Microsoft Acknowledges Anti-Virus Failed VB100 Test

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to BetaNews this afternoon that it has learned its Windows Live OneCare anti-virus package has failed a test conducted by the respected British laboratory Virus Bulletin using Windows Vista Business Edition, disqualifying it from carrying the "VB100" logo denoting 100% detection of a selected battery of common "in the wild" viruses.

However, the information Microsoft gave us indicates the company is not yet certain - at least officially - why it failed the VB100 test, nor has it apparently tested to verify Virus Bulletin's results.

"We are looking closely at the methodology and results of the test to ensure that Windows Live OneCare performs better in future tests," the Microsoft spokesperson told us, "and, most importantly, as part of our ongoing work to continually enhance Windows Live OneCare to ensure the highest level of protection and service that we can provide our customers. As we have more information to share from our review of this particular test moving forward, we will keep you updated via our anti-malware blog."

For an anti-virus product to pass muster, it must positively detect a series of known viruses without emanating a false positive, in as many as three trials on two separate machines. Products which passed the February battery of tests included: both CA's Home and eTrust (enterprise) products, Fortinet's FortiClient, F-Secure Anti-Virus, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0 (which was added to the ZoneAlarm suite last November), Sophos Anti-Virus 6.5, and Symantec AntiVirus 10.2.

Joining OneCare on the failure list this month is McAfee's VirusScan Enterprise 8.1 (which might have garnered the headline had Microsoft not stolen the spotlight), and the Norman Virus Control product recently integrated into eEye's Blink Professional suite.

This is not the first time OneCare has run into trouble with Virus Bulletin. Just after the service went live in November, the lab reported it had detected Google's Gmail as a virus, flagging systems containing Gmail components as infected.

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