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Windows News
The End Is Near For Paid Antivirus On PCs

The rise of free but "good enough" software spells an end to the days of having to pay for PC antivirus software. Is the era of not-free antivirus software drawing to a close? Since before the days of the "I Love You" virus, a best practice for both consumers and businesses has been to buy and run antivirus software on their PCs. But all that's changing--at least, the paid part.

According to data collected by software management vendor OPSWAT, from March to May 2011, the top five most-used antivirus products in use in North America were Microsoft Security Essentials (16%), AVG Anti-Virus Free (11%), Avast Free Antivirus (7%), Norton AntiVirus (6%), and Mcafee VirusScan (4%). Interestingly, three of those are free.

As statistics go, OPSWAT's numbers may not be definitive. Rather, they represent a sample of 43,000 PCs that are running the company's software framework, which can detect antivirus software installed on their PCs. Accordingly, that equals data points drawn from business users, meaning the incursion of free antivirus into enterprise markets may be sharper than you'd expect.

That shouldn't be surprising, however, since free antivirus regularly finds a place in "top 10" third-party antivirus software rankings. "The good antivirus is a free antivirus, we all know this. Avast is good, AVG is good. So many people are 'good enough' that where is the market, if antivirus is free?" Eric Domage, manager of western European security research and consulting for IDC, tells me.

"This is a highly commoditized sector. It used to be a market, but now it's a commodity--look at what Microsoft is now doing for free."

More @ InformationWeek


1 Comments

Photo
Tripredacus
Jun 29 2011 08:17 AM
MSE is a "good enough" anti-virus, but it isn't the greatest one in the world. Yes I use it but I have found that it is also misses a lot of things. MSE is definately a good anti-virus for people who are careful and knowledgeable about how they use the internet, but I wouldn't recommend it for everyone.