It’s all the talk at the moment in various computer security discussions around the world. Microsoft has announced plans to launch a new subscription based service for it’s reincarnation computer security service entitled “Windows: OneCare Live”.
Did I say “reincarnation”? Indeed I did. Many computer security professionals such as myself, remember the days of MS DOS and Windows 3.1. Specifically, MS DOS 6 in which Microsoft made it’s first attempt at virus detection and removal with a product simply known as Microsoft Anti virus or MAV for short.
While the concept was a step in the right direction for the software giant, and was a product a head of it’s time, it became known to be one of Microsoft’s greatest failures. Microsoft and computer security giant Symantec briefly teamed up to provide a stripped down DOS version of Symantec’s Norton Antivirus product for Microsoft’s exclusive use. A dream come true, at least in concept.
Implementation, however was another story all together. Plagued with a plethora of problems ranging from lack of user knowledge in proper computing security practices and mediocre virus definition updates (you were lucky to get an update once every six months) made Microsoft’s first bid at providing computer security the absolute joke of the computer security industry.
As the years passed, and viral attacks have become more sophisticated exploiting every single service bundled within the Windows operating system, Microsoft soon felt the consumer pressure of having to once again to take a proactive stance in protecting not only consumer computer systems world wide but it’s own integrity they are now making a come back with Windows: OneCare.
Bundled with this new creation will be a spyware detection and removal service, currently dubbed “Microsoft Anti-Spyware”, and a viral detection software both byproducts from the same security firm that Microsoft purchased in a couple of years back to aid in their fight in gaining the upper hand in computer security.
Unlike it’s first generation ancestor, this service will not be offered complimentary to faithful Windows users. In fact, Microsoft refused to issue a security fix for the most recent “Kama Sutra” worm vulnerability but those whom purchased a beta subscription to the OneCare program were given the added assurance that Microsoft would clean the infection if present on a purchasers computer system.
Great, Microsoft has again disappointed computer security professions. The first time was based on poor technology and update policies, now the disappointment lies in poor business practices.
I am quite content with my Bit-Defender “FREE” edition and Lavasoft’s Ad-aware product, that while doesn’t carry the Microsoft brand, it also doesn’t carry the Microsoft headaches.