Friday, January 07, 2005

Watch out for Microsoft Antivirus Beta Soon.

Continuing its recent spate of security moves, Microsoft has layed out its plans to release a virus detection and removal tool on Jan. 11. The antivirus fighter will be updated on the second Tuesday of every month as part of the company's scheduled software patching cycle.

The stocks of major antivirus software vendors were trading lower today after Microsoft announced the release of beta anti-spyware technology it bought in December and said it would begin giving away an improved tool to remove worms and viruses from its customers' computers. Following Microsoft's news, shares of Symantec were down by more than 6 percent and shares in rival McAfee were down by around 4 percent in Thursday's late-afternoon trading. While the free antivirus and virus removal tools are not an immediate threat to the products from those companies, the releases could signal tougher times ahead for desktop security vendors, as Microsoft uses its size and influence to expand into markets now dominated by those companies, industry experts say.

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