-Frills Future of Security"> I have still not tested OneCare. Competitors have been pushing me hard on the claim that it compares badly to their offerings in terms of features and that may be true. But I wonder whether that will resonate with users who are always telling me how much they love the free anti-virus from AVG, which, ironically, uses viral marketing in your own e-mails.Sunbelts Alex also points out that Microsoft will be going for the throat in the business market too, but this is a very different market. To a degree, the same pricing dynamic works: security software is expensive, some companies skimp on it and, as a result, are vulnerable. Microsoft can increase the overall level of protection in the installed base by coming in with low prices. But its also true that the company will have a heavy burden of reputation to overcome in business markets, plus the fact that, all other things being equal, its better to get your security and systems software from a variety of vendors. Throw away all the other considerations and assume, for the sake of argument, that Microsoft is just coming in with lower prices to undercut the competition. Gee, this seems like a good thing to me, not being one of its competitors. And its not tying any of these products (to my knowledge) to other products where it has substantial market share. And nobody could possibly claim, as was claimed in the Federal antitrust case, that no effective competition exists. People in business know they can go elsewhere. So if competitors think its unfair that Microsoft is undercutting them they can address the problem by making their prices more competitive. And if they go whining to the U.S. or (more likely) EU authorities, you, the customer, can take note of the fact that they think theyre entitled to an ever-increasing amount of money from you each year. Editors Note: This story was updated to correct the name of the company referred to as using e-mail viral marketing. Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.
The consumer security industry has, over the last several years, been pushing more elaborate and expensive solutions on users and increasing prices for them. A no-frills solution may be just what they want.