Sunbelt branches into antivirus

VIPRE: Virus Infection Prevention and Remediation Engine

Sunbelt Software is preparing to release a new desktop security product that combines antivirus and antispyware protection through a combination of signature, behavior and heuristics detection methods.

The Windows-based software is called VIPRE, which stands for "Virus Infection Prevention and Remediation Engine."

Until now, Sunbelt has concentrated its efforts on antispyware with its CounterSpy product. But with the shipment of VIPRE, scheduled for next month for Vista, XP and Windows 2000, Sunbelt intends to prove it can be a contender in the highly competitive antivirus game -- where most players have been adding in antispyware protection.

"We knew all the antivirus guys would eventually catch up," says Alex Eckelberry, Sunbelt's president. "We've had a specialty in antispyware, but now we're rebuilding everything from the ground up. We've designed a new [antivirus] engine from scratch."

VIPRE, now in beta, is designed to optimize the computer resources it uses to minimize the performance drag that malware-detection can bring, Eckelberry says.

Sunbelt is readying consumer and enterprise versions of VIPRE. The consumer version will cost US$29.95 for an individual single-user license; Eckelberry says there will also be a "home-site license" allowing any computer in the home to run the product for US$49.95.

The enterprise version of VIPRE will start around US$23 per user. Packaged offerings will include a three-pack license for US$40 and a 25-pack for US$736.

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