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Microsoft buys anti-virus firm

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Microsoft has announced plans to acquire Romanian firm GeCAD Software and develop an own-brand anti-virus product. According to a BBC News article anti-virus rival Sophos predicts this act will court controversy, as Windows has long been a favourite target for viruses.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, anticipates that Microsofts move could spur even more activity from malicious code writers.

"It could become like a red rag to a bull. There is already an obsession with Microsoft in the virus writing community and this could encourage people to write viruses to try and subvert it," he said.

According to Mr Cluley, many Sophos customers were surprised by Microsoft's decision to enter the anti-virus market. "People think it is ironic that they could be getting fixes from the company that built the problems into the software in the first place," he said.

There are no details about when Microsoft will release its new anti-virus product and the company has not yet decided whether it will be bundled with Windows.