Microsoft releases Windows Live OneCare

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Knock knock, Microsoft’s here. The computing giant officially entered the consumer security space this week when it announced the availability of the much-anticipated Windows Live OneCare.

The solution is billed as a simple all-in-one security blanket for PCs. The product includes anti-virus and anti-spyware protection, a two-way firewall, automatic updates, computer maintenance functions and file backup and recovery capabilities.

"Windows Live OneCare delivers what millions of consumers have been asking for: one source for top-to-bottom maintenance, support and performance optimization tools plus increased protection that takes the worry out of PC care," said Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect. "This ‘just take care of it’ experience enables customers to focus on what they really care about, which is to be able to sit down at their PCs and enjoy their digital lifestyle."

The service costs $49.95 for an annual subscription and is available for purchase at more than a dozen major retail chains or online at http://onecare.live.com.

Meanwhile, Symantec today announced that its own integrated security solution will be named Norton 360. The product, whose working title was Genesis, will include online identity theft protection, back-up capabilities and PC tune-up functions, in addition to anti-malware defenses.

Scheduled to hit the market by March 31, 2007, the end of Symantec’s fiscal year, Norton 360 will enter public beta this summer. Company officials are billing the "all-in-one" solution as a comprehensive yet convenient way to fight cyberthreats.

McAfee also announced this week that its next-generation subscription security service

"Online threats are sophisticated and rapidly changing," said Enrique Salem, senior vice president of consumer products and solutions at Symantec. "We’re committed to staying ahead of those threats and keeping consumers safe. Today’s consumers want a simple solution that keeps them safe online, without having to decipher technical jargon or keep track of back-ups. They just want assurance that their information and activities are safe."

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