Security

Verdict of "live" test: Not all antivirus tools are created equal


MalwareAt the LinuxWorld Expo in San Francisco earlier this week, a live test of antivirus products was conducted on the last night.

Billed as an antivirus “fight club,” it was conducted in front of an audience by network gateway vendor Untangle. Ten antivirus products were selected and confronted with 25 viruses, of which many were submitted by members of the audience. No zero-day exploits were included in them.

Most of the viruses tested against were your everyday viruses, and some of them have been around for years.

The verdict might surprise some people – only three of the antivirus tools detected and stopped all 25 of the viruses. In fact, the product with the worst showing caught fewer than 10 percent.

Says Dirk Morris, CTO and co-founder of Untangle:

What’s surprising about a test like this is how much difference there is between the antivirus products’ performance. Some of the products you think will do well don’t, and some of the lesser-known products, like open source tools, end up doing well.

Before you check out the results, do go ahead with the poll first will you.

[EDIT: Note that this poll is passe.  Check out the latest - and much more detailed one found in Not all AV tools are created equal: Uproar from AV vendors kicks off round two]

Did the result surprise you? What are your personal experiences with antivirus products?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stay on top of the latest tech news

Get this news story and many more by subscribing to our free IT News Digest newsletter, delivered each weekday. Automatically sign up today!

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

199 comments
enriquehernz
enriquehernz

I've always disliked anti-virus programs. They are memory hogs and are really annoying. They disturb your computer session too much by being too careful, when in reality... they do nothing. Any programmer out there can release a brand new virus and I bet you no anti-virus suite will protect you. There will always be casualties.

teradude
teradude

I simply am speechless at such comments. You are either very infected, or don't surf anywhere, and open no attachments LOL. To not use an AV for any of those reasons stated by you is suicidal. To say that no AV can protect against zero-days attacks is to reveal your lack of understanding of different strategies being implemented by great products like NOD32 www.eset.com . To say you don't use anti-spyware products either, is mind-boggling. Your post wasn't worth commenting on, yet I felt compelled to, like staring at a car wreck. Take 2 hours and read what is going on in the modern world of virus and spyware prevention. You are prejudiced. My favorite definition of prejudice is: 'contempt before investigation'. You assume alot and base it on vapors. I guess I should just accept that there will always be curmudgeonly contrarians 'out there'.

apotheon
apotheon

The rules of computing with MS Windows are not the same as those of using other OSes. Perhaps that person is using some OS other than MS Windows, where system patches make AV software redundant, and where not only is spyware scarce and crippled, but also nicely dealt with via anti-rootkit and integrity auditing tools.

benjamin.woodford
benjamin.woodford

I prefer blink both personal and professional work well for me.

bheite
bheite

I went to Kaspersky after I had their online scanner find a Trojan in a zip file over 2 years old that Norton had zoomed by a thousand times. I do not normally do anything that would expose me, but it has been reassureing to know it has performed so well in other tests beyond this one. Macaffee was always terrible, I saw a worm rip through a major corporation and Macaffee didn't catch it until after it got in. I've been sold on Kaspersky for a year now.

Ezrest
Ezrest

I have tried Kaspersky and found that I had to unload all my installed AV software and that if I really trusted the Russians, then I am safe. The biggest criminals on the net now are part of the Russian underworld breaking into large computers and stealing data. I would'nt touch anything Russian now unless the get the mafia out of the computer hacking business.

JCitizen
JCitizen

and definitely not as a single solution.

JCitizen
JCitizen

too bad all the new fancy AV software is so bloated that we need that much RAM. I complain regularly to the vendors about this; otherwise we will all need 2 terabytes of RAM before long. I have actually seen gizmos like this for sale as a hardware addon; probably would need it's own EEprom chip to addon to the system unit's bios. I still do pretty well using 4 or 5 freeware utilities and Trend 2006 resulting in about 300 mb of PF usage. I always double check with an ESET on line scan to make sure nothing got skipped. Have had no problems so far. The NOD32 scanner never finds anything so my combo must be working.

jackie40d
jackie40d

I must run 4 or 5 programs to make sure there is nothing to jack my computer up and slow it down . . Run anti root anti virus anti spyware and anti ad ware stuff every time I leave the net I am glad I got a lot of memory to do it in like 4 gig's of Ram sure makes a difference

derf24
derf24

I like this package. My wife prefers AVG free

qegs20012001
qegs20012001

As far as my experience goes since '90 when Norton and McAfee were around; TrendMicro, BitDefender and NOD32 seem to work best all round in business environments. BitDefender has served me best all round as a package with NOD32 being most efficient at virus detection and system/network protection. For home/personal use, something like Avast! (free) is perfect, no need for anything other. The user experience, ease, comfort and complete package functioning and control is something I am very fond of, aswell as the little amount of resource usage, errors and nags that they can throw up time to time. It gets the job done perfect with little to no input and I've used it on more than 80 personally managed 17/7 used PCs for 2 years now without any malicious infection. KAV used to be my no.1 but not since the endless compatibility/update errors and bad customer support when facing incompatibilities with MS Windows core software. AVG free I also admire and recommend, just as good as Avast! for personal use but in terms of errors, it can often present strange Thunderbird related errors where it has to be totally uninstalled to allow any email access (being on MozillaZine and various other support forums regularly, this you get to see commonly since a year now). Hence it wins a close 2nd place in my "personal use AV category".

phlcarp
phlcarp

I answered "others" because "none" was not available... In fact, I do not use any antivirus... Guess what platform I'm using...

Luis Outumuro
Luis Outumuro

Is it just me... or has anyone else noticed that these tests always seem to be missing some of the other popular virus scanners? Such as Avira's AntiVir, AVG, avast!, CA AntiVirus, Panda AV, ZoneAlarm, and several others. Almost (certainly there may be a test or three I haven't seen) all of these tests regularly neglect to include most if not all of the popular alternative (especially free) anti virus products. I support corporate, academic, commercial, and residential clients. Corporate and academic clients, the security products used are usually set by contractual agreements and policies... and I've seen them all. Commercial and residential have a lot more freedom and a lot less money, but still need the best protection available... they usually get Avira's AntiVir because whether it's the free or paid version it protects better without killing their PCs with "bloatware security". Occasionally when the situation calls for it, avast! and AVG do a great job too. Basically, these tests don't mean a thing if they don't include more AV products, and ones that are being used in the real world. Congrats to the 3 winners, but let's see some real competition. ;)

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

I say yet again...great resource for virus scanner info. VB is the one that provides the VB100% mark on all that shrink wrapped packaging in stores. You have to register to access new reviews, test results etc, and a yearly subscription is $175, but gives a ton of security related reviews, based on field trials, not marketing.

paulmah
paulmah

When I read through the whole list of comments (phew, 82 so far!) and realized that I've missed out a number of good/popular scanners from the poll. :( Especially when I personally use AVG Free Edition on my laptop! I'll probably find some excuse to do another poll on this topic soon. This time, I promise I will do my utmost to really put in all the (highly recommended) ones that I've missed out this round!

jackie40d
jackie40d

I really think its one of the best AV programs out there ! It has saved my computer a few times and it has saved Veronica's computer from a worm which Norton's would not get rid of Which made another computer which Norton's was deleted from Since the number of computers which HAD Nortons's on them keeps on Increasing I tend to think that Norton's should not have made it to the level it did on this test Like it was setup to give this results . . And it did not mention several AV programs that I know are better then Norton's

mikko.marsio
mikko.marsio

Why you didn't test F-Secure which has for example in Business Week's article won all the big ones...Norton etc.? Idea was to test only US made products or?

Andy Goss
Andy Goss

We have been using Norman antivirus and firewall on our Windows machines for many years. We have never been infected by a virus, and Norman has detected about 2 over the years. Perhaps we have been lucky, but I intend using Norman for as long as we still run a Microsoft OS, which will, I hope, be not many more years.

jeffschade
jeffschade

Amazing the replies bashing one or another product..., my experience tells me simply this, any decent product will perform well as long as the operator's/users have some brains and the Admins take care of their end (updates/scans etc.). Now of course that doesn't take care of home, fast machines can afford these suites with the performance hit, slow machines not so much, but once again, here I think the User has something to do with the equation, no? :-) For me I like any product that works and makes my job easier, and I often read, and look to studies like this to try new ones! Kaspersky has been making quite a move, and I'm liable to try it out on a few machines now, I just hope the users won't mess it up ;-)

peterharding
peterharding

Norton versions since 2005 have been a real pain on Windows, tried McAfee for two years then swapped to Panda last December. Seems to catch everything, including spyware, thrown at it. Only downside is that if the PC has been switched off for more than a few hours, it will download updates and install them before allowing work to commence using the PC. Mind you that is also a good thing as recent viruses do not get on your system (via email, etc) until the lastest updates are installed.

Genera-nation
Genera-nation

Does anybody know how frequent the signature updates are for ClamAV? What about Open Source v Closed in general? Many Thanks

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

updates are "daily". That being said, there may be no new sig files on any given day. But if you poke arround on the net, you will see that clamav is usually in the top 4 in speed for releasing sig files for new outbreaks, and quick for industry standards to release sig files for new "in the wild" discoveries.

apotheon
apotheon

ClamAV and ClamWin (the MS Windows desktop version of ClamAV) are not updated on a regular schedule the way certain proprietary AV software is. It gets updates the same way pretty much all open source software gets updates: as soon as an update is available and necessary. This tends to provide better response times when new vulnerabilities and bugs are discovered (or, in this case, new viruses). So . . . the answer is that signature updates are frequent, but there's no specific schedule. As for open source vs. closed source in general, I'm not sure what you're asking. Are you asking about open source AV software vs. closed source AV software in general? Do you mean to ask how often open source software is updated in general? Is your question related to how often open source software requires virus updates? Each version of that question has a different answer. Please clarify what you're asking.

Genera-nation
Genera-nation

A new virus definition where closed source AV systems provide an automatic download system for the signature. Do the open source, in this case ClamAV or counterparts offer the same?

apotheon
apotheon

ClamAV and ClamWin provide better, and faster, updates than most closed source AV systems. I don't know about other open source antivirus software -- there isn't much other than ClamAV for open source antivirus (though there are a great many other open source security applications), and I haven't tried what little else there is. Assuming a basic level of popularity, however, you can pretty much assume that any open source software will get better and faster updates than equivalent closed source software, because the bigger the user community for an open source application, the more developer support it gets. Open source software scales upward exceedingly well, almost tautologically.

jackie40d
jackie40d

[b]AVG updates some times 2 times a day . . Its one I use to DE VIRUS / WORM / TROGEN's other peoples computers [/b] last one had over 853 worms and virus's trogens . . SET NEW RECORDS for number of files that were infected . . NEVER seen that many files on a computer go to the vault to be deleted or healed before was only maybe 25 or 30 files at most

Endoscopy
Endoscopy

My daughters computer had over 500 one time.

apotheon
apotheon

I usually stop much sooner than that, too, but there were reasons that the client wanted to recover the system rather than doing a nuke-and-pave. Thus, we toughed it out for a [b]long[/b] time before finally giving up on a full system recovery.

jackie40d
jackie40d

[b]WOW[/b] Didn't they have a fire wall and any anti virus ? Or any of the other programs like AdAware or spybot search and destroy . . Or did they just did not run them . . I had a customer whom I had to send a E-Mail to to RUN the AdAware and Spybot as AVG takes care of its self ! . . After 3000 that computer was one of the computers used to attack others . . had to have had trogens and dialers .. Bet it was a XP OS right ? ;-)

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

3000 and quit before finishing. Ouch! I am sure that some of mine came close, but he most I remember was already stated. Usually after more than 20 different malware/virus are found I decide to rebuild and stop the scan.

apotheon
apotheon

I once scanned a client's system and found around 3,000 discrete pieces of malware on the thing. That wasn't all that was there. That's just what I found before I [b]gave up and reformatted the damned thing[/b]. The scanning (using two antivirus applications, a registry scanner, a rootkit scanner, and three spyware scanners) was just taking too long.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

I saw over 1400 infected files on 1 system that I was called to fix. Didnt bother, just rebuilt. The backed up data was put on a standalone system that was just built as well (and updated). Almost all of it was infected and 'couldnt be cleaned'. One time my little brother visited for a week. I told him he could use my comp, but to watch where he went online. He bragged one night about downloading a video game (cracked) and wanted my advice about how to 'fix it' cause it wouldnt install. I almost kicked his a$$ for it, and immediately scanned my system. 480+ infected files. Symantec was 'off' because it was too slow to download. Basically, I rebuilt it too. Luckily, my data was on the 2nd HDD which I disconnected before he showed up (just in case).

wkcfrancis
wkcfrancis

Among the Norton, MxxFexx, Trendmicro, AV Tool made by Chinese OS and AVG. The performance of open source AVG is great.

Tig2
Tig2

I have had to use open source on more than one occasion to kill something that big box couldn't manage. It happens. Big Box has limitations that open source doesn't. Simple, really.

jcy
jcy

Congratulations to the entire ClamAV team! This is the way Open Source will make headway (or one of them) - by outperforming commercial products in hands-on tests that are not rigged and the duplication of those tests is encouraged. - John C. Young jcy@nevermind.org

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

I use Sophos on Linux, and Symantec/Norton on XP. While boh did well, it looks like I need to try out some others

jackie40d
jackie40d

I thought you were one of us old foggies whom had use that stuff called Norton's and deleted it and went on to something else . . the number of computers I have had to remove Norton's from is getting longer every month . . Last one had over 853 virus's and worms on it plus the usual tracking cookies and other bots . . And the Hard drive died very shortly there after that must have got into the cache and lived there for a bit as I did a Fdisk and format twice with different config's just to make sure nothing was there . . I did manage to save most of their files and add them to a DVD-RW for a new hard drive . . I added AVG and told them to up date it when they got home and let it up date daily as per its wants to do . .

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

so I am not free of norton. I also have norton running on my media center. But not for too much longer. Personally, aside from eating up resources, norton/symantec work well for me. However, there are those times that it is a pain in the ....

lmenningen
lmenningen

Some of you guys need to get temper your open source aspirations. I'm just a computer user as are my friends. We are product oriented. From our vantage point whether or not a product is open source means nothing, since Open Source is just the name of another company of people, no different. It is (perceived) product performace that matters. So if a product performs well also happens to be open source, more power to it and we buyers might opt for it. But don't think for a second that that fact immediately disqualifies other groups of people (which is all commercial means) from contributing products, too. There is nothing sacred about something being open source. Being open source is just another group performance who happen to not work every day in the same office building.

Timbo Zimbabwe
Timbo Zimbabwe

"I'm just a computer user as are my friends." Maybe so, but your "tag line" says you're an IT consultant. Personally, I wouldn't hire you. "We are product oriented." You mean, you are "shrink wrap" oriented. "From our vantage point whether or not a product is open source means nothing, since Open Source is just the name of another company of people, no different." Wow, you haven't a clue, do you? I most certainly am sure that your friends, if IT professionals, don't share the same view. I wouldn't be so sure that you're speaking for them.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

The main problem is with any product that you buy most end users just expect it to work regardless of the product. Now with AV Utilities they will scan a system and then tell everyone that it's clean because the scanned it with XYZ Product so it must be clean because they where told that it was. The problem then arises that when they are shown that they still have an infection that will never be picked up by the piece of software that the bought they will refuse to believe you and just go back to using what they bought. The fact of the matter here is that end users have become satisfied with Second Rate Software and expect every thing to work in a substandard manner but then Insist that everything is A OK. Provided that the product works is all that is really important and should be the benchmark used, not if the Product is Propriety of Open Source. Col

JCitizen
JCitizen

I bought a shrink wrapped version of Mandrake 7.0 once and I must admit I got more than I expected. I got a WHOLE book and three CDs and a few pamphlets, web site links; in other words a wealth of information! Random House or some big book company was supporting it when it came out but I was not suprised or dissapointed to find out they had dropped support years before. But I was already more informed than the average shopper, I suppose. I must admit though, sometimes you get something for your money shrunk wrapped into a fancy box. Too bad some publisher doesn't do a little bit better job of marketing on this idea; they could be the new Microsoft, or at least make a whole lot more money than just publishing books.

jdclyde
jdclyde

I can not speak for you, but money is NOT a major motivator in my life. I make enough money to support my boys and have a decent life with friends and family. If the almighty dollar was my end-all, I would have moved to Detroit, Lansing, or Grand Rapids, where I could just about double my income overnight. Some people work best out of PRIDE. People can give me a hard time about being bald, overweight, [i](or even on here of listening to show tunes)[/i] but you can NOT give me crap about the quality of my work. I take that very seriously. [i](no, not saying YOU have directly said such a thing)[/i] Some people spend hours a day watching TV, while others spend hours playing video games or fishing. A lot of the programmers involved in open source LOVE what they do, and approach it with the same devotion that the fishing addict does. Having a boss to lord over you and hand you a paycheck at the end of the week does not make your work any better, and the person that is doing it because they enjoy it will do a better job, longer. There is more to life than titles and money. You will be a much happier person when you see beyond that. Good luck with that.

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]I would rather have 5 expert developers being paid to work on a product than 500 people who don't really have a motivation beyond pride and curiosity.[/i]" Not only are pride and curiosity not the [b]only[/b] motivations -- they aren't even the [b]primary[/b] motivations for most open source developers, in my experience. In fact, you appear to have completely overlooked the primary motivation when I brought it up in my previous post. I said, and I quote, that open source developers contribute to open source projects "[i]because they want the software to be better, rather than just to please managers and the marketing department[/i]". More from you: "[i]I am not sure if you have any actual development experience, but somehow I get the sense that is not the case.[/i]" You can have any sense you like. Again, you have the right to be wrong. I've worked on projects ranging from RFID-based inventory systems on handheld devices to web development, with a little bit of standards research work on an open source C compiler project somewhere in the middle. I suspect that, regardless of how much time either of us may have spent on software development, the [b]range[/b] of my development experience is greater than yours. "[i]It is a known aknowledged fact that developers work the hardest on a project on its initial release.[/i]" Completely ignoring for the moment the fact that I find arguments like "it is a known aknowledged[sic] fact" odious in the fallacious nature of their broken logic, the primary reason for developers to work hardest on a project for its initial release is simply that in the closed source, proprietary software world management always wants to churn out a product, then let money roll in without actually putting any effort into improving it. A concept that most of the closed source development world still hasn't completely grasped is the fact that with good software, most of the work is in maintenance and improvement, not initial development. "[i]Open Source software may be attractive initially, but after a while I can almost guarantee developers loose interest on it, and again the answer is simple, there is no financial motivation.[/i]" I still don't think you're quite grasping the notion of many, many people being involved, and open source development leveraging dilettantism to positive effect. You're still thinking in terms of hierarchical, static teams of developers, managed by an organization, [b]without[/b] the much stronger motivation of simply wanting software that works well for one's purposes. "[i]I don't claim to be right or wrong. I simply give you my perspective after having worked in New York for 6+ years for some pretty large companies. Again, bottom line is money talks. The world revolves around money. It's a sad fact, but that is the reality of it, and you better get used to it.[/i]" Two observations: 1. You seem to think there's no way to make a living at open source software. If so, you're wrong. 2. Your limited experience working as a daycoder for corporate management seems to have stunted your understanding of what motivates programmers outside the cubicle. Perhaps you should try getting involved in some open source communities for a couple years, starting with something like the ruby-talk mailing list or the PerlMonks website. After you've gotten thoroughly familiar with such, start contributing to open source projects. After another year or two of that, come back and read what you've posted here -- maybe you'll have some new perspective. "[i]Besides, you have not produced any hard evidence that suggests so.[/i]" All I'm interested in doing at this point is: 1. pointing out that you've provided no evidence or even credible arguments for your point of view -- that without a paycheck, a developer never really produces much of value 2. getting you to think outside the cubicle a little bit 3. providing an alternative to your narrow perspective to others who might otherwise read what you have to say and accept it without thinking it through. "[i]Unfortunately unless you show me that you have a background superior to mine, I cannot really learn any lessons from you.[/i]" I doubt you're [b]ever[/b] going to learn much, at all, with that attitude. I learn from people with both "superior" and "inferior" backgrounds all the time, because I am willing to learn regardless of any mindless devotion to concepts of authority. The fact that someone is somehow identified as an "authority" in no way exempts him or her from having his or her head up his or her arse, and the fact that someone is a relative newbie in no way prevents him or her from having valuable insights -- possibly insights that have even escaped old codgers like me. (edit: fixed phrasing in second paragraph)

MadestroITSolutions
MadestroITSolutions

Thank you for your comments. You make some valid points, but I am still not convinced. Just because you have many developers out there looking into it, it doesn't mean the product gets better. I would rather have 5 expert developers being paid to work on a product than 500 people who don't really have a motivation beyond pride and curiosity. I am not sure if you have any actual development experience, but somehow I get the sense that is not the case. It is a known aknowledged fact that developers work the hardest on a project on its initial release. Subsequent releases and updates do not hold that much value for us. In fact, many times we engage in projects that we don't even finish because we find something else that catches our attention and we drop that earlier project. It is just the nature of a developer. It is about pride, about being able to achieve something. Open Source software may be attractive initially, but after a while I can almost guarantee developers loose interest on it, and again the answer is simple, there is no financial motivation. I don't claim to be right or wrong. I simply give you my perspective after having worked in New York for 6+ years for some pretty large companies. Again, bottom line is money talks. The world revolves around money. It's a sad fact, but that is the reality of it, and you better get used to it. Finally and with all due respect, I don't think it is up to you to decide whether I am right or wrong. These posts are intended for discussions, not debates. Besides, you have not produced any hard evidence that suggests so. Unfortunately unless you show me that you have a background superior to mine, I cannot really learn any lessons from you. I can only listen and process your thoughts in an objective manner, unless of course you are teaching one of my Master's program classes! Chao!

apotheon
apotheon

The fact of the matter is that, in the case of something like antivirus software especially, open source software with any kind of sustainable market share at all tends to be better than its closed source equivalents -- almost by definition. There's an exceedingly simple concept behind this, that you should be able to understand in just a few seconds of thought at most. I'll try to explain it to you so you won't be limited by this "money talks" tunnel vision any longer. Because developers for open source software are: 1. contributing development because they want the software to be better, rather than just to please managers and the marketing department, and to collect a paycheck 2. a percentage of the total user community rather than the small number of developers a vendor can afford to employ . . . the larger the user community, the better the developer support. Meanwhile, by comparison, closed source software receives [b]worse[/b] developer support for greater market share, because money doesn't scale upward the same way user communities do. In a strictly team-based development environment under hierarchical structure like that found in closed source software development shops, where harnessing dilettantism as a development resource is not nearly as easily accomplished as in open source projects, larger numbers of involved developers can actual cripple the effectiveness of the development effort. Antivirus software is [b]especially[/b] subject to the greater quality afforded by greater popularity in an open source context, because not only is the software design itself improved by larger numbers of developers in the user community, but so too is the extensiveness and quality of the virus definitions database itself. In other words, it's not just the software itself that benefits from greater market share in the open source development model -- the data that the software manages improves in quality as well, thus providing improved results when running the software. Even with access to the virus definitions used by software like ClamAV to provide aid in developing virus definitions for its own AV software, huge industry-dominating corporations like Symantec fall well short of the completeness and quality of virus definition coverage achieved by ClamAV. One of the reasons for Kaspersky's successes in this are is the fact that it actually leverages some of the same principles as open source software. For instance, Kaspersky isn't just active in the security industry like Symantec -- it is also quite active in the security community, where vulnerability and malware information is shared freely and analyzed in great depth in a context of free and open discussion. Another reason is that it has not suffered from the same commoditization effects that plague Symantec and McAfee, because its business focus is on enterprise security support, and until recently it has focused on antivirus more completely than its competitors rather than diffusing its expertise amongst multiple security software types. As it continues to gain in market share and to diversify its offerings, however, we may see it start to slip down the quality scale in comparison with other software. Time will tell. Anyway, back to my original point, I'll summarize the lesson you should learn from this: Because of the fact that increasing popularity provides increasing developer support, it's pretty much a given that past the point of a very, very small customer base, open source software will be better than its closed source equivalent. With AV software, this discrepancy between open and closed source software is increased.

MadestroITSolutions
MadestroITSolutions

But I still think a paid product tends to be better, simply because of the financial motivation behind it. Bottom line is money talks. Like I said though, It may or may not be true, but that is how customers perceive things to be.

jdclyde
jdclyde

You CAN purchase support for many open source packages. That is where they make their money, either through donations, or having you pay for support if you need it. People that do open source ARE making a living off of it. Just because you pay a lot for something does not mean it is any good. Many shrinkwrap packages only offer 30 days of support, or for the initial install only. more and more common.

MadestroITSolutions
MadestroITSolutions

From a buyer's point of view, if you pay for it, it must be better. As much as I support open source technologies, I have to say that from a value stand point, products you pay for do have an upper hand. When I purchase a piece of sofware, I expect to get other things out of it beyond the normal functions, such as tech support, updates, etc etc, something you cannot always get from a "free product". In fact, the bare thought that something is "free" tells me right there that either there is a catch, or I simply cannot expect the same level of commitment to quality as I would from a developer who gets paid to do it. When a company puts out a product, they are also putting their reputation behind it. Now I know I may catch a lot of fire for this post, but please try to keep an open, objective mind on the subject. This is not about Brand vs Open Source or Microsoft vs Linux. This is about quality and value, and from a seller's point of view, there is more of both in Shrink Wrap products. Of course we could also argue that Shrink Wrap products get a lot more marketing than other products out there....

jdclyde
jdclyde

It just kills me that they take for gospel the words of someone working in a department store for their computer advice. If they REALLY knew anything about computers, would they REALLY be working in a department store? Come back ten minutes later and they will sell you a toaster to go with your new PC. I once saw someone ask for software to run their small business, and were given a package of MS office and [b]told to use Access.[/b] Yeah, it CAN be programmed to keep track of everything, but how many of the zero level users out there can correctly program a relational database in Access? None? B-) When someone tries to tell me "well, the sales guy told me....", I just tell them to get the sales guy to get it to work then. I refuse to give someone the answer they WANT to hear just to jerk-off their ego.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

I just love it when some end user comes to me with a piece of software that they where sold and they only believe that it's any good because some salesperson told them it was so. :D In truth most don't have a clue as to what software is best to use and just about all of them rely on a Salesperson to tell them what to use. But what I find funny is that they will defend this software to the death regardless. :^0 Oh well I suppose I should be thanking my lucky stars that I don't do more Home Work. Col

jdclyde
jdclyde

To many people, if they can't walk into a store and get a shrink wrap package off the shelf, how can it be any good? And as you pointed out Col, they paid a lot of money for that shrink wrap, and are not about to admit that they were wrong, or the package was/is defective or deficient.

jdclyde
jdclyde

Too bad you just did such a nice job of it.

DanLM
DanLM

I'm only on my first cup of coffee, I can't think straight yet. Dan

Editor's Picks