Despite a raft of security-heavy feature additions being included in Windows XP Service Pack 2, one technology was notably absent when Bill Gates used his keynote address at the RSA Conference to announce the upgrades last Tuesday.
SP2 is set to ship mid-2004, approximately a year after Microsoft acquired anti-virus technology from Romanian developer GeCad srl, but the GeCad software will not be included, according to the company.
While SP2 includes a number of technologies that will help make Windows more resilient to attack, it will not include anti-virus software, a spokesperson said. Customers are still encouraged to use third party anti-virus software.
SP2 will, according to Microsoft, include a Security Center feature, which will provide users with information about and access to their security settings including the new Windows Firewall and third-party anti-virus software.
When Microsoft bought GeCad’s virus business in June, executives said that the initial plan was to charge a subscription for virus updates, but that a decision on how to get the software in front of users had not been decided.
If Microsoft did plan to deliver anti-virus as a part of Windows before the delayed Longhorn version of the OS is release, it would have to do it in SP2, or in the so-called XP Reloaded release that is planned for next year (see separate story).
Putting anti-virus into Windows would of course cause competition concern. The market is currently dominated by the likes of such as Symantec and Network Associates, whose toes will arguably also be trodden on when Windows Firewall is released.
Microsoft is currently promoting third-party antivirus products via its Virus Information Alliance, which includes all the big players and some of the smaller ones.
This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire