If you’re a company that makes antivirus software then chances are you’re feeling pretty hacked off right now. Microsoft has finally launched OneCare and research goes to show that if you stick an MS logo on something it will heavily outsell the opposition, regardless of whether it is the best solution are not.
That is not to say rival antivirus companies aren’t going to go down without a fight and Symantec, perhaps the biggest of them all, has fired a new shot across the Good Ship Gates’ bows. Scribbled on this ferocious cannonball is a name “Norton 360” (an inescapable irony, surely?) and its signals a major evolution in the company’s products.
Previously codenamed ‘Geneis’, the all-in-one service will provide antivirus and antispyware protection, automated online data back up and transaction security, where new tools promise to safeguard users from phishing scams and crimewave. It will also be available in both boxed and downloadable formats and feature email and – mostly interestingly – chat support.
Symantec has confirmed a beta programme is scheduled to begin this summer (sign up here for more details) with a final release date dependant on testers feedback but nevertheless likely to arrive before the end of the year.
It was clear from the moment Microsoft announced OneCare that is was going to upset it slew of antivirus partners (including AhnLab, Aladdin, ALWIL, BullGuard, Cat, Computer Associates, Dialogue Scanner, Eset, F-Secure, Frisk, GFI, GriSoft, Hauri, Kaspersky, McAfee, MicroWorld, Norman, Panda, Proland, Sophos, Sybari, Trend Micro, VirusBuster and Zero-Knowledge to name but a few) though, judging by Symantec’s announcement, it seems the decision has only inspired them to push on harder with their own products. That has to be good news for everyone, because there’s nothing more we like to see than technological fisty cuffs.