Microsoft Security Essentials, which is a free anti-virus software available for download to anyone using genuine Windows, is obviously not good news for companies like Symantec (Norton) and McAfee who often charge customers a subscription fee for their slightly more capable anti-virus products.

Worried (and rightly so) that such free programs might take away some of their paying customers, Norton has posted a video on YouTube targeting "freeware".

Norton’s logic is that free security software are limited as they will only catch viruses but won’t scan web pages or emails, they cannot detect fake (phishing) websites, they don’t come with a firewall and you also don’t get free customer support with freeware.

norton freeware video

That reasoning probably makes sense if you are using an older browser but most recent versions of Windows include firewall software by default and phishing sites are often detected automatically by all modern browsers. But yes, you don’t get customer support with free software.

Update: For some unknown reason, Symantec has now deleted the "Free Isn’t Free; The Truth About Freeware" video clip from YouTube.