Trend Micro Antivirus and Antispyware has made gains since last year, introducing a number of features in its 2008 model that are useful in both the home and small office. Aside from the intuitive interface, Trend Micro provides a number of configuration options that allow the user to control the application, something we faulted Norton Antivirus 2008 for not providing. And Trend Micro Antivirus and Antispyware 2008 also supports the current releases of AOL's and Yahoo's instant messengers, again something that Norton Antivirus 2008 doesn't provide.
We installed Trend Micro Antivirus plus Antispyware 2008 without incident. It requires 100MB for installation and 256MB of RAM for operation, and it runs under all versions of Windows, from 2000 through Vista. Trend Micro AV AS supports both Internet Explorer and Firefox. It will scan e-mail for Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail (Vista), and Mozilla Thunderbird, but not Qualcomm Eudora. It will monitor or scan current IM releases from Yahoo, Microsoft, ICQ, and AOL. Trend Micro Antivirus plus Antispyware 2008 includes only one PC license at $39.95.
The interface is a simplified version of the one used in Trend Micro Internet Security 2008. Still, compared with the brooding, overbearing look and feel of Norton Antivirus 2008, we really like it. Features are accessed along the left-hand margin, while the large right window is used for detail. Configuration options occasionally pop up additional windows, but never more than one.
Another feature we like tracks changes on your desktop. Changes scan will review changes that are made to your system registry or other key program files. By highlighting each change, the right-hand column provides additional details without having to access the Internet and go to the Trend Micro site.
One very cool feature is the ability to clean up various files, be it the cache of the browser, or the last viewed files in Word. This one-stop cleaning is an important security feature, especially if you share your computer with others.
Trend Micro Antivirus and Antispyware 2008 provides pretty decent contextual help, meaning that on each configuration screen, you can click Help and quickly find definitions for all the terms used on a given page. This is something that Norton Antivirus 2008 lacks, and it puzzles us why Symantec can't deliver on this feature.
Trend Micro offers free online chat with a live technician, which is good because the online technical support information for Trend Micro Antivirus plus Antispyware 2008 still is not that good. Not only does Trend Micro lack a Getting Started PDF, but there is no manual.
Another feature we like is the ability for Trend Micro to erase the log files and other security entrapments created by using AOL and Yahoo instant messengers. Unlike Norton Antivirus 2008, which does not support the latest versions of these popular IMs, Trend Micro offers configuration settings for AOL and Yahoo, allowing you to keep the logs if you so desire.