Prevx has apologized to Microsoft for its dire warnings of the Black Screen of Death being taken 'out of context'. In a blog post yesterday, Prevx CEO Mel Morris put on his best hair shirt and wrote:
"Regrettably, it is clear that our original blog post has been taken out of context and may have caused an inconvenience for Microsoft. This was never our intention and we have already apologised to Microsoft."
So that's alright then. Post a complete load of crap on your blog, knowing that the total lack of objectivity in what passes for IT journalism these days will guarantee unrivalled press exposure because it's cool to diss Microsoft.
National newspapers, TV news programs (and the BBC), bloggists and tech mags that really should have known better fall over themselves to bleat that the sky is falling.
Then when Microsoft points out that the number of users affected by the global pandemic was, err, three (3) slightly confused-sounding people on TechNet, rather than your claimed 'millions', publish an apology.
Meanwhile loads of gullible idiots will have downloaded your free patch for the non-existent problem and if only a few of them sign up for your paid-for services, you're still up on the deal.
Hang on a minute
But what's this? A bit of research on the InterWebs shows us that unhappy Prevx users are queuing up to fall over themselves on forums complaining that Prevx is a ripoff, its tech support is rubbish and it appears to be going down the tubes.
At Ripoff Report, we find that Prevx and its parent company Retento Ltd 'did not remove my adware/malware & support took 14 hours to reply'. 'Madcustomer' from Milpitas, CA complains:
"Prevx edge software did not work. It took support 14 hours to reply to my problem. I had already found malwarebytes.org that provided free anti malware software and was able to remove the malware.
"So after successfully getting rid of the malware, I uninstalled Prevx Edge. It is not worth it to buy any Prevx software when you can use (((Redacted))). They are refusing to refund my $$ when their software did not work. I will continue to fight this and make sure that everyone is aware that Prevx is a ripoff."
Meanwhile, over at wildersecurity.com, there are no fewer than 50 posts complaining about Prevx. Here are a selection taken at random:
"prevx support sucks"
"The support forum is dead. Has been that for a long long time. You never get a response from Prevx there."
And perhaps most damningly, one user alleges that Prevx is harvesting data from user machines without permission:
"… just one more question: on the home page: the comparison chart notes the mals uncovered by Px on home systems: and cross references with installed "Anti" utilities. I don't recall giving PrevX permission to take that specific information from my system: is that part of the EULA ?? What other info is harvested?"
Of course, it could be that we're taking this information 'out of context' or even - God forbid - exaggerating the scale of the problem or using comments from a few years ago, in which case we apologize unreservedly to the good folks at Prevx for any inconvenience.
In particular, we'd like to apologize to its chairman, Geoff Shingles - who used to head up Digital Equipment in the UK - and to categorically deny that we're alleging he bears a grudge against Microsoft for persuading VMS architect Dave Cutler to jump ship from DEC and lead the Windows NT project.
That would be very wrong and we absolutely deny that we're implying that at all.