Symantec's let the "canary" out of the bag about a new product, code named canary, which will monitor attempts to exploit vulnerabilities or run malicious code within your Microsoft IE browser (and later Firefox and Safari). Here's some questions that came to me (late at night) and a few of my thoughts on this:
1. Will we see application specific anti-malware products? Maybe, if it becomes commonplace that users systems, personal data or private information is compromised. We all run AV software as much because of the hassle it is to remove malware. If you've experience identify theft then you know what a hassle that is. If there's a big enough pain point for customers out there, they'll buy. It's hard to say that browsers pose a big enough problem at this point though.
2. Won't Microsoft, Firefox and others just build this into their products to start with? Yes. That's really how it should be done in the first place. Can you imagine with every browser code update, the potential for compatibility problems between it and the canary-like browser anti-malware products? The first time it crashes the browser after an update, it will get uninstalled.
3. Is Symantec really onto something or are they just trying to recreate the need for the next gen anti-X product? Yes, and yes. In essense what we are talking about here is an application/HIPS+firewall for your browser. But given Symantec's strategy built upon chaos theory, it's more likely they are looking for the next anti-X market vs. really being onto something new.
4. Won't this just slow down my Internet surfing speed like all other Symantec products? The past is the best indicator of the future. You answer the question.
5. Will McAfee announce their "Sylvester product" so they don't get left out in the cold on this new potential market? Maybe, but I doubt it - at least they won't rush into it. They actually have a strategy instead of just making it up as they go so I would expect that if McAfee takes this on, it will be because they agree there's a market, not just as a defensive measure against Symnatec.