shipsits long awaited subscription security tool OneCare Live tomorrow.
OneCare Live is Microsofts entry into the security realm dominated by third
parties such as Symantec and McAfee. It combines a firewall, anti-spyware, and
anti-virus tools along with such things as backup and performance tuning. Not to be outdone, both Symantec and McAfee
are offeringtheir own new tools.
Jason Hiner has previously
mentionedin his blog that hes excited about OneCare and plans to use it
Oh, Im sure that Microsoft has done a good job with the
product and that it does exactly what its designed to do. Im also reasonably
sure that it will drive Symantec, McAfee, and others out of the market,
especially when the corporate version becomes available. I also dont buy the
argument that just because Windows has a reputation for being buggy and full ofsecurity holes that you cant trust a security product from Microsoft.
So why be skeptical?
I guess it doesnt have anything to do with OneCare itself.
Rather, releasing a security product for sale like this makes me trust
Microsoft as a whole less. The reason for this lessened trust comes from a parallel
argument made by those people who wouldnt trust Microsoft with security because
they think Windows is so bad. My reason is based on the inherent conflict of interest that a vendor hasselling an operating system and then charging you to keep it secure.
In selling a subscription product that secures its systems,
what incentive does Microsoft have to truly build security into their
products to begin with? Sheer altruism? Ask Netscape, Lotus, IBM, Corel, Novell,
Ashton-Tate, Borland, and Computer Associates how altruistic Microsoft is. The answer is there is no incentive.
Microsoft gets to play lip-service to security with Vista and other products andthen offer to take more of your money via OneCare for you to be truly secure.
It makes much more sense to me to have security products like
antivirus bundled with an operating system. By including it for free, Id be
more willing to trust the system as a whole because the company wouldnt beprofiting from their own mistakes or the willful destruction of others.
Why is it more important to bundle something like a media
player which is completely irrelevant to an operating system, but not something
like security? And its not like
Microsoft doesnt have a history of bundling anti-virus with its operating
systems. DOS 6.x came with anti-virus, but it mysteriously disappeared in Windows95.
Of course the reason they dont bundle it is because they can
make a lot of money from it. If there was a way to get a revenue stream
directly from a web browser or a media player, then youd be paying for IE andWindows Media Player as well.
Heres another thing that confuses me. If Vista is supposed
to be so secure, to the point that as George Ou advocates in his
blog you dont even need
anti-virus or other security products, then why is Microsoft now entering the
market? Could there be something about
Vista, Longhorn, and Office 2007 that Microsoft isnt telling us? What are wesupposed to believe?
See? This is what I mean by the conflict of interest and the
questions that OneCare raises leading me to trust Microsoft a little
less. I want a system that I can trust to be secure or at least backedby a company that won't profit from its own mistakes.