Well, Microsoft has answered some questions about the upcoming release of their next Windows version, "Vista". They will not be embedding a virus blocker, as originally planned. I thought, for sure, this would be the beginning of the end for anti-virus companies McAfee and Symantec. Apparently, Microsoft states that it was not a technology issue which made them decide to pull back, but a more "complicated" reason.
Perhaps, it has to do with their unique situation. If Microsoft releases the built-in anti-virus feature, they face lawsuits galore, not to mention the fact that they would be expected to prevent any major virus threat from occurring on Windows PCs. After all, a built-in virus blocker by Microsoft should put an end to all viruses, right? By deciding against including the built-in virus blocker, they avoid the lawsuit issue, but open the door to security complaints. Of course, by offering the product as an optional add-on service, maybe they're looking for the profit?
Either way, Microsoft will still be including the built-in spyware blocker, "Windows Defender", which will put enough of a dent in the anti-spyware market to make things interesting.