There’s been a lot of talk about SP2 being able to stop viruses and enabling the NX switch to stop being more viruses.
This is all well and good, and we’re hardly against any of that.
However, last week I ended up cleaning out a few Joe Sixpack computers from people who were not MP3ers, warez kiddies, porn magnets, etc., etc..
There was a virus here and there, but what I found overwhelmingly was adware, spyware, browser hijackers, in other words, malware. Not as much as I found in boxes used by the various subgroups mentioned above, but enough of it.
For the average person, this is the threat to these days, not viruses.
Yes, programs like AdAware do an admirable job in cleaning out machines, and other keep it at least some of it from being installed in the first place, but nothing does everything.
On top of that, telling Joe Sixpack to run these programs every once in a while is like telling a very occupied kid to go walk the dog.
Norton Antivirus has become fairly good at picking up malware, but of course, you have to own it and update it for it to do you any good.
There’s rumors that MS is going into the antivirus business.
What they really need to do is get into the malware business.
If malware explodes over the next year or so like I think it will, that’s going to become the biggest problem facing the average user. Should that happen, guess whom a good chunk of them are going to blame, no matter whose fault it really is, when their machine gets screwed up?
I know, people are against MS tramping onto other’s turf and then trampling them, but this may be an instance where an automated solution from MS automatically updated for brainless operation could save a lot of people a lot of grief.
It might even discourage malware writers from writing these plagues to begin with. Whom would you be more afraid of to stop you cold, Lavasoft or Microsoft?
Yes, it would cost MS money, probably a good deal, but when you’re dealing with a threat that often grossly reduces the usability of millions of computers, the cost of not doing anything could well exceed the cost of stopping it.