Microsoft feels pressure of anti-virus issue

With viruses proliferating and many personal computers going unprotected, Microsoft Corp. feels greater pressure to include anti-virus software with Windows -- but it's also wary of the potential antitrust implications, the company's top lawyer said Friday.

"It is something we hear increasingly about," said Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel. "I have to say, it is a real cause of concern for us that 70 percent of consumer PCs do not have current anti-virus protection."

But Smith acknowledged the potential impact that such a move could have on companies that market their own anti-virus software. Major players in the anti-virus field include Symantec Corp., which markets Norton products, and Network Associates Inc., the company behind the McAfee brand.

He said the company has not, "to date," made any decision to include anti-virus software with future Windows versions.

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News source: SeattlePI

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