Windows Live OneCare escapes (and reckless computing)

Peace. It's IT Blogwatch, in which Windows Live OneCare breaks cover. Not to mention Steve Knopper's diary of depraved, reckless computing...

The ever-so-jolly Redmond crew has launched Windows Live OneCare, says Robert McMillan: "Microsoft Corp. is set to release  today a fully supported version of its Windows Live OneCare software, marking its entry into the security software market. OneCare will be available for download today on Microsoft's Web site, a day earlier than expected. By Thursday, the software is expected to be widely available in U.S. retail stores"

» Ars's Eric Bangeman explains: "If you've been itching to drop Symantec, F-Secure, McAfee, or one of the other antivirus makers from your PC, now's your chance ... The service includes antivirus and antispyware applications, an improved firewall, performance 'tune-ups,' and a data backup application ... available for download with a free 90-day trial. One-year subscriptions are US$49.99 and cover up to three PCs, which should make it more attractive for households with more than one computer running Windows ... antivirus ... antispyware ... will defragment your hard drive on a regular basis ... Backup and Restore ... Are there antitrust concerns here? Microsoft knows that its every move is scrutinized by the US Department of Justice, European Commission, and other government entities around the world for antitrust implications. As long as the playing field is level for Microsoft and its security competition, the company should have little to worry about."

» Mary Jo adds: "The company also is readying a business version of OneCare, which is currently known as Windows Client Protection, and is due to ship later this year. Microsoft rivals Symantec and McAfee are readying similar home-security services, too."

» Todd Bishop knows all about it: "Symantec this morning announced plans to release a public test version of its new all-in-one security and tune-up service this summer. Previously code-named Genesis, the service will go by the product name Norton 360 ... Previously, the service was expected to come out later this calendar year. In today's announcement, the company said Norton 360 would come out before sometime the end of Symantec's fiscal year, which is in March ... McAfee said Tuesday that its new all-in-one service, dubbed Falcon, will debut this summer."

» Ryan takes the words right outta your mouth: "they priced the software at $49.95, which you may be thinking “I can go and get Norton for less than that!” You are right, however, Microsoft lets you install OneCare on 3 computers for each license that you purchase. I guess it is easy for them to lower the price on an antivirus solution since people will have to skip their mortgage payment for a month in order to afford Vista!"

» WaPo's Brian Krebs tells us why we should care: "Security experts have long compared the process of securing and safely using a Microsoft Windows PC to that of maintaining an automobile. Most people depend so much upon their cars -- and their computers -- yet have such a poor grasp of how to keep them in good shape that they routinely pay someone else to worry about the whole upkeep process. As it happens, Microsoft this week will roll out its controversial yet attractively priced Windows Live OneCare service to help Windows users stay abreast of the latest PC tuneups, antivirus and anti-spyware updates, free tech support, and automated system and data backups. But how might the world's largest software company pitch a service that promises regular virtual oil changes to the PC masses worldwide? Why, by painting an ad for it on a NASCAR vehicle, of course."

» Ramon Ray: "At $50 a year, for 3 computers, Windows OneCare comes at a great price. It combines Anti-virus, anti-phishing and a firewall in one product. I'd suggest you give it a try ... Microsoft's entry into the market is going to stir up a few things - which you should be aware of: 1. As Google did to email storage, Microsoft's entry is going to force other vendors (like Symantec, TrendMicro, McAfee, CA and others) to reduce prices and make better products. 2. Microsoft's competition in this space will challenge that Microsoft is NOT a security vendor and that you should buy security products from "industry leaders". This is nonsense. Microsoft bought a security they are NOT a security vendor. Leader in market share - maybe not - but they are are legit. 3. I'd say try Windows OneCare out. Personally, I don't have compelling reason to switch from TrendMicro at this time. But if you are looking for a PC security solution - you now have another viable option. You are going to find many tech vendors say a lot of junk over the next few months - but ignore it all and concentrate on the quality of the product and your needs."

Buffer overflow:

    Around the Net

    Around Computerworld

And finally... 18 Days of Reckless Computing

Richi Jennings is an independent technology and marketing consultant, specializing in email, blogging, Linux, and computer security. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. Contact Richi at

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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