Free Anti-Viruses Industry

A couple of days ago Microsoft came with a new free Anti-Virus product – Microsoft Security Essentials

I will not comment on Microsoft ability to create security products, my opinion could be based of course. I’d like to write a bit about the whole idea of those Free Anti-Virus.

Currently it’s not just a GNU-like projects, made by open source enthusiasts to make world better. Big serious companies are making those product and distributing millions of copies. Here are the leaders:

Their marketshare is huge (although it’s very hard to measure. Most market share measuring technologies measure products, something which is bought and sold). They’re very high in Organic google resutls for the best keywords, like “antivirus”. They’re also spending hundreds of thousands on paid google campaigns and download seeding via affiliate networks. Why all of those? Just to deliver you a nice present?

Of course not. Their business model is  – first get a huge portion of market, get very strong recognition from home users around the globe. And then sell them something.

You can visit their sites and see their business models. It’s mostly Online Sales, so everything is open, no hidden distribution agreement or union contracts. You’re told that “Just Anti-Virus is not enough” to protect your computer and then they ask you to buy “full Internet Security version” where normally you can find firewall, anti-spam and a lot of different components.

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