Through retailer PC Mall,Microsoft is now giving free Symantec security software to small businesses for a limited time, following some grumbling in response to the free distribution of its own security software.
In October, Microsoft began offering small businesses free copies of Microsoft Security Essentials for as many as 10 PCs. It has also started letting customers download the software from Windows Update.
Panda Security and Trend Micro are among the companies that complained about Microsoft offering the security software free.
Panda suggested that Microsoft offer free antivirus software from a variety of companies as a way to prevent a security software monoculture that could make it easier for viruses to spread quickly.
It appears Microsoft is taking that suggestion, although not in partnership with Panda, and only through one retailer.
From Nov. 1 until Dec. 31, businesses that buy a new copy of Windows 7 Professional from PC Mall will also get a copy of Symantec EndPoint Protection Small Business Edition free. The offer is good for up to 50 PCs.