Windows 8’s built-in antivirus will put third-party products first

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    Windows 8 Release Preview

    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.

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    Windows 8’s built-in antivirus will put third-party products first

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