August 11, 2006 5:18 PM PDT

Microsoft's antivirus package makes a splash

Helped by low pricing, Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare landed the No. 2 spot in sales at American stores in its debut month, according to The NPD Group.

The antivirus and PC care package nabbed 15.4 percent of security suite sales at retailers such as Best Buy and Amazon.com, according to NPD's data. The average price was $29.67, well below Microsoft's list price of $49.95. Online at Amazon.com, OneCare is available for only $19.99.

"Microsoft's penetration pricing strategy is clearly working and they are capturing significant unit share," NPD analyst Chris Swenson told CNET News.com. "I think many in the industry were surprised with how well Windows Live OneCare did in its first month on the market."

OneCare hit U.S. store shelves in late May, three years after Microsoft announced its intent to move into the antivirus realm. The product combines antivirus, anti-spyware and firewall software with backup features and several tune-up tools for Windows PCs. Symantec and McAfee have both announced new products to rival OneCare.

"We see our comprehensive 'PC Care' approach as a new and important direction for consumer PC services and are encouraged to see that more consumers are taking steps to effectively protect and maintain their PCs," Samantha McManus, a business strategy manager at Microsoft, said in an e-mailed statement.

Microsoft took market share from all incumbents in June, according to NPD's data. It particularly gained on market leader Symantec, which saw its unit share drop 10.1 percentage points from May. At the same time, McAfee lost 3.3 points and Trend Micro dropped 1.3 points.

Symantec noted that NPD covers retail sales only, and does not include consumer sales through Internet service providers and PC makers, for example. "We just had a record June quarter in consumer sales," said Mike Plante, a marketing director at the company. "You can't really draw market share conclusions from the NPD data alone, particularly with just a month of data."

Symantec also remained the clear leader in the retail channel, with 59.8 percent of security suite sales, NPD said. Microsoft was second, followed by Trend Micro with 8.9 percent and McAfee with 7.1 percent.

See more CNET content tagged:
NPD Group Inc., Symantec Corp., Microsoft Windows Live, pricing, McAfee Inc.

126 comments

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If it were for free...
I still wouldn't use it. Use AVG instead - it's free and works reasonably well. Nothing M$ has ever done has ever worked properly.. a wolf can change its coat but not its bad habits, as the Italians say. I would put no faith in it whatsoever.
Posted by Jerry Dawson (125 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If it were for free...
I still wouldn't use it. Use AVG instead - it's free and works reasonably well. Nothing M$ has ever done has ever worked properly.. a wolf can change its coat but not its bad habits, as the Italians say. I would put no faith in it whatsoever.
Posted by Jerry Dawson (125 comments )
Reply Link Flag
OneCare should be illegal
Who can honestly say that selling a product KNOWN to be buggy and then SELLING you a product designed to correct the bugs in the original product should not be illegal?

Thats like Toyota selling you a car that they know is subject to catching fire via faulty electrical system THEN charging you to fix it.

Nobody in the world would put up with this type of unethical behavior in any other industry - so why are we putting up with it here?

If Microsoft knows the OS is unstable because the registry (which was a BAD, BAD idea to begin with) becomes cluttered with crap and must be cleaned up to restore the PC to optimal operating efficiency - they should just build it into the OS.

The same goes for antivirus. If they know that they have flaws in the OS (and who in the world doesn't know there are flaws still to be uncovered) then antivirus should be a part of the OS - just like air bags are required equipment on automobiles.

Microsoft should NOT profit from thier own mistakes while we suffer the consequences.
Posted by Jim Hubbard (326 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You bought it.
As Doritos used to say, crunch all you want, they'll make more.
They wouldn't be selling this crap if you weren't buying it.

OS X - five years and still NO viruses. Not fewer viruses:NONE.
Before some bonehead claims it's because of marketshare,
remember that OS 9 had viruses AND a smaller number of users. It
isn't how big the target is, but how soft it is. Windows is as soft as
it gets.
Posted by Macsaresafer (802 comments )
Link Flag
RE
"Who can honestly say that selling a product KNOWN to be buggy and then SELLING you a product designed to correct the bugs in the original product should not be illegal?"

It impossible to make complex software like an OS totally bug free. Though malicious software can exploit flaws to infect system the can also exploit the user. Just look at the people that get infected because they run programs sent to them as attachments. Viruses aren't necessarly the result of bugs, though they often exploit them. The product designed to correct bugs in Microsoft's OS software at least, is Windows Update which is free.


"Thats like Toyota selling you a car that they know is subject to catching fire via faulty electrical system THEN charging you to fix it. Nobody in the world would put up with this type of unethical behavior in any other industry - so why are we putting up with it here?"

No one is forcing you to buy this, there is other anti-virus software avaliable and some of it is free. Besides designing and building a car is different from building software. It's simply not feasible to test software for every thing it might encounter and under every configuration it may run under.


"If Microsoft knows the OS is unstable because the registry (which was a BAD, BAD idea to begin with) becomes cluttered with crap and must be cleaned up to restore the PC to optimal operating efficiency - they should just build it into the OS."

Built what into the OS? Part of the reason the registry gets messed up is because of sloppy uninstallation software, and not just from Microsoft. It could be done like it was pre Windows 95 with individual config files. As far as harddisks and file systems go, it's usually more effcient to make one large file instead of a bunch of smaller ones. Microsoft did include a registry maintaince utility in the form of scanreg in Win9X and WinME. They also release Windows based utility as freeware called regcleaner.


"The same goes for antivirus. If they know that they have flaws in the OS (and who in the world doesn't know there are flaws still to be uncovered) then antivirus should be a part of the OS - just like air bags are required equipment on automobiles. Microsoft should NOT profit from thier own mistakes while we suffer the consequences."

Why don't you tell that to Symantec and other companies that would gladly sue them for being anti-competitive if they made such a move. That's what happened when IE was included and it's what's being done for Windows Media Player. Our courts and the European courts have said competition is more important.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Link Flag
Re: OneCare should be illegal
I have to agree with you. Now there's no incentive at all for
them to cleanup their operating system. I read in another article
that conveniently, other vendors are getting locked out of their
latest kernels. However, I'm sure their own products won't be
locked out.

Charles R. Whealton
Charles Whealton @ pleasedontspam.com
Posted by chuck_whealton (521 comments )
Link Flag
Then don't buy it
Then don't buy it. Buy from symantec or mcaffee.

I looke at onecare as more of ongoing protection.

There is no OS that is inherently bug free and no OS can gaurantee that it is not prone for virus attack.

You have lots of choice. You can go and buy Mac OS X and be happy instead of buying microsoft OS.

Of download opensource anti virus for microsoft os!!!
Posted by Tanjore (322 comments )
Link Flag
MS is laughing all the way to the bank!!!
This is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. A lot of MS
people call Apple people fanatics, but I must say, this takes the
cake.

MS has officially waved the white flag concerning virus' and now
they are going to make money off the fanatics that must have
anything and everything with Microsoft written on the box. Let's
face it, they are the number two anti-virus maker at this point
with a totally immature product - this says a lot about their
customer base. Pathetic.
Posted by keaggy220 (57 comments )
Link Flag
Here! Here!
...and 30 rounds of applause!!!
Posted by sgt1035 (27 comments )
Link Flag
What's wrong with the registry
Seriously. I repeatedly hear that the registry is a bad thing. But I don't think an OS can do much with a repository of configuration information.
There are two alternatives: a myriad configuration files in different formats, stored all around the disk and with no consistent tool to edit, secure and access them, or a single configuration database, searchable, with access control and consistent tools to manage it.
Face it: the problem is not with the registry. The registry is just the place where you see the problem.
The problem is with applications (and the OS) not being consistent in the locations and formats they store the configuration information. But they would be doing that regardless of the registry. If the registry didn't exist, it would be even worse. Much worse.
Now, to your point: the analogy with Toyota is wrong. Microsoft is not selling the fixes. They give the fixes away, for free, and they have always done so.
What they are selling is help in managing your OS, doing backups and blocking attackers.
A more correct analogy would be Toyota selling you theft insurance, a localizer system or an alarm. Which would be OK even if they knew their cars can be stolen by a determined individual.
Posted by herby67 (144 comments )
Link Flag
Right on the mark!
>>>Nobody in the world would put up with this type of unethical behavior in any other industry - so why are we putting up with it here?<<<

It shouldn't be put up with here.

Microsoft should be held liable for their own mistakes... like everybody else!!!

Walt
Posted by wbenton (522 comments )
Link Flag
OneCare illegal??
Well, imagine this. Will Toyota be paying for you to buy for your steering column protectors, security system (alarm), a bullett proof wind shield etc? Should Toyota have to pay for your carelessness when you open your car door and go shopping? What if a malicious gas station decides to mix water with your fuel - should Toyota pay for your damages? How about if you drive your regular sedan over spikes - do they pay for your flat tire? What if you replace the Toyota parts and replace them with some MomandPop store accessories ending up damaging your tranmission - will Toyota take care of the charges? Wake up and smell the coffee!!
Posted by redrasys123 (7 comments )
Link Flag
I agree 100%
I love what you said Jim, that is so true. Its
absurd that the industry is so blind to the
shenanigans of Redmond that they actually think
this is a "Great Deal."

I have always said this about AV, anti spyware,
and all the other anti this and that which is
required to operate a Microsoft OS.

It got to a point in my company where we simply
got rid of Microsoft and went with Linux/MAC on
the desktop and Linux in the server room...
Problem solved for us.

Hopefully others in the indrusty will wake up
and realize that all Microsoft wants is more
money. They don't care about us as individuals
or as CEOs or CIOs or regular staff; all they
care about is their bottom line.

OpenSource is the answer to that.

Take up people and smell what they are
shoveling...
Posted by EmbraceThePenguin (3 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare
After using Windows Live OneCare for a week and spending almost every day on line with Microsoft's support personnel, I have uninstalled it and intend to either return it or drop it in the trash can. The biggest problem was that when the Firewall was turned on, some of my email was blocked from being received or sent. Microsoft Support personnel were unable to determine what the problem was/is. This product was put on the market before the bugs had been worked out.
Posted by Alfred John Sandberg, Jr. (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Weird!!!
I've installed OneCare on no fewer than 10 computers over the last few months. Every single one, ranging from out of the box new machines to my own 3 year old Dell worked perfectly the first time. Without exception.
Posted by JoeyD (5 comments )
Link Flag
One Week?
This is not inherant in the program. There must be something you and your computer. I've used OneCare for 6 months with no problems after the first week or two. Perhaps you were too impatient to program it correctly and/or have conflicting programs.
Posted by hfhlt004 (14 comments )
Link Flag
Selling faulty items? Is this a fraud?
I tried it, it's full of bugs, even in the forums there are a lot of complaints. This "thing" should still be in beta and more rigorous testing
Posted by Trojan cow (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Still better than Norton AntiVirus
As time and changing market dynamics will prove, consumers will ultimately choose OneCare over anything Symantec puts out. OneCare might not be the "best" security offering, but relative to anything Symantec has released in the past few years, and relative to Symantec's stalled Genesis/Norton360 product, OneCare is a "star". (remember we are speaking relative terms, here)

If the outside world was given insight into how software development is performed at symantec, there would be a rush on the market and symc would tank forever. Not a company that is capable of creating world-class software. Microsoft (or hell, anyone... Even McAfee if they can continue their current trend and continue slimming down their products) will continue to erode symantec's market share. The execs and sales people within symantec can continue to spin and talk their way out of it, but the numbers don't lie.
Posted by The Harper (41 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not A Megasuite (Good!)
One attraction of OneCare is that it isn't one of those bloated Megasuites. Symantec products keep getting bigger, and worse.

In McAfee's just released 07 line, two of their four products look pretty reasonable, in terms of what they try to do.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft is INCAPABLE...
...of maintaining a secure computing environment, how the hell does it expect to keep up with the Antivirus and Antispyware realm.

Microsoft is notorious for leaving the consumer hanging when it comes to security issues with it's current OS, XP, how doe they plan to maintain a valid secure environment for it's clients.

FYI, the only reason Microsoft's sales of LiveOne Care has escalated is do to market up-sales and spiff's given to those the pump OneCare instead of a VALID ANTIVIRUS and ANTISPYWARE solution like Norton's.

Coming from a computer expert like myself, I would continue to invest in Symantec as well as Lavasoft's AdAware and Spybot Search and Destroy. It's just a matter of time before a security issue gets exploited in OneCare leaving the consumer to suffer once again. Maybe Microsoft should have left this in the "door stop idea" category!

JUSTIN
Posted by OneWithTech (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Symantic, AdAware, Spybot and Destroy
Wow, all of these are needed to keep Windows operational? Mac's
could be (and this is questionable) a little more expensive to buy,
but in the long run I would say they are much cheaper to own.
Posted by keaggy220 (57 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft's Capability
As a software developer (somewhat of an expert on the subject), I do believe that Microsoft is an incredibly capable organization. Firstly they're the most attacked operating system in the world and they hold up pretty well. Obviously they get the most heat, because they're the most popular. Try patching a linux maching (it's hell).

I think it was AUS-Cert whom said that 80% of malware slipped through the premium antivirus solutions, so how great are they compared to Microsoft? Not too good I'm afraid - I'd go with Microsoft anyday.

After all they care about the people that made them what they are today - software developers. How many development environments like Visual Studio does linux have? None!
Posted by maverick_nick (205 comments )
Link Flag
Not possible!!!
Since removing Symantec as their favorite defacto pre-installed antivirus package... it's no wonder.

Symantec's past popularity was only due to the fact that it was included as the defactor pre-installed standard.

Personally, I never liked Symantec, but now that Microsoft is shafting them too... my sympathy goes out to them.

Regardless of what Microsoft claims as their pre-installed defacto standard WILL become a bit hit only due to the shere number of shipping OS's with that product included as standard.

Only thing is that older burned CD's are still shipping with Symantec and thus these figures must be a farce for future shipments... and not actual sales to-date!!!

Walt
Posted by wbenton (522 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's a manufacturer's preference
for example, Dell machines come preinstalled with McAfee. My HP came with Symantec. I custom build my second desktop, so it didn't come with any of these... it all depends on what aggrement the manufacturer has with the AV makers.

Besides, the data presented in this article is from the retail stores like Bestbuy. So this time, MS is not riding it's market share. Perhaps brand name and low price are doing the magic
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Link Flag
Yes please, can I spend more to secure my new OS
This is all one be FARCE. Windows security that is. I just by a new PC with OS and I need to spend more to secure it and my data.

Frankly, many users, and YES even Windows users are going to continue to switch to Macs because they pay just a LITTLE bit more, but they don't have to buy anything else to protect themselves.

User's are getting smarter about this topic. Bill better change some things before he leaves MS.
Posted by bits95 (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Actually you are wrong..
Dell, Acer, and HP are still going to be shipping Symancrack's pathetic 90 day trial software on their PCs, they are not changing.
Posted by pmfjoe (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Maybe you should switch
Switch to Linux, it's more powerful, runs most Windows apps, or you can run it virtually, and.. oh yeah no Anti-virus software needed!
Posted by travisL (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
OneCare
I have been using OneCare for 6 months. It is a pleasure to have ONE program to take care of everything. I may be naive, but I find that I have no problems with OneCare, and have had no intrusions since using it. I find it curious that there are so many people using Windows OS and MS products that have nothing but criticism for them. You DO have other choices. Why don't they use another OS, even Mac and Apple products. Why use MS products at all if you have nothing but venomous statements.

OneCare was meant for the average user who has no clue (like my sister) how to put together a protection suite and keep it updated.
Posted by hfhlt004 (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Better protection for less
Want a real solid, no hassle protection:
- cyberhawk (behavorial IPS) = free
- Antivir ranked advanced+ (see<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.av-comparatives.org/" target="_newWindow">http://www.av-comparatives.org/</a>) = free
- Prevx home (windows shield) = free
- Defense Wall = protection for P2P (e.g. limewire, mail, internet) by virtualisation, see what the experts tell you on wilders and catlecops = 30 dollar lifetime (shareware)

You do not need an ANTISPY with this freeware/shareware, no pop-ups all easy to use and a very high safety level
Posted by 007geheim (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
"Microsoft's antivirus package makes a splash"
It makes a splash; like when you tip over an outhouse...
Posted by RGarrard (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Incorrect Suggestion. Linux is no more secure
The virus threat is serious in both OS. Try patching a Linux system - This is false information that Lixus is more secure. Windows by the very fact it being vastly used makes attcks visible. The virus attacks against both systems were documented by the DOD and found equally suseptable. More interoperability means more doors to attack.
Posted by Apacheking (30 comments )
Reply Link Flag
More than questionable...
"It particularly gained on market leader Symantec, which saw its unit share drop 10.1 percentage points from May."

I don't like Microsoft, but, in this case, when will Symantec wake up??? The above is NOT the reason it lost any shares. Symantec lost shares because it screws with the operating systems and is almost impossible to remove!...and they will continue to lose shares as long as there are groups willing to get the word out.

I have contact with over 200 people that wouldn't touch Symantec products if you paid them to use the products!!! I'm sure many of you do too.

'Newbies' use Symantec until they learn the hard way.
Posted by sgt1035 (27 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Anti-competitive Pricing...
The average price was $29.67, well below Microsoft's list price of $49.95. Online at Amazon.com, OneCare is available for only $19.99.

If a foreign country tried to price anything that was listed at $49.95 for $19.99... they would be brought up on anti-competitive charges...

So where are the charges against Microsoft?

FWIW
Posted by wbenton (522 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not anti-competitive
Do you even know what anti-competitive pricing laws are? Simply pricing a product below a competitor doesn't mean anything. If you think it does than go join a socialist country because that is what you are wanting. It only becomes anti-competitive if you lower your price to below cost for example, and after you have taken a desired chunk from a competitor or crippled them then you raise the price.

There are all sorts of products that have the competition priced all over the map (cars, computers, clothes). Is Kia then anti-competitive versus Dodge or Chevy? Is Dell anti-competitive over Mac? Levi over Banana Republic? If Symantec truly has a better product (which it doesn't), then people would pay more for it.

If after a year or something MS suddenly raises the price to 50 dollars after it takes a big chunk then you might have a case. However, MS still has the right to have an introductory offer for a few months also. Being too concerned about what you consider "fair pricing" will often do the exact opposite of what you want and actually stifle competition.
Posted by tsm26 (81 comments )
Link Flag
That's stupid
Instead of making Windows less vurnerable to viruses and spyware they introduce their own antivirus? It's like you buy a new car with crappy tires and seller will include very cheap glue to fix them everytime they break.
---
Pixel image editor - <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.kanzelsberger.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.kanzelsberger.com</a>
Posted by firstlast (35 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not for me!
Not for me, given M$'s very slow response to SONY BMG's rootkit affair of '05, and then only due to computer users incessant demands only, and not doing what is right, because it is the right thing to do!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Link: PC Mag. Review of OneCare
See:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1976149,00.asp" target="_newWindow">http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1976149,00.asp</a>

The "Spyware protection not effective in testing" conclusion is a dealbreaker for me.

As for other commercial competitors, McAfee just released four new 07 versions, but I haven't seen any reviews of them.

As for Symantec, it sounds like their 06 line is worse than their 05 line. I don't have much hope for the quality of their products in the future. Not to mention, their nasty habit of trying to cheat customers out of rebates.

And yes, some free alternatives are available, although I don't know how good/bad they are.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No, you're not right.
OS 9 had nothing to do with Unix.
Posted by Macsaresafer (802 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And people make fun of Mac users...
Talk about fanboyism.. paying for something the OS should include
for free.
Lemmings...
Posted by Jesus#2 (127 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes, it should be
Since it's checking for issues that Microsoft is responsible for due to holes in the software... it should be free. You'll get no argument from me on that. Does apple provide a similar service for free?
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
OneCare is quite the living joke
This is real? Are pigs flying?

Selling a product to fix flaws in another product for which you're
responsible?

Quite the racket!

How about MS just invests all of the money in OneCare into security
instead?
Posted by mgreere (332 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MS Will Get Sued
If Microsoft invests more money into security, don't you think security companies will get angry and sue Microsoft over that. After all, investing in security will take business away from say, Norton and McAfee. People will lose jobs ,and Microsoft will be held responsible for it.
Posted by armaetin (12 comments )
Link Flag
That's why I don't use Windows anymore...
I switched to a Mac OS X 6 months and never looked back. I still do some work on a PC, but I have it totally disconnected from any network, no modem, no eithernet, no wireless..

I do my work, then I access the PC via the Mac share and get my work done this way.

There is no way in hell I will spend a lot of money on a broekn OS and then be forced into yearly fees to keep it secure, that's BS at it's greatest.

Is it better then the security flaws pickup by other scanner products, maybe, maybe not.

Don't care anymore, MS is pretty messed up pretty heavily.
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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