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Getting ready for WSWD 2007

Sunday, 2 September 2007 benchmarks news security

Just under a year since the original What Slows Windows Down article and I’m gearing up for the third in the series. This time it’s an antivirus-only arena and it’s shaping up to be quite a deathmatch…

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost a year since I published the What Slows Windows Down and What Really Slows Windows Down articles. Between them, they still account for the vast majority of my daily traffic and it’s good to know that people are still getting value from them.

But a year is a fairly long time in the software world and most of the applications tested have new major versions so it must be time for a new article! I’ve decided to make this version a pure security round-up. If you look at the results of the previous articles, you’ll see that the only real offenders (apart from the insane number of fonts in the first test) were all antivirus and antivirus suite applications, and understandably so.

Antivirus applications need to do a lot of work with your system and therefore have a very noticeable knock-on effect to system performance. That said, there are plenty of antivirus apps that drag their heels and have grown fat and slow with age. I’ll be conbing the results with detection statistics from other studies so users and network admins can really judge what is best for their scenarios.

So I started this evening by emailing the makers of the following AV brands for them to submit their latest version for testing. Symantec were upset I only tested the 2006 version last time and furnished me with their 2007 model for the second test, so in the interest of being fair I’m giving everybody a week-long opportunity to get in touch.

I’m also requesting enterprise level versions as there was a lot of interest in their efficiencies.

So with 16 companies, most of which making 3-5 SKUs, this is going to be one hell of a test. Of course if not enough companies submit a certain type of software (eg: enterprise suites) for comparison, I won’t do a comparison piece on them.

If you work for any of these companies, please bomb an email off to your press people to help make my life a little easier. If you work for a company that makes another brand of AV, get in touch via the contact form or comments and I’ll get right back to you for inclusion in the testing.

On a special note, if anybody can find contact details for Microsoft’s OneCare developers or press people, can you push them out to me or nudge them to get in contact with me, please. I’d love to add them to the list but I can’t find any contact details.

And if anybody else thinks I’ve missed something critical off the list, similarly: nudge me and I’ll get round to fixing it.