[ISN] Microsoft officially launches paid security product

From: InfoSec News (isn@private)
Date: Wed May 31 2006 - 00:13:42 PDT


By Allison Linn
The Associated Press 

SEATTLE - Security software makers, the 800-pound gorilla has landed.

Microsoft will announce Wednesday that it is releasing software that
aims to better protect people who use its Windows operating system
from Internet attacks. The move pits the world's largest software
maker head-to-head with longtime business partners Symantec, McAfee
and others.

Windows Live OneCare, which will protect up to three computers for
$49.95 per year, marks the latest step in Microsoft's effort over the
years to make its operating system less vulnerable to crippling
Internet attacks.

Windows, which runs on the vast majority of personal computers, has
been a near-constant target of worms, viruses and other attacks,
hurting countless users and forcing Microsoft to invest heavily in
patching vulnerabilities and improving flaws.

The official release of the OneCare product comes after months of
public testing. Redmond-based Microsoft has previously said that its
main focus for OneCare was the 70% of computer users who, according to
Microsoft estimates, have no additional protection at all.

But in an interview last week, Ryan Hamlin, general manager for the
OneCare product, said the company also hopes to snag existing Symantec
and McAfee customers.

"We'd love for those customers to use our product, and encourage them
to, but there's also 70% that don't use anybody," he said.

Microsoft is hoping to gain an edge against Symantec and others by
also including tools in OneCare to make computers run more smoothly
and help people back up data.

McAfee said Tuesday that it was preparing to release a new security
service, code-named Falcon, this summer. A spokesman for Symantec,
maker of the popular Norton products, said no one was available to
comment on the OneCare competition.

Hamlin said he expects the product to be profitable for Microsoft.

He said the company doesn't have any current plans to bundle OneCare
into the Windows operating system, as it has done with products such
as its Internet browser and music and video player. But he said the
company was looking at ways to distribute the product through computer
makers or Internet service providers, as many competing security
software makers have done.

The OneCare release also comes on the heels of a federal lawsuit
Symantec filed against Microsoft over a separate matter.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Seattle, accuses Microsoft of
misappropriating Symantec's intellectual property and breach of
contract. The dispute is over is over a technology that allows
operating systems to handle large amounts of data.

Hamlin said Microsoft believes it acted appropriately.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Attend the Black Hat Briefings and
Training, Las Vegas July 29 - August 3
2,500+ international security experts from 40 nations,
10 tracks, no vendor pitches.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.3 : Wed May 31 2006 - 00:20:49 PDT