higher quality computers vs. security efforts (both manpower and software.)

Another reason why Mac’s are not a target of virus writers, it is just more fun and easier to attack DOS/Windows then Unix/Linux.

Trust me, a Unix virus that cripples unix machines would have a major impact. Majority of your mission critical coputers are Unix or some other OS, NOT WINDOWS. Windows are big in WORKSTATIONS, not your big mission critical machines.

Microsoft is really not that big in mission critical shops! MS clustering software is second rate.

TechNoFear (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 OS X vs Windows

>>OS X still has absolutely no viruses. 0!!

BzzzzzT! Wrong!

Try a search for ‘Opener’ or Renepo (circa 2004)
It disables the OS X firewall, steals info, spreads to network shares and deletes data. Sounds like a virus/worm to me.

No one bothers to attack OS X because it will never be able to run a Warhol virus (too slow and not enough boxes).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 OS X vs Windows

Please be careful of Worms vs Virus:
(What you described are worms. May not be important to you, but there are differences and requires different strategies to keep our installations secure.)

…………………………………………..
Spyware Worm
Affects: Computers connected to a network running Windows 95/98/Me and Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 operating systems.
Description:

Spyware worm is a term used to describe malware that has the ability to self-replicate without a host program and send information from a computer to a third party without the user’s permission or knowledge.
Replication:

Spyware worms spread using Windows networking APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), email, or by exploting vulnerabilities of the operating system or another application. They have identical spreading capabilities to Win32 worms but they also exhibit behaviour attributed to spyware.
Naming: Sophos Anti-Virus reports spyware worms with the prefix “W32/”.
…………………………………………..

Virus
Description:

A computer program that copies itself. Often viruses will disrupt computer systems or damage the data contained upon them. A virus requires a host program and will not infect a computer until it has been run. Some viruses spread across networks by making copies of themselves or may forward themselves via email. The term ‘virus’ is often used generically to refer to both viruses and worms.

…………………………………………..
Virus hoax
Description:

A warning about a non-existent virus. Usually urge users to forward them to everyone they know.

MrMcLargeHuge says:

Re: Re: Re:5 OS X vs Windows

ok, you got me. ONE virus/worm. big deal. do you have any idea how many windows viruses there are? it is estimated that there are between 65000 and 73000 viruses or worms out there for windows, with more being discovered daily. and you’re making a big deal about ONE for OS X. that just shows how naive you really are.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 OS X vs Windows

I think there were seven worms, no virus for OS X.

There is a move towards to Mac’s, mostly by experienced users of Windows that are getting fed up with amount of effort to keep the machines free from malware.

This surprised Apple (an they were happy about the mistake) because this means that there is growing market for the higher profit margin computers vs the lower profit margin MiniMac- that was intended for the entry level.

MrMcLargeHuge says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Huh?

ok, you say there is no proof. why would someone attack a unix machine you ask? let’s see, how about the fact that 90% of the servers in the world run on some form of unix. you know why? b/c it is safer and stabler than windows. if someone figured how to write a self-spreading unix virus, it would bring the internet, and in turn the world, to its knees.PWNED!

Anarchy_Creator (user link) says:

...

TLDR
Cliff-notes:
Macs are for noobs who don’t know how to use mice with more then 1 button.
No one writes viruses for Macs because no one uses macs.
Microsoft should open source their AV software, and give it away for free under some gnu-type licence.
Everyone should stop talking about Macs vs. Windows cause even though Windows has it’s flaws they do get fixed eventually, and when a software developer decides to make a new game/program what OS platform do you think he has in mind to release on?
Now STFU, and get back on topic.

MrMcLargeHuge says:

Re: ...

since you have shown yourself to be a complete idiot (a hardcore gamer i would assume), allow me to PWN you. macs are not for noobs. macs are for people who want to get work done without having to worry about their OS locking up and them losing all the data.i am a power user, i’m sure i could do things on any type of computer that you didnt even know existed. 20 million people use macs and more and more are making the switch eveyday. os x will support a 2,3, 4, or 5 button mouse of your choosing and you know what, you won’t even have to install the driver, it’ll just work. by the way, apple ships a 2-button mouse now with all their desktops. and when a software developer wants to make a game….who cares, those of us who are grown ups and have lives and use computers for work instead of play would rather use a computer in which we can actually get work done. with the intel macs, it won’t even matter b/c it’ll run fine on both windows and macs. i especially like your quote about them getting the flaws fixed. yeah, they do, but these patches add even more code to the already jumbled mix that underlies windows, making it even more unreliable in terms of lockups and crashes.

Anarchy_Creator (user link) says:

Re: Re: ...

Look jackass
I resent your accusations that only kids play video games. It’s a well known fact that most of todays online gamers are between the ages of 18-25 so sit back down, and STFU with this games are for the kids crap.
I’m 22, and I have a job as the administrator of technology for a small accounting firm owned by a friend of mine. I use my computer for work just as much as the next “grown up” does, and my computer doesn’t lock up. I also play games in my spare time, and I can say that without a shadow of a doubt that Programs, and Games are both tailored, and made specifically for Windows/PC machines not apple macintrashes. Macs are good for web surfing with Firefox, video editing, graphic editing, and being a very expensive paperweight. Now I don’t know what version of windows you tried that turned you from both PC’s, and women, but I’m assuming it was most likely Windows ME which no one considers an OS anyhow. More like a crappy expansion pack for windows 98. XP though semi-flawed in the security department is a huge improvement over 98, and 2000, and most of these “lockups” you speak of come from noobs like you who install weatherbug, bonzai buddy, and other spyware ridden programs on their computer before trying to do some actual important work. I highly doubt that you could do anything on a computer that I didn’t know existed unless you’ve had more then 10+ years of computing experience, and a few bachelor degree’s. Even then I’m more then sure I already knew how, and what you did, and could should you a better, faster, more optimized way of doing it.
As for your “I can plug in any peripheral in my mac, and it’ll work right away” attitude that’s total bullshit, and you know it. There are devices that you need to install drivers for on any OS, and news flash dipshit XP has that same feature. I can plug in a USB: flash drive, external hard drive/CD/DVD-rom/CD/DVD-rw/Some Printers/Cameras/Scanners/etc., and they’ll work right out of the box as well.
Look I could go on about how wrong, and douche-like you are, but I have more important things to do so go back to playing your crappy jigsaw puzzle that comes with OS XXX, and thinking of a rebuttal that doesn’t make you sound like a totally unintelligent script kiddie.

MrMcLargeHuge says:

Re: Re: Re: ...

the very first thing I would like to show everyone about you is how mature you are. a grown up huh? then why is your website tubgirl.com? real mature. I would also like to tell you that I just recenently switched to mac. I’ve used windows my entire life until two months ago. I’ve used every version of Windows since 3.1 so you can stop with the BS. I am most definitely not a noob on the computer. If it weren’t for me, the “noobs” in my family would install weatherbug and bonzai buddy and all that windows only crap. As for your argument about software, yeah it’s true that most programs made specifically for a certain company and will only work on Windows. I’ve already acknowledged this. but i have not yet found a similiar program that is just as good for the mac. Please name one thing you can do on Windows that cannot be done on a mac. And with the advent of the Intel mac, there is no reason not to buy one other than price. they will run windows at native speeds. there are even programs that allow os x to run windows apps insided os x, without windows at native speeds. the perfect machine. I’m not an idiot, i know windows has plug and play. the mac is better though. i’ve never had to install a printer driver and i use my powerbook at home, other homes, a high school, and a college. i have 10 different printers set up and i’ve never had to install a driver. the mac is also easier to set up the printers on. your statement about the 18-25 group in videogames is 100% correct. these are the people who grew up with the NES and so on. in my experience, these people are the most immature ever. i know, i used to be one before i got a life. don’t even argue about online gamers. they act like kids anyway. have you ever listened to what people say on online games? or were you to busy tellling someone you were with their mama last night? you talking about online gamers makes you seem even more immature. you are evidently a windows fanboy who is so stupid you will not even try a mac. i don’t hate windows, i’ve already said this. i like windows, i just hate that half of my system resources are taken up by security programs and that the OS will lock up occasionally. you can’t argue about how much a mac sucks until you have used one for an extended period of time. by the way, there is no reason to cuss, it just makes you look dumber.

Piroko (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: MrMcLargeHuge

Wow. Just wanted to put in my two cents after reading this long annoying flame. First of all: I’m surprised you are still going at it Anarchy_Creator, whatever the heck that is supposed to imply… Don’t you realize that MrMcLargeHuge is just trolling you and you are just making an ass of yourself by going along with it? Oh, and OS X comes with Chess, not Jigsaw Puzzle. If you are going to make an attempt at sounding intelligent, at least do your research before hand. I’m sure google is a tool even you could grasp… I thought you said you were done anyway. What ever happened to that “important” stuff you had to attend to? Do you have nothing better to do than take part in a meaningless flame war? You might also consider toning down your ego a bit… You are just coming off as conceited. Best regards in your next LAN party! Ciao.

MrMcLargeHuge says:

Re: Re: Re: MrMcLargeHuge

once again, anarchy_creator, i like windows. i use it often and i genuinely like it. i just don’t like that half of my system resources are spent on security stuff and that it occasionally crashes or locks up. here’s hoping Vista delivers (if it ever arrives, that is). i definitely do like the mac better though. it never crashes (not yet at least, and i’ve put it under heavy strain at times) and i never worry about viruses, worms, or spyware. if that makes me a fanboy b/c i like it better, then i’m guilty. i always thought a fanboy was someone who was completely devoted to something and doesn’t even consider the alternatives, just bashes them (like you!).

P.S.- what Piroko said about me trolling you is 100% true

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