Australian PC assemblers can benefit from a recent OEM arrangement between a virus protection vendor and a BIOS maker. Antivirus specialist Trend Micro has announced a deal with Phoenix Technologies that will offer an edge to assemblers using motherboards with its BIOS.
Via the Phoenix subsidiary ebetween, Trend will supply its Chip Away Virus (TCAV) product in Phoenix Technologies' Internet ROM extensions in motherboards, thereby providing virus protection to the users of 70 million PCs a year.
According to Kenny Liao, country manager for Trend Micro, the deal means that TCAV is to be incorporated into the firmware to scan the boot sector while the ebetween technology will provide the link to enable the user to access, install and run Trend's PC-cillin 6.
PC-cillin 6 is Trend's desktop antivirus software that users can elect to install, where the rule-based TCAV is an antivirus product that only detects viruses during the PC's start-up.
"From now on, mainboards built with a Phoenix Technologies BIOS will include the first part of the Trend Micro antivirus solution, and at no additional cost," Liao said.
But the arrangement means more than just the potential added value of the virus protection at boot-up.
PCs built with these motherboards will offer the user a link via the Internet to the Trend Micro Web site (www. trendmicro.com.au) which at present provides Australian users with a link to the Harris Technology site for users wanting to buy PC-cillin. And while the fulfil-ment of the potential Web-based sales around the world will vary in each country, so far in Australia it is exclusively with Harris.
Liao said that he is seeking more channels of distribution or at least fulfilment partners, but for the time being, the link is pointed in one direction.