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There’s trouble ahead for the anti-virus sector, and it is coming from Redmond.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Wednesday said it is testing an early version of a free anti-virus service for PCs that will compete with paid products from Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) and McAfee (MFE), Reuters reports. Microsoft is testing the service with its own employees now, and expects to make a trial version available via its web site soon.

The company first disclosed plans for a free anti-virus service in November.

SYMC is down 26 cents, or 1.6%, to $16.27. MFE is down $1.02, or 2.5%, to $39.55.

MSFT is up 18 cents, or 0.8%, to $22.26.

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Source: Symantec and McAfee Could Face Trouble as Microsoft Tests Free Anti-Virus Software