Windows 8 Release Preview
- Hands-on: Windows 8’s SkyDrive
- Hands-on: News, Sports, and Travel go Metro in Windows 8 Release Preview
- Sync it up: Hands on with the preview of Windows 8’s cloud sync service
- Internet Explorer 10: embedded Flash, Do Not Track, and stable standards
- Great apps for Release Preview: third-party Metro apps in Windows 8
Windows 8 will include its own built-in antivirus software. But if a user installs antivirus software from McAfee, Symantec, AVG, or any other vendor, Windows 8’s own protection will turn itself off and defer entirely to the third-party product. Microsoft’s software will spring to life only if there’s no third-party malware protection at all or if the third-party software is installed but has no up-to-date signatures.
Representatives from McAfee spoke to Computerworld to explain the behavior. While this might seem like a concession from Microsoft to the third-party antivirus vendors, McAfee says it isn’t. Rather, it’s designed to keep Windows OEMs happy.
OEMs have long bundled third-party antivirus software with their systems, because they receive kickbacks from the antivirus vendors whenever users buy subscriptions to the software. Windows 8’s built-in antivirus software threatened this revenue stream; if Windows offers to perform antivirus functionality all by itself, there’s no reason to buy a subscription.