Microsoft OneCare Goes Live

alone for long.

Pre-empting Microsoft's news, McAfee said Tuesday that its promised "Falcon" consumer PC protection service will hit the Web this summer.

Symantec has likewise promised its own service—to protect home and SOHO PCs from spyware, viruses, and other malware.

Microsoft's offering is a retail-only and downloadable affair to start. There is not much of a story there for VARs and solution providers, although the company said to stay tuned. Symantec, by contrast, has promised a place in its plan for VARs to profit from the sale and related services of its service. Its service, now known as Genesis, is due for Windows Vista and Windows XP, later this year.

OneCare, which will cost $49.95 per year for three PCs, requires Windows XP SP2 or later.

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Best Buy is a favored retail venue for the service, although it will be broadly available through other chains and via download.

"This is full PC care subscription service—anti-virus, anti-spyware, performance tools to keep the PC running well, taking care of defrags etc. It will assist in backup and restore. We know most consumers do not back up today," said Sam McManus, business strategy manager for Windows Live.

McManus had stats to back up her contentions. Only one in ten consumers back up his or her data and less than 30 percent have current anti-virus installed, roughly the same percentage has no firewall turned on.