In one of the Information Security class, Prof. V. Sridhar talked about the strategy by Microsoft for Vista. He said that according to him Vista would have bundled Antivirus, Firewall and other security related tools. He added even the current version of Windows XP has an in built firewall but not too many people use it or know about it.
Prof. Sridhar was bang on target. With Windows One Care, Microsoft has officially given away an Antivirus and a complete Firewall. As of now the "service" (not the product) is completely free - it is in the beta stage. However there are chances of it going paid. And I am pretty sure that they would bundle One Care with Vista.
Windows One Care
Windows One Care is an Antivirus, Firewall, Maintenance tool, Backup and Restore Tool, Automatic updater rolled into one. I think this is going to give a very tough time to companies like Symantec, McAfee and other companies with single line of business. It would most probably be bundled with Vista. Logically people buying Vista would not want to buy software additional software from only antivirus companies or firewall companies.
I installed it very recently on my computer. Installation was absolutely hassle free. I had to click on a webpage and it was done. I did not even select the drive, the installation options and other things. There are however a few glitches. If you run a pirated copy of Windows, you would not be able to download and install One Care. It checks for the authenticity of the Windows before everything else.
Service or Product?
I think that One Care would be an online service and it would be based on subscription rather than one time purchase. As a user, you would have an option of paying for the service you want to use instead of paying for all the services even if you don’t want to use other services. This means that if you really like McAfee VirusScan very much and do not want to use One Care antivirus and want to only one One Care firewall, you pay for the firewall and keep using the McAfee VirusScan. All other functions would be disabled. And as and when you need more things, you can pay and use. Simple!
And you never know, One Care could be sold as a stand alone product too. But it would make a lot of sense to sell it online as a service rather than a product.
+ves and -ves
And finally some comments from an early user aka me !
+ Very easy to use interface
+ Does not needs a lot of intervention from the user both in operation and configuration.
- Does not give too many options to a power user. If I want to customize the application and make it work according to my whims and fancies, I can not. But I think this would be provided as and when the final version is out.
- Another problem is the amount of memory it consumes. I was running a virus scan and it made by computer very slow as compared to virus scan with Norton.
- I connect to the internet from behind a http proxy and Windows One Care Live can not update itself automatically. I did not see an option of manual update on the website or in the software. I thus have no clue about updating my copy.
- I had the Windows Blue screen of death occuring very regularly ever since I installed One Care. I do not know if these are related to this software but the frequency funnily increased after installing the software.