A couple of weeks ago a window popped up, warning me that I did not have any antivirus protection. At first I thought I was just getting some pesky ad that would have to be swatted with my Spybot or Ad-Aware software, but then I noticed it had come directly from my XP Security Center. And, sure enough, it said while my firewall was OK, and that I was set up for automatic updates, I no longer had AV protection.
In the small print, it mentioned that it couldn't track all
brands of AV software, or that my AV software may just be out-of-date.
I immediately checked to see if my Symantec AV program was still installed (it was), and that the definition file was current (it was).
I ran a scan, didn't find any viruses, yet the Security Center still claimed that I didn't have AV protection.
After a couple of days of working around those pesky pop-ups, and not finding any similar reports or cures in the Internet, I finally shut the AV detector off on the Security Center, and began relying on Symantec to keep me informed concerning my AV needs. After all, it has served reliably for me for over two years, without fail, and up to now, without repercussions.
What makes me think that this might be the first round of something bigger was that though I didn't see any XP/Symantec conflicts mentioned on the Web, I did see that there was some Vista/Symantec issues coming over the horizon. It seems that since Microsoft was claiming that their latest and greatest would be intrinsically "virus-proof", so that any attempt to install third-party AV software (except from an approved vendor, Symantec not included) would result in warnings similar to what I was getting.
Last year, when this wrinkle was first discovered, Symantec's position was that they would not discuss antitrust lawsuits until the final version of Vista hit the streets.
I am wondering if, upon automatically downloading some Windows upgrades, I might be one of the chose few to get an extra "bonus" to see how Vista customers might react to similar provocations.
I might be paranoid, but even paranoids use Windows...