For whom the bell tolls

Lavasoft is currently facing the wrath of Ad-Aware users due to the fact that it removed WhenU from its definition file.

Bill Gates announced at the RSA conference this week that Microsoft would offer its new antispyware product for free. It currently is free, but that was supposed to change sometime this summer. Now that Microsoft plans to keep its antispyware product free, what does that mean to all the competitors that are making really good antispyware products?

Unfortunately for the competitors, the product that Microsoft bought and rebranded, Giant Antispyware, is really good. It's got great features and a comprehensive definition file. Unless Microsoft screws up its utility, companies such as Webroot and Lavasoft will have to convince users their products are more trustworthy (not too tough of an argument, considering Microsoft's reputation). Of course, some people are convinced ActiveX's lack of security caused the whole spyware plague, and Microsoft has a duty to deal with it.