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Doug's Mailbag: Microsoft AV, Best Mobile OS

One reader shares his thoughts on Microsoft's free anti-virus effort:

Microsoft Security Essentials has been released; now what? A couple of thoughts: First, as a freebie, users get little more than the value they paid for. But then again, MSE is better than nothing (right?). Second, I wonder why (besides the test of time) reviewers of MSE have not issued their findings. Third, I think MSE will make it more difficult for even the larger competitors, like McAfee and Symantec, to SELL their products. And I foresee a number of the smaller and/or free security competitors to either die or get swallowed by Microsoft. Fourth, I am leary of the kind of information that Microsoft might collect from installations of MSE.

And fifth, if MSE is so basic and minimal, what's down the Redmond brick road? If Microsoft wants to provide MSE with more muscle, will Microsoft buy those muscles? If MSE gets more muscle, will Microsoft start charging for it?

And another reader gives his vote for best mobile phone OS:

I used to be a huge WinMo fan. I had an AT&T 8525 then migrated to the AT&T Tilt, and after putting some after-market ROMs on there, those phones were amazing. Then about four months ago, I had the opportunity to give the Blackberry Bold a spin. It really surprised me. I lost some screen space, the keys are smaller, I lost the predictive text that learns entire phrases of WinMo, and I miss a few games, but for how I use a phone, the Bold is great. Multiple IM programs open all the time, great Slacker streaming (and caching), Viigo is a great RSS/podcast/weather program, Rove Mobile Admin's remote desktop feature works, and I love the Message center, which pulls messages from my three e-mail accounts, IM accounts, Facebook, and -- as of today -- visual voicemail into one place.

It is also more stable than WinMo was. My Bold rarely ever skips a beat when program switching or anything else. And now with 6.5 and the upcoming Windows Phone 7, WinMo really seems to me to be becoming an iPhone wannabe. (I don't like the interface of the iPhone and relying on touchscreen, so that really pushes me away.) The Bold also handles logging in to Wi-Fi points much better than the Tilt did. When I walk in range of a Wi-Fi point, it logs right on without me thinking about it, and programs just work over it. WinMo always seemed a bit hit-and-miss with that.

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to

Posted by Doug Barney on 10/26/2009 at 1:17 PM


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