May 30, 2006 8:25 PM PDT

Microsoft security product makes official debut

Microsoft has started selling Windows Live OneCare, three years after it announced its intent to move into the antivirus arena.

OneCare combines antivirus, anti-spyware and firewall software with backup features and several tune-up tools for Windows PCs. The product went on sale in the U.S. online and in stores Wednesday. Microsoft said it plans to expand to international markets in the coming 12 months.

Windows Live OneCare

"We believe we're creating a new category," Dennis Bonsall, director of product management for OneCare, said in an interview. "It is not about security anymore, but it is about holistic PC care."

OneCare will cost $49.95 a year for use on up to three PCs in a home, a competitive price compared with rival products from traditional security vendors including Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro. Many retailers plan to offer rebates and other types of promotions that will discount OneCare, Microsoft said in a statement.

OneCare is being sold on Microsoft's Web site, and boxed versions are available from retailers including, Best Buy, Fry's Electronics, Sam's Club, Circuit City, OfficeMax, Costco, Staples, Wal-Mart, Target, Office Depot, Comp USA and J&R Computer World, Microsoft said.

Industry analysts have said that businesses may be hard-pressed to buy security products from Microsoft--maker of the software that needs protection. On the consumer front, however, Microsoft brings a well-established and largely trusted brand into the market, these analysts have added.

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Video: Microsoft launches its security service
Windows Live OneCare provides a mini-IT department for those who want a managed service to provide virus protection, anti-spyware and firewalls. CNET's Robert Vamosi takes a look.

Microsoft announced its intent to offer antivirus products in June 2003 when it bought Romanian antivirus software developer GeCad Software. Plans for OneCare were announced in May 2005. Invited testers have been trying it out since last July, and a public test version was released late last year.

About 500,000 people have tested OneCare. Tens of thousands of those testers took advantage of Microsoft's April offer to buy the service at a discounted rate of $19.95 per year, and selected testers have been offered the service for free as part of a "perpetual beta," Microsoft said.

Incumbents in the security market are preparing to respond to Microsoft's entry by integrating features into single products and moving to a subscription model for pricing. McAfee is working on a new product, code-named "Falcon," and Symantec has a project, dubbed "Genesis." Both are set to rival OneCare.

The global antivirus market is growing; revenue reached $3.7 billion in 2004, up 36 percent from 2003, market researcher IDC said in December. IDC forecasts that the antivirus market will grow to $7.3 billion in 2009.

With OneCare, Microsoft is targeting consumers, especially those who do not run security or have let their current product expire. The company said it believes 70 percent of consumers fall into that category. In a January research note, the Yankee Group estimated the niche as a market worth potentially $15 billion.

OneCare is aimed at consumers. Microsoft is also eyeing the enterprise security market. It is working on a new Client Protection product to defend business desktops, laptops and file servers against malicious code attacks. A public beta of Client Protection is slated for release in the third quarter.

See more CNET content tagged:
tester, Microsoft Windows Live, antivirus, Microsoft Corp., security


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Largely trusted brand?
I'm not so sure about Microsoft's security track record.
Posted by kaufmanmoore (42 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re: "not so sure"
I am sure about Microsoft's security track record.

That's why I never use a Windows machine for anything but
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Link Flag
I laughed when I read that line too!
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Link Flag
Posted by paulsecic (298 comments )
Link Flag
Someone file a class-action lawsuit please
I hope someone in the US will file a class-action lawsuit over

In essence Microsoft is shipping a defect product (XP) and is
selling an additional product to fix the first flawed one.
Microsoft has all the knowledge to combine XP and OneCare Live
into a version of XP that has the aggregated security of the two
This is a big difference from the traditional anti-virus software
developers who does not have the source code to XP and
therefore cannot fix the fundamental problems like Microsoft
Posted by (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Exactly! How can they do this?
They CAUSE the problem. It's racketeering.

I think I'm going to start a business that creates a problem and then sell the solution.
Posted by ordaj (338 comments )
Link Flag
smart thinking, retard!
this is a an antivirus/firewall suite, not a program filled with patches for the OS. where do you get your information? better yet, assuming your moronic comments bore any truth, why would this product garner a class-action lawsuit when the only thing this product negatively affects, according to you, is the business models of microsoft's competitors? please, i'm curious for an informative response.
Posted by mortis9 (370 comments )
Link Flag
a lot of good that will do...
the anti-trust mess is what continues to get us back to this situatiojn... must leave room for competition in the "aftermarket".
Posted by donnie0526 (16 comments )
Link Flag
what should they do?
Microsoft is attempting to solve its long running security issues. Some of these issues are around the operating system's design, others are around how users use computers.

If they offered this product stack as part of the operating system, all of the antiv companies would lobby for another antitrust case and all of the CNET pundits would be calling for blood.
Posted by hdubya (21 comments )
Link Flag
A free Suite of Utilities.
Let's see, We build an operating system with lots of holes but good enough for people to want it. Then we make a security suite that will plug those holes and then we make billions more. What a great business plan!

Don't buy the evil plan. Go for free!

Use AVG, Adaware, Spybot S&D, Spyware Blaster and Spyware Guard. Clean it all up with ToniArts Easy cleaner 2.0 . These programs do not intrude on your system and you are in control. Best of all along with their long standing great reviews they are FREE!
Posted by Ted Miller (305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Onecare does not plug holes
It just cleans up the mess made by virus attacks.

If microsoft doesn't fix the holes in OS they are doomed!! and will not make billions!!!
Posted by Tanjore (322 comments )
Link Flag
Onecare should be a big success
Like P.T. Barnum once said, "there's a sucker born every minute".
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What? It should be free...
This is the same company that made Windows in the first place, so I think it's only fair that this security tool becomes built-in to Windows. It's not line Windows is free, and this is added protection...

The consumer has already paid for the OS, and it's stupid to pay additional charges to the same people for securing the operation system that you've already paid for. And the fact that its made by the same people as Windows, it does not make me at all confident about the reliability of this product.
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Posted by Roman12 (214 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It has more than security related products
It has more than security related products. It has a file backup utility.

$49.90 for upto three machines at home!! If the product works then it is a cheap giveaway for what it does.

Ofcourse there are many good opensource alternatives available.
Posted by Tanjore (322 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft does have a free product to remove virus
Microsoft does have a product that is free to use, to remove virus and help in pc tuneup

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by Tanjore (322 comments )
Link Flag
Yeah... sure... why not!!!
Dont buy OneCare... Go ahead and by the Norton or McAfee Crap!!
I've been testing the product as a beta user and it sure beat all the expectations.
Remember... when you buy a car, the company offers you additional safety features not for free, but for a price.
XP is good in itself, but additional stuff like Anti Virus, Anti spyware and similar stuff would cost you extra.
Not ready to spend money on it... go ahead and breed viruses and all sorts of stuff on your computer!
All the best!
Posted by sarmasriram (7 comments )
Link Flag
Good points but
Last time I looked, MS is still the number one OS in the Universe, despite all its detractors. Despite free linux. It should be easy to build something better, no. Obviously none of the others as as smart as Bill G.
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Reply Link Flag
outbound email security?
Security should mean protecting inbound and outbound email. Identity theft comes from various different sources, and email interception is one of them. Ignore outbound email security, and you leave another hole uncovered.
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Posted by 209979377489953107664053243186 (71 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Like a car without door locks
What a fraud! First, Microsoft sells you an operating system with security flaws. Then they sell you a subscription service to protect you from those same flaws.

If you buy this, I've got a bridge I want to sell you.
Posted by thalen (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Door Locks
No the locks are there, but you can break the glass or jimmy the lock.

I think this is an attempt by MS to give you harder glass and anti-Jimmy locks. :D
Posted by Sboston (498 comments )
Link Flag
You don't suppose...
...that release of the new "secure" Vista has been delayed in order to sell more clean-up software for the old "unsecure" XP, do you? Nah. A fine, upstanding corporation like Microsoft wouldn't do that!
Posted by Norseman (1319 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where does this leave Defender? aka anti-spyware...
the old Giant product that has been in beta for two years?
Posted by donnie0526 (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
defender is.......
Defender is part of onecare and onecare is a good program. Been using since it came out on beta. Don't knock it till u try it!
Posted by stm24 (108 comments )
Reply Link Flag
defender is.......
Defender is part of onecare and onecare is a good program. Been using since it came out on beta. Don't knock it till u try it!
Posted by stm24 (108 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The ultimate protection racket
I can't believe people are dumb enough to pay MS more money because they are incompetant.

This should be free, because it was lack of care of Microsoft that caused all these problems in the first place. If a car marker installs a faulty wiring system, do they charge you extra, every year no less, for a half-assed workaround, or do they fix it for free?

This really is a protection racket. It is not surprising since MS is not any better then your common thug anyway.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That car example is pitiful.
Really. I'd like to see a car company which can build a car that CANNOT be broken into when tens of millions of people are trying. Yeah, not gonna see that happening.
Everyone acts like making a secure OS would be easy for MS, yet they only substantiate it with Apple? Linux? A secure OS doesn't win the majority of the people, and Microsoft knows this.

However, I agree that this is a move of pure greed to exploit a common problem with many "unknown" cures (not well known I mean).
It is possible that this program might have a bucnh of extra, useful features that makes it worth it. There's always the possibility.
Posted by Tomcat Adam (272 comments )
Link Flag
Let me see if I've got this right...
Let me see if I've got this right...

We're supposed to pay Microsoft HOW much to protect us from their buggy, hacker-prone code?

This is like the guy who kills his mother, and then asks the court for leniency because he is now an orphan...
Posted by BKHerbert (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
LMAO nice
not one person has a bad thing to say it seems about the performance of onecare. Just the fact that microsoft made it. So microsoft says," ok heres an alternitive solution to something you are already paying other companys for and are not paying for by useing the free portions, altho they ask that you pay for them to get more avalible options." i understand the ,"make it free as its fixing whats messed in the first place" but instead of microsoft making it free they offer it as a choice! they are not monopolizeing the market by taking away our choice to choose what anti virus and other software we wish to have. Lemme tell ya im all for free. But i will be buying this product for the simple fact, IT WORKS. i had free avg installed and running, ran into some problems even tho i was religeous on updates, installed live onecare and it found stuff that avg missed! i even did my own homework to look up the supposid virus, sure enough it had found and eleminated something avg did not. So please spare me the crying orphan story (loved that by the way) and place more comments about how it stacks up to rival anti whatever.
Posted by Khorn S. (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
let me add
sorry, forgot to mention the fact that altho they are offering this at a price think about it a second. hackers, and the like are constantly looking for new ways to manipulate the programs for there own selfish reasons what ever it may be. An operating system is NEVER going to be unhackable as long as its connected to the internet. The internet is a super highway of drivers, some drivers just decide to do demolition cars rather than be like everyone else. personaly i would rather pay the once a year expense for updated air bags.
Posted by Khorn S. (2 comments )
Link Flag

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