While Microsoft officials stressed that the AV solution will initially be a stand-alone product, separate from Windows, security industry observers speculated that the company will eventually integrate AV protection into Windows. In fact, they said this most likely will happen in the next release of the Windows client, code-named Longhorn, which isnt expected until 2006 and is already scheduled to include a wide range of security upgrades. Such a move would leave Microsoft time to decide how best to refine the technology to suit its needs.Executives at big AV vendors, meanwhile, said they see no immediate reason to alter their strategies, despite Microsofts history of partnering with other vendors, only to compete against them. "Traditional vendors who rely upon selling primarily individual point products or hawking cures for the latest Internet scare will find the security market cold and unresponsive," said Sam Curry, vice president of eTrust Security Management at CA, in Islandia, N.Y. Security specialists say that if and when that happens, customers would likelyat least in the short termbe able to stay with their current AV vendor. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center at http://security.eweek.com for the latest security news, reviews and analysis.
"We would evaluate Microsofts solution, but I would be hesitant to use their built-in AV software exclusively. I would be more comfortable with the approach of using a non-Microsoft vendor for virus-scanning engines and virus definitions," said James Jones, LAN administrator with a large health care system on the East Coast. "Better integration with Microsofts OS is a definite plus. I guess the question comes down to trust. Microsoft is headed in the right direction with their security, but the industry isnt convinced yet, and it will be some time before we will be."