What takes longer?

So here’s the question. What takes longer: (1) Uninstalling Free AVG 9; (2) Updating Java 1.6.30; or (3) Installing Microsoft Security Essentials?

And the winner is… Microsoft Security Essentials.

Ever since my junior sysadmins each got hit with some extremely nasty Trojans earlier this year, I’ve been installing Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) and the latest Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) on all the Windows machines in the house.

Tonight it was the turn of my anemic little VMware Player virtual machine.

In case anyone cares the AVG uninstall nosed out “Oracle’s” Java update, in what I consider a tie for second place.

On the merits of MSE and MBAM, let me make just two points:

(a) Microsoft should have released an integrated anti-virus product for Windows long ago (yes, I’ve been into computers long enough to remember MSAV — Microsoft Anti-Virus for MS-DOS — and ran it on all my machines right up until I switched to Windows NT), but now that they have all is forgiven. MSE is a really terrific product that the company’s engineers should be proud of; and

(b) Malwarebytes may be the best malware erradication tool in the universe, at any price. The fact that it is free only enhances its miraculous nature.

Anyone who lived through the O/S wars of the mid-nineties knows that part of the bargain Microsoft struck with many 3rd party software vendors was that it wouldn’t compete with them in their space. This included the antivirus crowd, and the system utility makers. IBM, of course wasn’t included in the deal, nor was Netscape. As a rival Internet provider CompuServe also didn’t get cut any slack. AOL wound up on the short end too — despite donating all those free floppies that allowed most of us to avoid actually paying for media right up into the millenium.

So there you have it. Unix/Linux guy who in actuality once held the coveted MCSE credential (tested on NT 3.51), and worked in the trenches of desktop engineering for longer than he’d like to remember, endorsing two indispensable tools for fighting viruses and malware.