Reading a couple of things today about the anti-spyware app got me thinking more about the future of the product, and how a full release will go. There’s two thoughts running right now for me, what I want, and what I’m afraid of.
What I want is it to be free, and part of Windows Update. (see the Malicious Software Removal Tool released this week, for example.) I think that gets the highest level of distribution, and therefore security, as possible.
What I’m afraid of, is that MS will charge for it, and make it a subscription service. This will guarantee the lowest level of distribution, and therefore security, possible aside from not having a tool at all!
In today’s LangaLetter Fred looks into the crystal ball and predicts this:
“My guess is that the Antispyware software will be offered as a “carrot” to entice users of pirated copies into getting a legit version of their OS; and secondarily as a reward to those who have legit copies.”
Comparable to what MS did with Photo Story, correct? Ed Bott doesn’t like that idea:
The whole Genuine Windows program should be reserved for add-ons and fun stuff. Security updates should be available to anyone with as little hassle as possible.” -And I would totally agree with that idea. However, my fear is leading me to contemplate this as a possible compromise position. It goes against the desire to get it to as many Windows users as possible with the least amount of hassle, but it keeps us out of the dreaded “paid subscription” model as well. I might even be persuaded to go along with this method of distribution if MS allowed OEM’s to pre-install it. They are already pre-installing SP2, why not give them the ability to pre-install anti-spyware as a way to get it distributed, and yet still keeping their lame “genuine advantage” junk, since OEM should, by definition, be legal copies of Windows? (All legal issues about pre-installing and monopoly aside.)
It’ll be interesting to see where they come down with this when the beta expires this summer.
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