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Spy Sweeper, the Next Netscape? 256

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the speculative-business dept.
GenieGenieGenie writes "AP is running a story about Webroot's Spy Sweeper, specifically about the competition it's facing from Vista's bundled anti-spyware. Webroot's CEO David Moll maintains that 'The taking of a second-best product in this space [i.e. Vista's Defender, f.k.a. AntiSpyware] is akin to locking half the doors in your house,' but others seem to think that if Moll doesn't want his company to become a second Netscape, it would 'ultimately [...] need to offer more than just an anti-spyware package.' The interesting issue here is whether this need for broadening the offer would be the case also for other leading companies subject to similar 'bundled-with' competition."
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Spy Sweeper, the Next Netscape?

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  • by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Sunday May 21, 2006 @07:16PM (#15377483) Journal
    I think there's an opportunity here for someone to sell a spyware app, but to bundle a free operating system with it. That ought to hit MS where it hurts. =)
    • What gets me about all this is why MS is even releasing an antispyware program... wouldn't they be better off patching their own code? Its like someone trying to sell you repairs to their broken product. Yes I know its free - for now.

      • Re:Opportunity! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by amliebsch (724858)
        Why would presence of spyware indicate a defect in the code?
        • Re:Opportunity! (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Andrew Kismet (955764)
          Um... if software can invasively monitor the Operating System without the user's knowledge, there's a flaw in the Operating System.
          • Re:Opportunity! (Score:4, Informative)

            by creepynut (933825) * <teddy(slashdot).teddybrown@ca> on Sunday May 21, 2006 @08:10PM (#15377626) Homepage
            And then there's the programmers who sell out and bundle [spy|ad]ware with their programs. Sure, you can opt out, but most people only care to click Next, next, finish.

            Let's not forget programs like Kazaa, if it's even still around, which actually REQUIRE you to not only install, but keep the crapware on your system in order to run it.

            Defects in the operating system indeed.

            Of course, a lot of the nasty crap that gets on your computer without you DOING anything is generally on rathe questionable sites (e.g. Warez sites). This is thanks to lacking security in Internet Explorer, not the OS.
            • Let's not forget programs like Kazaa, if it's even still around, which actually REQUIRE you to not only install, but keep the crapware on your system in order to run it.

              Many programs don't alert you of any of the things they're installing. On, say, OS X, you'd get a security prompt if something tried to modify the system without your knowledge.

              Defects in the operating system indeed.

              Yes, indeed.

              Of course, a lot of the nasty crap that gets on your computer without you DOING anything is generally on rathe que
          • Re:Opportunity! (Score:3, Insightful)

            by drsmithy (35869)
            Um... if software can invasively monitor the Operating System without the user's knowledge, there's a flaw in the Operating System.

            So... which OSes are you thinking of that aren't "flawed" ?

            Not to mention, how is it a flaw in the first place ? How is the OS supposed to know that the monitoring *isn't* "without the user's knowledge" ?

        • Spyware by its very name is not desireable on a computer. No one wants it there, except obviously its makers. The problem that arises is when this spyware is running invisibly, and with no easy way to uninstall it (cool web search anyone?), even assuming the user ever finds out it is there. I'd call the fact that spyware manufacturers can produce parasitic software definetly indicative of defective code.

        • Why would presence of spyware indicate a defect in the code?

          The WELL known ActiveX exploits in IE have been there for a LONG time .

          MS refuses to fix them .

          Thus how it might be indicative of a defect ...

          And pusposely so ...

          For many people, using a non-Microsoft browser such as Firefox is now a must for secure Web surfing--but most still keep a copy of Internet Explorer around just in case.

          http://news.com.com/Planning+to+dump+IE+Think+agai n/2100-1032_3-5388755.html [com.com]

          Ex-MislTech
      • Re:Opportunity! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@gma i l . c om> on Sunday May 21, 2006 @09:31PM (#15377818)
        What gets me about all this is why MS is even releasing an antispyware program... wouldn't they be better off patching their own code?

        Anti-spyware (and antivirus) software isn't protecting from defects in the code, it's protecting from defects in the user.

        • I completely agree - only a user with a defect would use Internet Explorer. ; )
        • So if you used Windows on a daily basis, you would not run a virus scanner or a spyware scanner? You would rely solely on your personal computing prowess to prevent and/or remove all infections? If you say yes, first I'll call bullshit. Then I'll ask how you can expect this kind of tech savvy from your average user.

          -matthew
          • Re:Opportunity! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@gma i l . c om> on Monday May 22, 2006 @12:25AM (#15378300)
            So if you used Windows on a daily basis, you would not run a virus scanner or a spyware scanner?

            Not only "wouldn't" I, but I don't.

            I do, occasionally (maybe once every 6 months) run the online scanners over my PC. Thus far, no infection has ever been detected.

            You would rely solely on your personal computing prowess to prevent and/or remove all infections?

            I rely on common sense and the security facilities of my OS to avoid infection in the first place. In particular, I don't execute code I can't verify the source of, I don't run as a high-privilege user for day to day tasks and I filter inbound network connections to my computers.

            I will also point out that these are the exact same procedures I follow on *all* the OSes I use.

            If you say yes, first I'll call bullshit.

            I don't really care what you "call". Ten years of Windows use without a single exploit from malicious code is enough evidence for me that my methods work the majority of the time.

            Then I'll ask how you can expect this kind of tech savvy from your average user.

            Most malware - or, more accurately, the vector it uses - doesn't require even the slightest level of "tech savviness" to identify. How many people, if someone knocked on their door and said they were from their bank, would hand over a blank cheque and signature specimen for "verification purposes" ? Compare that to how many are happy to hand over their banking usernames and passwords to email and web based banking scams.

            One of the fundamental problem, IMHO, is many people are still working under the impression that stuff on the "internet" isn't "real", and that actions online can have genuine consequences out in the real world. My guess is they figure that since Word has an undo button, then everything else they do with the computer can be similarly easily "undone". Malware is going a long way towards rectifying this attitude (one of its few upsides).

            Now, with all that said I certainly wouldn't recommend most people go without anti-virus and anti-spyware tools. Particularly since most "normal users", IME, are primarily using the internet for inherently high-risk behaviour (swapping software, documents and other data). However, the simple fact is that neither anti-spyware, nor anti-virus software, is there to protect the user from flaws in the OS (although it may do this as a side effect). It's there to protect the user from flaws in their behaviour. No level of OS security known can protect from the user deliberately executing malicious code.

            (I use the word "flaws" here in the context of safe computing practices, not behaviour in general. I don't think for a second people *shouldn't* be doing the things they do with computers that typically lead to malware infection.)

      • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Sunday May 21, 2006 @10:41PM (#15377996)
        Hmm, that business tactic sounds familiar... oh yeah, that's right--the Mafia does the same thing!

        "Yeah, you'd better buy our 'protection service,' cause, you know, Vinnie and me would sure hate to see something happen to your computer..."
      • Re:Opportunity! (Score:2, Insightful)

        Yes I know its free

        No, it's not. The cost is hidden in the price of the OS.

        This is what irritates me most about MS's offers (i. e. Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer). They have never been, never are, and will never be free. The cost is just hidden elsewhere. "Free" is just an illusion.

      • It will always be free, because lavasoft's spyware sweeper is free and probably better. If you charge (i.e. stop bundling) you lose the convenience factor, which is all that you had going for you.

        Plus, I'm picking up form context that the utility is just part of the OS, not a separate program you'd think to charge for. Could be wrong, though, didn't read the article.
    • A bootable CD that cleans up the spyware/virus crap. This is particularly important with the rootkits showing up for Windows.

      It's easy to clean a Linux box (if you should ever get infected). But it is extremely difficult to clean a Windows box.
      • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@gma i l . c om> on Sunday May 21, 2006 @09:39PM (#15377837)
        It's easy to clean a Linux box (if you should ever get infected). But it is extremely difficult to clean a Windows box.

        Just like it's "easy" to be a heart surgeon but "extremely difficult" to be a brain surgeon...

  • by WeAzElMaN (667859) on Sunday May 21, 2006 @07:20PM (#15377493)
    ...And Open-Source the program. Think of the possibilities.
  • netscape products (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Sunday May 21, 2006 @07:20PM (#15377494)
    At the time of the IE/Netscape war, Navigator wasn't the only product that Netscape made. They also had a variety of server software, which from what I've heard wasn't all that bad, especially compared to the competition at the time. So saying Webroot should make other products in order to avoid the same fate as Netscape may not be particularly good advice. Depends on what other areas they branch into, I guess.
    • Re:netscape products (Score:5, Informative)

      by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Sunday May 21, 2006 @07:57PM (#15377593)
      Yes, it's often forgotten that Netscape was founded to be an enterprise server software company, and got into selling shrinkwrap browser software by accident.

      As for Netscape's server products, the webserver was undercut by Apache, and the other stuff (groupware, application server) didn't sell well compared to IBM or Microsoft. Had they been successful with servers, Netscape would probably still be around today.

      As for this anti-spyware company, it reminds me about Quarterdeck's bitching when Microsoft took the outragous step of adding a memory manager to their OS.
      • Unless your being sarcastic, i might be mising something.

        Netscape was founded to sell browsers and the server part didn't come around until late '96 when they started playing around with server software for intranet/internet access. Then in 97 they released thier media streaming push software "Netcaster". It is rumored to be a direct responce to microsoft giving IE away in OEM release windows 95 starting sometime around august of '96. Well it was probably more in responce to the browser wars in general.
        • According to the NY Times in 1995 [google.com]:

          The Netscape business plan is to give away so many copies of its "client" software for individual users that there will be an increasing demand for companies operating Web sites to purchase Netscape "server" software

          With a better reference, you could find Jim Clark himself saying this, and of course the IPO prospectus. I don't think Netscape had any intention to sell browser software until they realized that a lot of people wanted to pay for it.

  • Who is teh best? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The taking of a second-best product in this space [i.e. Vista's Defender, f.k.a. AntiSpyware]
    So, they're the bests and Vista Defender the 2? What about ad-aware, spybots...?
    Also, who knew before about this "Spy Sweeper"?
    • I do. It isn't that bad.
    • I work in CompUSA, Spy Sweeper is one of the top selling anti-spyware programs. And they offer "Internet Essentials" which is a combo of anti popup, anti-spyware, spam shredder, and windows reg cleaner.
      "You've never heard of a program" does not directly relate to "Value"
      You've probably never heard of ETAP but it's one of the best programs for circuit analysis in utilities.
      • You've probably never heard of ETAP but it's one of the best programs for circuit analysis in utilities.

        how can you compare a program that works with something so many people come in contact with (spyware) with a program that works with something so very *few* people come in contact with (circuit analysis)?

        your `top selling' argument might have some validity to it, but i still think more people know about spybot/ad-aware [google.com]

      • I work in CompUSA, Spy Sweeper is one of the top selling anti-spyware programs.
        And that's the key, ladies and gentlemen. "Obviously" Ad-Aware and SpyBot don't count because they're free (and free stuff always sucks).
    • At a tech shop i work at, Webroot's Spy Sweeper is pretty much the ONLY spysweeper we sell. From my experiences with comparing it to other software like Ad-Aware, Spybot, Defender and Panda Software's on-line scanner, Spy Sweeper picks up the most. Second would probably be Ad-Aware.

      Btw, Norton 2006 with their bundled Anti-spyware is pure junk for anti-spyware.
  • by penguin_asylum (822967) on Sunday May 21, 2006 @07:22PM (#15377501)
    I often see it the other way around...

    If I'm looking for a good anti-spyware program, and it comes bundled with something that I'm _not_ looking for, then I might instead use something that's not necessarily quite as good but isn't loaded down with other software.

    If their software is that much better than Microsoft's, then I'm sure they'll have no problem competing. Honestly most people install spyware without looking at what they're agreeing to, and the people who care about this will be willing to spend the time it takes to install a third party app.
    • Yep. The only posibility of MS winning this one is if they're program works flawlessly, which it won't.
    • An excellent example would be the defrag tools. Win2k and WinXp both have a defrag tool built right in. However, a lot of people still go out and grab Diskkeeper. Why? Because DK is marginally better than the built in tool.

      There are a ton of people that bought and installed McAafe and Norton AV tools. They just figure that the more AV they have, the better.

      Also look at spyware tools. Most geeks recommend running at least two tools. Spybot and AdAware seem to be the most popular. MS adding AV or anti
  • ... because nobody's ever heard of them.
    • Parent does have a point.
      Netscape did something, anti-spyware software just fixes MS's mistakes.

      There is a differnce.
  • Seriously.
    Why can't MS just make an OS which isn't so prone to it?
    If they somehow made Vista impervious (without a built in addon or tool) do you think people would be mad at them for killing the competition?

    Microsoft steals the lucrative business of fixing Microsofts mistakes. Spyware manufacturers also make money off of Microsofts mistakes.
    Just some food for thought.
    • by Tx (96709) on Sunday May 21, 2006 @07:46PM (#15377566) Journal
      Oh, come on. I hate it when people make me defend Microsoft, but the fact is a lot of spyware is installed manually by users, via a bundle with some other product, and there is no way Microsofts OS can differentiate between user-installed spyware and legitimate apps.

      So yeah, Microsoft is at fault for the security holes that allow spyware to be automatically installed, but factor those out and there's still a need for anti-spyware for the computer-illiterate masses.
      • Yes and No.

        Yes, it's the user that (unknowingly) installs malware.

        No, it's the OS that allows malware to install in suchs ways that it cannot be easily uninstalled.

        Wouldn't it be possible to have the OS manage installations, and thus, manage complete uninstalling? The only "drawback" I see is that gray-area "legal" DRMware such as Sony's infamous rootkit wouldn't work either.
    • The thing with antispyware programs is, no one program detects all the spyware (depending on your exact definition of spyware). I remember a review a while back (a quick googleing can't seem to find it) that infected a computer with a few hundred pieces of spyware items (not unheard of), made a disk clone, then ran it through every antispyware package they could get their hands on. They had an itemized list of spyware items and whether the programs (at the time) removed them or not.

      Individually, they all

    • Why can't MS just make an OS which isn't so prone to it?

      Because they can't control who their end users are.

      Spyware manufacturers also make money off of Microsofts mistakes.

      Spyware manufacturers pretty much all make money off of *user's* mistakes.

  • by jerkychew (80913) on Sunday May 21, 2006 @07:27PM (#15377518) Homepage
    Netscape was a competitor to a product Microsoft sold. Anti-spyware software is little more than a fix for Microsoft's crappy security model that's included in its OS and default browser. There's a big difference here.

    Microsoft bundled IE and bullied PC makers into not putting Netscape on the desktop because it wanted to put Netscape out of business. That's a bad thing. On the other hand, Microsoft is bundling anti-spyware software into its new OS to protect its users from a) their own ineptidude, and b)the afore-mentioned crappy software that Microsoft themselves put in place.

    Where Microsoft wanted to get into a new market (the browser application) by crushing Netscape, in this case they're just trying to band-aid their operating system's vulnerabilities to (hopefully) lower the amount of user frustration in the future.

    I've been an IT guy for nine years, and I've always thanked Microsoft for releasing bad, buggy code. The anti-spyware folks should do the same, instead of being angry that Microsoft is finally trying to fix the problem.
    • by DrLZRDMN (728996) on Sunday May 21, 2006 @07:30PM (#15377525)
      Exactly!
      An anti-spyware company suing MS for getting their act together would be the same as a spyware company suing MS.
    • Yes you're right, it's all Microsoft's fault that users click 'Yes' to every dialog box that pops up.

      A lot of spyware did not install itself, the user purposely installed it. Users need more protection from themselves then they need protection from anything else.
    • Company A sells a product that is lacking in a certain area. Company B sells product that helps remedy the problem. Company A eventually gets their act together and fixes their product, rendering Company B unnecessary.

      It's an age-old equation. If you're fixing someone else's product, make what you can and expect to get out of the market when the product gets fixed. Because it will happen eventually.

      MS is just doing what Apple started years ago: looking at ways in which users fix their OS and making thos
    • Netscape was a competitor to a product Microsoft sold.

      No, they weren't. Neither IIS nor Internet Explorer were ever "sold".

      Anti-spyware software is little more than a fix for Microsoft's crappy security model that's included in its OS and default browser.

      No, anti-spyware software is there to prevent and repair end user mistakes, same as anti-virus software.

      OS-level security cannot protect you against 99% of the things spyware does (nor viruses).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 21, 2006 @07:34PM (#15377541)
    ..wake up with fleas. If you develop for, around, close to, in addition to, anything that micrsoft makes, and THEY aren't making the cash from it..good luck, you are sleeping with the dogs and taking a big chance, and I would include such offerings as FF for windows, a thoroughly misguided and ill advised effort, albeit some of them are well meaning. They are still naieve from the long haul view of things and will one day seriously regret what they are doing to make MS "better". All you are doing is giving MS breathing room as they further consolidate and corrupt things, and they WILL screw you over in the long run somehow.
  • If they do not offer something that is both wanted by users and not included with Vista, they will be the next Netscape. A VAST majority of people are average computer users that would never seek a service they have already with the OS. Most would just assume the Windows one works and why use another one?

    But if can include both better and different services to appeal to customers, they will have a chance. Having a better product alone will not be enough though. Look how dominate IE still is even though it

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday May 21, 2006 @07:40PM (#15377552)
    You can't simply compare the anti-malware market to others.

    With browsers, you want to be compatible. You have a self perpetuating cycle where your browser wants to be compatible to the pages where the page creators want to be compatible with your browser. Thus the widest used browser is the most compatible, and thus "the best" if you want to be able to view everything "well".

    The same applies to media players, MP3 players and everything else where all sides involved want to be as compatible as possible.

    In the anti-malware biz, it's exactly the other way. You do NOT want to be "compatible" with the malware.

    Take a look at antivirus soft and the corresponding trojans, viruses etc. There is almost no trojan today that does NOT try to disable Kaspersky, McAffee, NOD etc. Trying to tear down the WinXP firewall is a given.

    I bet my computer against an old ice cone that the FIRST thing that happens as soon as the Windows "Anti-Malware" comes out is that every trojan that could be disabled by it comes with some Anti-Anti-MS-Malware functions, just like they do now with Anti-WinXP Firewall functions.

    In other words, there will always be a market for "small" Anti-Malware businesses. For the simple reason that, as odd as it may sound, they will have a higher chance to succeed. Simply by being neglected by the trojan writers.
  • Okay, I haven't been following the spyware world closely lately -- and it changes fast -- but IIRC, when MS bought the rights to this program from Giant, most of the reviews I had read put it as the best antispyware program on the market. Now granted, that is a very disputable claim, and I obviously offer no evidence to support it. Still, it seems like Webroot came the close second here, so they have a little more to worry about than Mr. Moll seems to display.
  • by reklusband (862215) on Sunday May 21, 2006 @07:48PM (#15377570)
    I've been in the spyware removal (windows consulting) business basically since there was spyware to remove (restart computer into safe mode and clean out startups) and I've NEVER had a client who used spysweeper come back and tell me how great it was. Usually they'd say the program didn't do anything to prevent or remove their britney spears doggie porn popups/virus/adware melange. I'd install spybot S+D, spyware blaster, and have them run spybot weekly after I'd removed crap. The spybot/spyware blaster machines ALWAYS came back cleaner. Now I just make them get a copy of Symantec Antivirus 10.0.2 and after installing the innoculations from spybot and spyware blaster, setting the default actions for adware/trojans to delete, and making sure it updates everyday, I get machines from complete porn addicts who refuse to switch to firefox that only have 20 or so (very very minor) issues after 3-6 months as opposed to 20,000(literally) in one month. And for the record I normally HATE symantec products, but their pro (non norton) antivirus is the best I've used.
    • Ditto. Spyweeper has broken several of my customer's machines during abortive attempts at removing Spyware. That's not a particularly healthy means of 'fixing' Spyware problems.
    • The article referenced in the Slashdot story seems like a press release to me. I see no reason whatsoever to believe that Webroot is better. When the magazines began saying it was the best, SpySweeper had a bug that crashed Windows in some cases. If the magazines had truly tested SpySweeper, they would have discovered the bug, which I found after very little testing. (The bug was verified by someone at Webroot.)

      It seems to me that Webroot is better at marketing than other software companies. There is no
  • email (Score:3, Funny)

    by LittleBigScript (618162) on Sunday May 21, 2006 @07:51PM (#15377577) Homepage Journal
    Simple. Include email functionality. It will happen anyway.
  • by robotoil (627969) on Sunday May 21, 2006 @07:58PM (#15377597)
    Trust MS for my net security? Not on their track record.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Maybe they could start writing software to protect against the flaws in MS' new anti-spyware software.
  • "Webroot's CEO David Moll maintains that 'The taking of a second-best product in this space [i.e. Vista's Defender, f.k.a. AntiSpyware] is akin to locking half the doors in your house,'"

    His product may lock all the doors in the house, but Windows is still wide-open. If you want a secure house, don't start with a modular home that fell off the truck a few times during transport.
  • Desperation (Score:2, Informative)

    by gjuk (940514)
    Basically - MS acquired Giant and started offering free Spyware within XP SP2. I'm sure these guys would have liked to have been acquired by MS - they might even have been in the running. No chance of a trade sale now - they've taken too much funding to provide backers with an attractive exit, and now they're stuck with having to fight against a product which will not only be free, but be part of the operating system which really needs it. Other than Firefox (which is also free), how many pieces of softw
  • That sound like spam to me. Why bother about a company no one has ever heard about before. Why no talks about Lavasoftware, which makes a very good produc, or Symantec, or PC Tools Software?
  • by twitter (104583) on Sunday May 21, 2006 @08:50PM (#15377728) Homepage Journal
    The interesting issue here is whether this need for broadening the offer would be the case also for other leading companies subject to similar 'bundled-with' competition.

    It's a good thing to quote that "bundled-with" because the term is misleading. No one cares if M$ or anyone else gives away a text editor. What matters is if they make it so no other text editor will work. The Netscape complaint was that M$ strong armed vendors to gain a desktop software monopoly and then abused that monopoly in all sorts of ways to make it a huge pain in the neck to run Netscape on the desktop so that they could steal Netscapes' server market. The tactics included constantly changing the user's defaults back to IE and a combined smear and code breakage like they did with DRDOS.

    It's all very nasty and they keep doing it, over and over. They have done it with Office Software to Lotus and Word Perfect, they have done it with backup software, browsers and just about anything you can think of. The people who want to own the worlds computers want to own every piece of it. The developers ran off a long time ago except for a few large companies and even they are looking for a way out. The current fights are over media and, yes, antivirus.

    The most obvious result of all of these fights is a decidedly second rate user experience. So many second rate programs have been kludged together, they hardly work. All the hooks and barbs M$ made for others, they have to deal with themselves. Add a bit of DRM and remove the last of the companies trying to patch up your system and you get Vista, the five year development flop. It's kind of like watching an oil filled megatanker fall into the moon.

    Information about the DRDOS example can be found here:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20050313031916/www.ki ckassgear.com/Articles/Microsoft.htm

    Windoze performance information can be found anywhere Windoze is run. Just wait for them to curse.

  • I have a question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mistshadow2k4 (748958) on Sunday May 21, 2006 @08:54PM (#15377738) Journal
    Considering that Alexa is installed with IE 6 by default and it was known spyware even when IE6 came out, why trust Microsoft's anti-spyware? I'm really not trying to just troll here, but if they bundled IE with links to a known spyware provider in the first place, one has to wonder if a certain amount of spyware isn't deliberately overlooked by their program for business reasons.
    • The Alexia installed with IE isn't a malicious spyware. It's main purpose is to track how much bandwidth a site gets like this:

      http://www.alexaholic.com/digg.com+slashdot.org [alexaholic.com]

      Now, you may consider that a bad thing. However, it's a lot like a Neilson rating for a web site. They are not tracking you. They are tracking where you go.

      I know it's kinda fucked up. But it is useful.

      Also, don't forget that Slashdot itself *is* spyware. Don't belive me? Every page has (at least) two links back to Google for tra
  • To be analagous to the Netscape situation, they would have to be clearly the best product in their category before Microsoft moves in. They are not. There are several other anti-spyware products that are as good as or even better than SpySweeper, some free, and some for-pay.
  • I use Windows Defender on XP. I also use Spybot S& D, Ad Aware Personal, Spyware Guard and Spyware Blaster. Their problem is that, in the home user market, there are so many good free tools that the marketplace is shrinking for "for profit" spyware elimination.

    They'll be able to insure a place in the "business" market by producing a product that is superior to Microsoft's.

    LK
  • Being a recent purchaser of SpySweeper (tm), I never - EVER - have spyware products a second thought, until the day I switched ISPs and went from DSL to Cable. The installer apparently came and went, and when I got home 4 hours later, I've got Surf Sidekick popping up all over my computer. No firewall, just Windows XP, and my entire system is completely unusable. Cable internet just sucks.

    So I end up looking for a spyware program that will get rid of Surf Sidekick - and SpySweeper says it can clean it,
  • I happen to think it's M$'s fault anyway, the whole spyware deal. It's their OS, they SHOULD have a scanner in it. Granted, some spyware gets on there in other ways, ie bundles, tricking the user into clicking on something, etc. But there should still be a way to scan for it. I don't think spyware scanning should fall under the antitrust thing. They wrote an OS, it is their responsibility to make sure it works. I don't care about the business that has sprung up underneath M$'s problems. Half of them are fak
  • Well, the word is, you'll have to PAY for Windows anti-spyware (and some other services). It'll be called Windows One Care. So the situation is a bit different, since the only reason why IE gained on Netscape (at first) was because it was bundled for free. It's only later (circa IE4) that IE had become a better product.
  • "Mine Sweeper, the Next Netscape?" I thought MS was integrating Internet Explorer and Minesweeper. Perhaps they'd call it Mine Explorer.

    OK, I didn't really think that.
  • There will be always someone to whine about something. ALWAYS.

    The modern culture has imprinted on us this concept of "justice" and how if everything is "justified" and "proper" everyone should be happy.

    What a damn outright lie!

    If Windows doesn't include tools to protect us from malware (part security improvements, part signature based detectors), you can bet people will whine why Windows leaves them more vulnerable than if they bundle something.

    But if they bundle, busineses cry fowl about their business bei
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Monday May 22, 2006 @03:01AM (#15378655)
    Netscape fell victim if an aging code base and poorly implemented standards support (next to none...).

    Instead of making a quick series of patch fixing the standards support, speed and so on, they decided to drop everything and spend few years rewriting everything from scratch. Their first releases (Netscape 6, 6.2x, 7.x) were bloated, slow to start, slow to render, buggy and damn, they were ugly.

    The company's been sold, resold, split, merged, reorganised and what not, and after so many years we got Firefox, which was able to compete again with its 1.0 release.

    Was the inclusion of IE Windows important in this development of history? Certainly! However the fact IE4 was a significantly better browser than NS4 and all the crap NS did to themselves was what made the crucial difference.

    (yes IE4 was better than NS4, it's hard to comprehend it today, when IE6 is the worst browser of the bunch, but back then the situation was pretty different)
  • it seems like since microsoft put all the security holes in, its only natural that they should provide you with the software to deal with the results of the holes.

    What does this have to do with a browser?
  • The history of the browser war is slightly like this. MS pushed MSN, the world didn't take MSN and choose another browser. MS realized it might not control the net, it pushed IE through rapid development and with the luck that Netscape botched a release they gained massive marketshare and then stopped content to have the majority and no longer willing to continue to innovate.

    Cue IE not supporting standards and the continued lack of such things as PNG support.

    Until opensource arrives on the scene and sets

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