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Microsoft

Microsoft Cuts Anti-Virus Support For Unix / Linux 521

jasonmicron writes "As previously reported on Slashdot, Microsoft has completed the aquisition of Sybari Software this morning. Before the ink was even dry, Microsoft cut all new antivirus support for all Unix and Linux definitions. Current customers will continue to receive support but new customers will not have the option to purchase the software under Unix / Linux. From TFA: Post acquisition, Syabri becomes a Microsoft subsidiary focusing on marketing anti-virus and anti-spam protection for Microsoft messaging and collaboration servers. It will continue to market Sybari's Lotus Domino products but will not sell Antigen versions for Unix and Linux."
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Microsoft Cuts Anti-Virus Support For Unix / Linux

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  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:42PM (#12883769)
    And you're surprised by this why?
    • I should be surprised that noone at the DoJ Anti Trust division is pricking up their ears about this.

      Then I remembered who runs the DoJ....
      • by frodo from middle ea ( 602941 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:13PM (#12884140) Homepage
        Umm, Last time I checked Microsoft has no monopoly in the Anti-Virus market. Besides if you are talking about its monopoly in the PC OS market, this move hardly affects it one way or another.

        This will be picked up by DOJ's anti-trust dept, only if they embed their AV in the OS and distribute it freely, making it harder for other AV companies like Nortan/Symantex to sell their products.

        I am not their fan either, but they are withing their rights here, Besides who really needs a AV for unix anyway ?

        Ofcourse your point about who owning the DOJ makes every thing moot.

        • by terrymr ( 316118 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <rmyrret>> on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:19PM (#12884200)
          Monopoly or not in the antivirus market, buying up makers of other software to stop them from making products for competing operating systems is still questionable behavior.

          • by frodo from middle ea ( 602941 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:30PM (#12884327) Homepage
            how so, they are not stopping anyone from making another anti-virus for *nix. Actually that's precisely their point of fustration with Open source products, they can't buy them off.

            besides i had never even heard of this AV company before, and I suspect their *nix AV products were not exactly selling like hot cakes. So from a business POV this makes perfect sense.

          • by danheskett ( 178529 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .tteksehnad.> on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:32PM (#12884357)
            Not really...
            For example, When Chrysler and Dailmer merged, did they drop redudant lines, and stop production of cars that compete with our products of the new merged company? You bet.

            Second, MS did not purchase this other maker to "stop them from making producting for a competing operating system". Clearly, MS purchased them for their head-start on MS's own platform. It actually does make a difference.

            Third and finally, one thing to note is that when the DOJ's consent decree with MS expires it will no longer be assumed that MS is a monopoly to the DOJ, meaning anything that requires that for a basis will have to be litigated from scratch, with MS being proven a monpoly in desktop OS's. With the state of the market it will prove prodigiously hard to prove that: between Linux and Mac Windows pretty clearly does not have a monopoly.
            • by mrscorpio ( 265337 ) <twoheadedboy@sto ... Pcom minus berry> on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:47PM (#12884525)
              How is a *nix A/V product a "redundant line" for MS? Or in other words, what MS *nix A/V product is MS keeping in favor of this one? Further, a *nix A/V product does not compete with a MS A/V product anymore than MS Office for Windows would compete with MS Office for Linux. Would a bookseller selling German language Bibles be cannibalizing their own market by selling English language ones?
              • MS may feel that the personnel deployed on the Linux and Unix work would be better deployed elsewhere, or let go to save money. It isn't a case of 'redundant line' but efficiencies and core business. Linux anti-virus software is not part of MS's core business. It may mean that other firms wishing to recruit staff to work on Linux anti-virus may be able to cherry pick, though.
            • by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @04:23PM (#12884820)
              I think you're confusing vertical and horizontal integration.

              When Dahmler-Chrysler was formed, two companies that competed in the same space with the same type of products got rid of redundant offering within the same space. This is horizontal integration. This is not what Microsoft did.

              When Standard Oil bought up all the producers of oil barrels to deny their competitors access, it was performing vertical integration to remove tools needed by competitors. This is what Microsoft did.

              Microsoft has bought a product that makes UNIX and Linux servers more attractive by giving them needed security protections and has destroyed it for the express purpose of making UNIX and Linux servers less attractive. This is similar to what Standard Oil did only a little less drastic because you can still sell and use non-Windows servers without virus protection unlike oil without barrels to carry it in.

              Whether this is an antitrust violation is a question for experts in the area, but it's certainly anticompetitive behavior.
              • When Standard Oil bought up all the producers of oil barrels to deny their competitors access, it was performing vertical integration to remove tools needed by competitors. This is what Microsoft did.

                Certainly I see your point. But you are taking it one step too far. Microsoft didnt buy ALL of the makers for unix / linux antivirus. They bought a single one.

                I think your assumption/point would be correct had Microsoft purchased all of the AV databases available on the market. Then this would prevent any

                • by JLF65 ( 888379 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @05:38PM (#12885375)
                  This is the SECOND AV maker that supported Unix/linux that MS has bought and then stopped Unix/linux support. How many will it take to convince you? Four? Ten? All of them?
                • Microsoft didnt buy ALL of the makers for unix / linux antivirus. They bought a single one.

                  This is true. But while this makes it practically different than monopolizing oil barrels, I do believe the intent is the same. If MS could buy out all *nix AV makers, do you think they would? I do.

                  Bashing MS is /. SOP, but that's because tactics like this are MS SOP.
        • by DJStealth ( 103231 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:37PM (#12884405)
          I am not their fan either, but they are withing their rights here, Besides who really needs a AV for unix anyway ?
          Keep in mind that the antivirus software is for messaging servers. Just because the server is running Linux/Unix, does not necessarily mean that the clients are. It is still useful to have a virus scanner for *nix to catch things in e-mail before it gets to the windows/client side.
        • by strabo ( 58457 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:48PM (#12884530) Homepage
          Besides who really needs a AV for unix anyway ?

          Uhh... anyone running a UNIX (or Linux) server (file, mail, etc) that has Windows clients?

        • by tbcpp ( 797625 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @04:17PM (#12884770)
          No, Microsoft does not have a monopoly on anti-virus software, they just have a monopoly on virii. They won't run on anything but Windows!
        • by Catbeller ( 118204 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @05:21PM (#12885253) Homepage
          You've misunderstood the purpose of antitrust law. The finding of monopoly status does not put MS under the gun for movement in the OS sphere. After all, they own that arena.

          The idea of antitrust is to prevent a monopoly from using its exclusive position in one market to create monopoly positions in new markets, which is what MS tries to do at every opportunity. Bill is VERY against antitrust law, for obvious reasons.

          But as you say, this DOJ is owned by MS and hands-off ideologues. There will not be antitrust movement against MS in this generation - if ever.
    • No big loss either. (Score:4, Informative)

      by KerberosKing ( 801657 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:53PM (#12883910)
      There are plenty alternatives like those listed in the unix-linux antivirus mini-faq http://cvs.sourceforge.net/viewcvs.py/openantiviru s/mini-faq/av-unix_e.txt?rev=1.40&view=markup [sourceforge.net] Kindly compiled by the OpenAntivirus Project http://www.openantivirus.org/ [openantivirus.org]
    • That was my _second_ resonse!

      My first one was....

      So, how many people used the unix/linux version
      to scan for unix/linux viruses? Erm... very few.

      I would imagine that anyone using an anti-virus system under unix/linux is using the unix/linux
      box to scan Samba shares and/or Windows networks.

      That's what I do. I use Sophos anti-virus on a linux box to serve the Sophos updates to Windows boxes.

      Additionally, how many people are reaslistically going to _buy_ anti-virus software for linux from Microsoft????!!!
  • *sigh*
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Well, if you're so upset, start your own Unix anti-virus company. Not so easy now, is it? It's always easier to complain than to do something.
      • Whats the point when clam is comming along so nicely?

        Virus scanners on unix are only any good for protecting downstream windows clients and clam is ideal for this, although admittedly not quite ideal for real-time scanning of NFS/SMB shares, but for mail / web virus scanning its more than sufficient.

        If clam continues the way it is, there will be a very small market for unix virus scanners.

        Jason
      • by n0-0p ( 325773 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:53PM (#12883913)
        Honestly I think the parent was commenting on the practice of buying out the competition. Or, more acurately in this case, buying up a supplier for the competition so you can cut their legs out from under them. On a larger scale it's the exact kind of practice that prompted the creation of anti-trust laws in the US. Of course this is a niche product, so I'd leave it to a lawyer to determine how much anti-trust law applies.
      • I guess I'm a little confused...what do you need antivirus for Unix/Linux to begin with? I didn't know viruses for Unix/Linux really existed much in the wild enough to be a problem....
        • It's not for protecting Linux machines, it is for protecting Windows machines connected to a Linux Machine. Most corporate mail servers do the anti-virus right on the server. The servers are Linux/Unix, but the viruses they are stopping are written for Windows.
  • by rAiNsT0rm ( 877553 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:44PM (#12883793) Homepage
    Truly, if this stuff was allowed to go on in other industries we would barely be out of the stone chisel stage. Something needs to happen to bring the PC world to it's knees so that things start to shape up.

    All of this in-fighting and patents/closed source/non-standardization needs to end... and NO Linux is not the be-all-end-all solution as it is just as bad at times.
    • by spellraiser ( 764337 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:46PM (#12883831) Journal
      Selling anti-virus services for Unix/Linux is like selling ice cream to polar bears anyway. It's good to see Microsoft focusing on the real problems :P
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Selling anti-virus services for Unix/Linux is like selling ice cream to polar bears anyway. It's good to see Microsoft focusing on the real problems

        RTFA--it's about software for checking email for viruses on the mail server.

      • Um. Most viruses come in via Email. SMART large companies do NOT run M$ as their external mail servers. They do anti-spam and anti-virus on the external mail gateways, usually some form of UNIX + Sendmail (sendmail with mimedefang and spamassassin running on linux here).
      • by King_TJ ( 85913 )
        Unless things have drastically changed in recent years, I remember Sybari's most important product being their "Antigen" software which allowed efficient scanning of *email* for virii. We purchased the version of their product for Exchange Server back when Exchange 5.5 was a pretty recent product and people were still running NT 4.0 on their workstations.

        I assumed the Unix/Linux versions of Sybari products were typically purchased for this purpose - in-line virus scanning of corporate email as it went thr
    • >Truly, if this stuff was allowed to go on in other industries we would barely be out of the stone chisel stage.

      What "this"? Discontinuing useless producs nobody was buying anyway?
  • Unix Viruses? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Probably due to the lack of viruses/customers.
  • Who cares (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:45PM (#12883802)

    ClamAV [sf.net] is actually becoming usable, more hands might light work etc

    • Re:Who cares (Score:5, Informative)

      by Limburgher ( 523006 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:53PM (#12883911) Homepage Journal
      Sorry, ClamAV is not merely usable, ClamAV is awesome. They update quickly, and one can set up regular updates and scans with cron in seconds. It catches stuff McAfee misses and it has a nearly transparent milter. The milter's a bit tough to set up from scratch, but you can still scan your maildirs with cron if you like. That might be good enough for some orgs. But by and large ClamAV is all you need.
      • Re:Who cares (Score:4, Interesting)

        by C0vardeAn0nim0 ( 232451 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:00PM (#12884001) Journal
        if you want to keep distance from sendmail, theres ClamSmtp [memberwebs.com].

        from their site:

        ClamSMTP is an SMTP filter that allows you to check for viruses using the ClamAV anti-virus software. It accepts SMTP connections and forwards the SMTP commands and responses to another SMTP server. The 'DATA' email body is intercepted and scanned before forwarding.
      • Re:Who cares (Score:3, Informative)

        by value_added ( 719364 )
        Agreed that ClamAV is indeed awesome. It's worth pointing out for Windows users that it can be used effectively on Windows machines in much the same way.

        ClamAV is a part of the official Cygwin port repository and I believe there's a GUI available for it as well (for those inclined to those kinds of things). Just as importantly, if using Cygwin, one can easily set up a mail system such as:

        POP3 -> Fetchmail -> Procmail -> mbox

        or, going the other way,

        client -> SSMTP -> YourISP_SSMTP_Server
      • Re:Who cares (Score:4, Informative)

        by Linux_ho ( 205887 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @04:09PM (#12884712) Homepage
        Seconded. I didn't believe it until I actually did my own testing, but ClamAV [clamav.net] outperforms much of the commercial competition (McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro) in terms of response time, speed, and accuracy.

        We used to run Trend's Interscan VirusWall for SMB on our mail hub, and would get a few false positives every week (out of approx. 40000 messages). Not anymore. Now we run ClamAV with Postfix and ClamSMTP, and we have had exactly zero false positives and zero false negatives since we switched (shortly after the MYTOB update was released).

        My users are delighted that they're no longer getting viruses, and my monthly "Warning! There's a new virus that our Trend Micro scanner isn't catching yet" messages. I'm happy that I don't have to re-send and apologize for the false positives anymore. My boss is happy that he no longer has to shell out $5000 per year for Trend's crappy product. It's all been good.
  • Okay, Okay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brotherscrim ( 617899 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:45PM (#12883803) Journal
    I know lots of people here are going to cry foul, but come on: Who was gonna buy anti-virus software for linux from Microsoft?
  • by mboos ( 700155 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:45PM (#12883807) Homepage
    Microsoft is affirming that Linux and Unix are more secure than Windows and don't require anti-virus software!
    • Re:This is good! (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Microsoft is affirming that Linux and Unix are more secure than Windows and don't require anti-virus software!

      FTA:

      Anti-virus products for Unix servers occupy a useful niche in the market not because there are many viruses that infect Unix platforms but because they help prevent these servers from hosting Windows malware. ®
  • by spitefowl ( 786321 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:45PM (#12883809) Homepage
    You must be mistaken, Linux doesn't have viruses!
  • by yagu ( 721525 ) <yayagu@gmail . c om> on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:45PM (#12883810) Journal

    From the article:

    Syabri becomes a Microsoft subsidiary focusing on marketing anti-virus and anti-spam protection for Microsoft messaging and collaboration servers. It will continue to market Sybari's Lotus Domino products but will not sell Antigen versions for Unix and Linux...

    Well this says to me one of two things:

    1. Microsoft is (metaphorically) sticking out its tongue at the Unix/Linux universe, as well as every regulatory body with which they've "dealt" in the last ten years, or
    2. Microsoft cedes the reliability and small risk and vulnerability of Unix/Linux products over Windows and will thus focus continued energy to try and approach that level of security in Windows.

    You be the judge.

    I guess I'm just happy Microsoft can't buy linux and drop all support for that.

  • so what (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jwegy ( 775655 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:45PM (#12883814)
    They don't sale or support Unix or Linux. What is the problem? They need to focus on their customers. That makes plenty of business sense.
    • So why bother to buy an AV company part of whose business is Unix systems?
    • Re:so what (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gstoddart ( 321705 )

      They don't sale or support Unix or Linux. What is the problem? They need to focus on their customers. That makes plenty of business sense.

      Because, for a company which has been demonstrated to have predatory business practices, buying a company who makes software for your competitors, and dropping support for those companies might be perceived as bad.

      What if they bought a company who made only Mac software, just so they could discontinue support for Mac's? In the short run they could say "we're going t

  • by Coolmoe ( 416032 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:45PM (#12883819)
    Im not saying that virii arent in existance for unix or linux it just seems that most A/V for linux seems to be geared at protecting windows machines from the real world. Seems that linux is the armor protecting the sheep (windows) from slaughter.
  • <sarcasm>Microsoft just wanted to help spread the word that Unix and Linux don't need antivirus because they are superior to Windows</sarcasm>
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:46PM (#12883823)
    Microsoft selling antivirus. That always leaves me gaping. It's like, I don't know, Lucrecia Borgia selling antidotes...
  • Anti-virus products for Unix servers occupy a useful niche in the market not because there are many viruses that infect Unix platforms but because they help prevent these servers from hosting Windows malware.

    So MS is doing all they can to not close down this route of Windows malware distribution. This benefits who?

  • by FunWithHeadlines ( 644929 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:47PM (#12883833) Homepage
    Remember folks, this is called innovation, and it is how Microsoft has thrived through the years by giving the consumer choice and high-quality products. Isn't it great to have such a fine company looking out for the needs of the marketplace by removing unnecessary choice from our lives? Oh sure, the carpers could point out that Microsoft has no obligation to support a competitor's marketplace. But I choose to stay in the warm sushine of Microsoft's benevolence, and trust that if they say we don't need a product, that's good enough for me.

    Innovate onward, kind Microsoft!

    • The current meme among left wing academia is that capitalism gives consumers too many choices. Oh the tyranny of having too many brands of toothpaste to choose from! [theagitator.com] Microsoft is merely providing a service, by eliminating choice. We should thank them for not being greedy capitalists and burdening us with the tryanny of choice! [typepad.com]
    • Re:Remember folks (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 )
      Ya because there's no AV alternatives. I mean you couldn't possibly go and get Norton, or AVG, or Sophos, or McAfee, or Trend Micro, or Panda, or Avast, or ... well you ought to get the point. There is no lack of virus software. There's too much of it, if you asked me, it confuses normal users as to which they ought to use and trust.

      That MS isn't supporting Linux in it's AV efforts is highly unsupprising. You should be happy, in fact, as it's a selling point for those that compete with them. You can get AV
  • Well, Duh! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by overshoot ( 39700 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:49PM (#12883857)
    Talk about making a strategic value out of your own product's flaws:
    1. MSWindows machines draw malware like crap draws flies
    2. Sysadmins install filters on their *nix mail servers to shield the (vulnerable|culpable) MSWin machines
    3. MS buys up any company producing filters for *nix servers
    4. MS shuts down the *nix side of the business
    5. MS then sells MS servers because they're the only ones that can protect the MS clients.
    6. Profit! (Not to mention more market dominance)
    • Re:Well, Duh! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:24PM (#12884269) Homepage
      That's one possible outcome. The other one would be

      5. Customer decides to ditch all remaining windows installation and use only Unix in the future, ceases to care about malware
      6. Customer saves money (for licenses), saves more money (for administration), and also saves time and hassles
      7. M$ loses customer
      8. M$ loses money.

      They're really gambling here - they take away the middle path and hope that out of the remaining options, you'll choose the one that gives them more money instead of the one that gives them less money. Obviously, they think they *can* pull it off, but in the end, nobody likes a bully, so even if they gain some money in the short term, they do lose customer trust over the long term.

      The fact that they fail to see this and *still* think that they can base their business model on terrorizing people instead of acting in a benevolent way where the customer is king just shows that despite everything, they still aren't thinking about what'll happen in the long term and where they'll be in, say, 50 or 100 years.

      Which, incidentally, is exactly the timeframe where the current high-ups like Gates and Ballmer and the like who cashed in big time won't be around anymore to care about the losses that will come.
    • Re:Well, Duh! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Excelsior ( 164338 )
      I'll add:

      7. Windows servers get infected with a virus.
      8. Virus shields stop functioning because the Windows servers are infected.
      9. Everyone becomes infected.
      10. Companies wish their virus sheilds were still running on *nix.
  • Now where will I buy antivirus software for Linux? Oh, wait, I don't NEED antivirus software on Linux.
    • Re:OhNo! (Score:5, Funny)

      by i.r.id10t ( 595143 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:55PM (#12883947)
      Heh. I went to a convention where wireless users had to show that they had AV software installed before being given the connection info. Had my Linux laptop there, they wouldn't let me on until I could show them some antivirus software running. Left, came back an hour later (after breakfast), and ran my "anti virus software".

      #!/bin/bash
      echo Scanning memory for viruses...
      sleep 2
      echo OK. System clean.

  • The only reason Microsoft would drop support for Linux/Unix is because they realize how much more resources are needed to protect just Windows. How would Microsoft look if their anti-virus product couldn't prevent Windows from being crippled by a script-kiddie virus?
    • The only reason Microsoft would drop support for Linux/Unix is because they realize how much more resources are needed to protect just Windows.

      The Linux/Unix versions were all about protecting Windows anyway.

      What this does is send a signal to IT depts that the XP workstations on your network aren't considered to be virus-protected unless you ensure that Windows Server serves those workstations. If you serve those workstations with Linux, then MS will consider then unprotected or "untrusted" or whatever.
  • If you kill off all proprietary/closed source Linux offerings, what's left? Well, the need for stronger open source ones.

    Thank-you Microsoft for helping to push all the alternatives into the open-source fee-for-service world.
  • Their straight-faced answer is likely that it was a business/ market decision. I could look it up, but from a business standpoint, are we to believe that the Lotus Domino market is larger than the Unix/Linux market and merits continued support cuz they'll make (enough) money on it?
  • All along MS's life I've just been thrilled by how they re-defined "innovation" to mean "buy everything we don't have that seems successful".

    Whatever. Don't even listen to me. If I had the money... :P :D


  • MS proves the point that FOSS is the only real way to ensure one's system isn't going to be ripped out from under you. Ironically, as they themselves are eroded as the server platform of choice by repeatedly asking consumers to hop to their nextbigthing every few years. Plus, all the "lessons learned" shops have to endure as MS finally "gets it".

    MS may have finally gotten the ideas of "the web", "security", "portal" and so many other trumps to their idea factory, but they have yet to understand how t
  • Before the ink was even dry, Microsoft cut all new antivirus support for all Unix and Linux

    So stop wasting time whining about it and start a Linux antivirus software company or a SourceForge project depending on your philosophy / free time.
  • Really odd (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcc ( 14761 ) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:59PM (#12883994) Homepage
    How these acquisitions are chosen.

    Microsoft needs to expand into the video game market. They buy the one game company with heavy support for macintoshes (which then ends).
    Microsoft needs to expand into the virtualization market. They buy the one virtualization company with heavy support for macintoshes (which then suffers).
    Microsoft needs to expand into the antivirus email filter market. They buy one of the antivirus companies with support for linux/unix (which then ends).

    Funny how these coincidences work.
    • Re:Really odd (Score:4, Interesting)

      by m50d ( 797211 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:13PM (#12884135) Homepage Journal
      It's just good business sense. If you could cripple your competitors' OSes while acquiring things you wanted, wouldn't you do it?
      • Re:Really odd (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:21PM (#12884226)

        It's just good business sense. If you could cripple your competitors' OSes while acquiring things you wanted, wouldn't you do it?

        It is also blatantly illegal under the Sherman Act in this case. Don't hold you breath until the DOJ takes action though, we also saw them bought and paid for years ago.

      • Re:Really odd (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Omnifarious ( 11933 )

        Gee, I thought the free market was supposed to encourage things that were good for customers. It doesn't seem like crippling competitors by taking away features helps anybody but the company that does it. Sounds like a market failure to me.

    • Don't forget Microsoft bought FoxBase and killed MacOS support to kill databases on MacOS.

      And Microsoft bought OneTree and promptly killed commercial quality version control for MacOS (they dead-ended the format and only with much begging allowed others {MW} to make clients.)

      However, Bungie sold themselves because they didn't have deep pockets, were starving, and the gaming industry drove them that way. Microsoft needed that flagship killer app. They didn't just wax the MacOS release, they delayed the W
  • Nice to see the depth of Microsoft's commitment to a safer internet. I'm sure we'll all bear that in mind in the future.

    I guess they reckon this is the only way they'll ever make their OS more secure than Linux.

  • I guess thats one approach to things...if your competitors don't have as many viruses, try to take away their protection too. Although i don't think it will make much difference because I didn't even know virus software for Linux existed and i've been using it for quite a few years.
    • i don't think it will make much difference because I didn't even know virus software for Linux existed and i've been using it for quite a few years.

      The software was for Linux/Unix servers and stopped viruses and worms from infecting Windows clients served by them. For example if you run a Linux based mail server to serve a office full of Windows boxes (as many people do) this software filtered viruses out of the e-mail before they could infect the Windows workstations.

  • by Free_Trial_Thinking ( 818686 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:01PM (#12884014)
    So here's a question for you guys. If you owned this company or a similar one, and Microsoft wanted to buy you out for a good price, would you choose not to sell for ethical reasons regardless of the profit you would make?

    Discuss, discuss
  • OHS NOS! (Score:2, Informative)

    by JadeSky ( 6679 )
    First, don't panic. Just because some company I've never dealt with stopped making a product I never used doesn't mean I feel the world is going in the crapper. There are other Unix/Linux Anti-V irus solutions.

    There's ClamAV, which does an admirable job of keeping up with the stream of crap slung by the rest of the 'Net.

    For commercial products, I've really liked Sophos' software. They were one of the only companies that supported the vast Unix/Linux versions we had when we made the selection.

    Both work
  • by PhYrE2k2 ( 806396 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:04PM (#12884034)
    They did the same thing with RAV (Romainian Anti -Virus)- one of the best qmail/sendmail/postfix/courier and console+monitoring virus scanners when M$ bought it.

    First the sales stopped, then the virus definitions took a few days to get updated on each big 'outbreak', then they stopped coming at all... *sniff*

    Fortunately by then, ClamAV had matured more than it did when we purchased RAV for our mail servers, and it was kicked to the curb.

    In any case, why is this news? Microsoft decides not to put THEIR MONEY (since they purchased it) into their competitors products... duh!

    -M
  • by Richard Lamont ( 27936 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:10PM (#12884104) Homepage
    There are a couple of good reasons for having anti-virus software on a unix/linux mail server, even though they don't get viruses. First, it can protect Windows email clients. Second, anti-virus software can also pick up things like phishing emails, which are platform-agnostic.

    Fortunately, good quality free (speech and beer) anti-virus software is available from http://www.clamav.net/ [clamav.net] - and it's packaged in many linux distros.
  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:44PM (#12884487)
    I hate to say this but UNIX and Linux do not get viruses.

    Virus detection programs on UNIX or Linux are usually deployed on mail servers that kill the viruses before they hit Windows-based mail clients.

    Therefore, cutting support puts Windows mail clients connected to UNIX mail servers at threat.

    Stupid, stupid decision from a company that claims to be serious about security.

  • So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pjbass ( 144318 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:45PM (#12884500) Homepage
    Companies buy other companies all the time, and make decisions that will impact a group of end users every time. The reason this is such breaking news on /., IMO, is that it's Microsoft "appearing" to give the shaft to *nix platforms. I'm sure MS didn't say "let's buy this company so we can stick it to the Linux guys." They have made unethical decisions before, but this would have been just stupid business sense. The primary reason they purchased this company, as the article states, is to have anti-virus technology for their messenger components. Why invest time and resources internally to develop something when they can just buy the technology already working? Cutting support for *nix was just a bonus. In all reality, would it make better business sense for them to continue developing and supporting software for the OS's that directly compete with them? No!

    Some people may recall a company called Sequent. [wikipedia.org] Here's a perfect example of a company who had a great product, and threatened a titan in the industry (IBM). IBM purchased them, took the technology that they wanted (low-level locking that exists in AIX 5L today), and trashed the rest of the company. It left all the PTX customers out to dry. But why would they care to continue developing PTX on Sequent platforms when they wanted to advance their POWER-based servers running AIX?

    This is really nothing exciting IMO. So Microsoft acquired a company and dropped support for *nix. That is the most logical thing they could have done with the acquisition. Please try again for interesting news instead of touting the "you bastards!" picket sign outside the Evil Empire's headquarters.
  • by DieByWire ( 744043 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:53PM (#12884580)
    They bought out RAV a few years ago and buried Linux support. After that things got even worse.

    We switched to Vexira from Central Command. Midway through our contract, CC was kind enough to tell us we had to upgrade to their new software, and by the way, you have less than a week to do it. This was between Christmas and New Years. Did I say the the new software didn't support our existing OS? (RH 7.2, patches from Progeny.)

    Every time we've used proprietary AV software we've gotten screwed.

    Solution: apt-get install clamav.

  • by lord_rob the only on ( 859100 ) <shiva3003@gmaiTOKYOl.com minus city> on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @04:01PM (#12884646)
    Unix/Linux has decided to cut virus support.
  • BFD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DoctorPepper ( 92269 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @04:04PM (#12884671)
    If I wanted to run Microsoft software, I'd be running Windows instead of Linux, now wouldn't I?

    Besides, do you really trust Microsoft enough to use an anti-virus product from them?
  • by vhogemann ( 797994 ) <victor@nospam.hogemann.com> on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @07:09PM (#12885944) Homepage
    ClamAV
    http://www.clamav.net/ [clamav.net]

    OpenAntiVirus Project
    http://www.openantivirus.org/ [openantivirus.org]

    Actualy I have an Email server setup wit Postfix + AmavisNEW + SA + ClamAV, and I'm yet to see a virus that passed undetected.

    Check our virus detection statistics here:
    http://integracao.saude.rio.rj.gov.br/amavis-stats / [rj.gov.br]

    We're behind the main corporate server, so our department depends on it to send or receive email. They use a NortonAV server, but more than once an infected email passed trough, and it were stoped by our Server.

    So I now wonder how ClamAV would perform against the proprietary alternatives...

    I really want to try it, but our "corporate policy" states that every email traffic must pass trough the "homologated" AV solution. We're actally the only department that is really using Linux for real, and the rest of the company still has this strong Microsoft culture and don't quite trust Open Source...
    • by Dr.Dubious DDQ ( 11968 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @08:05PM (#12886200) Homepage
      So I now wonder how ClamAV would perform against the proprietary alternatives...

      Actually quite well, in my experience.

      We installed a spam/virus scanner to handle incoming internet mail before it goes into our 'internal' mail server, which runs Symantec(tm) Antivirus.

      The scanner is running ClamAV via ClamSMTP. Since installing this, the Symantec logs have only shown ONE virus hitting the mail system...which came from someone internal who brought the virus in on a laptop (grrrrr...) and not from the internet at all. So, thus far, it looks like ClamAV is catching everything that Symantec would have caught, and possibly more.

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