By Ed Oswald | Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:44 am
Independent anti-malware company Spybot Search & Destroy is claiming that bigger companies are picking on them. The company, which has arguably made its name for itself through its listing on Fileforum alone (they claim 67 million downloads), went to Fileforum’s sister news site Betanews to levy some serious charges on its competitors.
SS&D is free, which may bother those in the anti-malware industry trying to make a buck on keeping your PC clean. This may be spurring some to go as far as to actively break or force the uninstall of the application in order to use the for-profit application, claiming “incompatibilities.”
At least three software packages are playing dirty with SS&D, the company claims. They are Trend Micro, Kaspersky Labs, and McAfee Software. The setup applications in these company’s products causes a conflict with SS&D in something called ‘TeaTimer.exe.’ This causes the application to become unstable.
McAfee responded to Betanews’ requests for comment, confirming that SS&D and its products do have compatibility issues. However, it said they could be compatible if SS&D is removed and reinstalled.
Kaspersky would not confirm whether its setup actually deletes portions of SS&D as some users have complained, although it said that it had made changes that should prevent this.
Trend Micro did not respond to requests for comment. Its own application specifically mentions SS&D as an “incompatible” application and recommends deletion, or warns it may automatically delete it.
It does seem to me that SS&D may be freaking out a bit too much here. While Trend Micro’s warnings do seem like it actually targets the application, the other two companies sound a bit more like your standard incompatibility.
Another thing is that I don’t understand the need for more than one protection application. Call me crazy, but if I was running two similar apps, I’d somewhat expect them to bump heads.
Now, if it does come out that companies are acting in a anti-competitive manner, I’d support action to ensure that they end this behavior. But it just seems at this point a bit too much hearsay and speculation rather than an honest-to-god conspiracy to target SS&D.