Microsoft's OneCare Security Service Sparks One Big Debate
The beta version of Microsoft's Windows OneCare Live is taking
lumps from critics who say the PC security offering has a few boo-boos
of its own.
Microsoft describes OneCare as a "comprehensive PC health
service" offering an integrated, always-on approach to PC
protection and maintenance. Among other functions, OneCare scans
for viruses and spyware, provides regular system "tune-ups"
and offers backup-and-restore capability. It also updates itself
automatically. The company says there's plenty of need for
such a product -- by its estimates, only about 30 percent of its
customers are using up-to-date anti-virus tools and two-way firewalls.
However, the beta version has already drawn some criticism from
testers disturbed that OneCare Live's firewall includes a
default setting allowing Java Virtual Machine and any signed application
to pass through without alerting users. Critics say those settings
could encourage hacker exploitation.
In its public blog, Microsoft's OneCare Live team acknowledges
the default setting, but says it shouldn't increase the risk of
security breaches because malware creators rarely sign their applications.
"If signed malware happens to pass through the Windows OneCare
firewall, our real-time anti-virus/anti-spyware scanning engine
should block that application from deploying," bloggers say.
In addition, the OneCare team -- which has promoted the service
as a "no-hassle" security and maintenance solution --
says that blocking Java would disable many other applications, confusing
and frustrating users.
Microsoft plans to release OneCare in June. Current plans call
for charging $49.95 for a one-year subscription that can be used
on up to three PCs. Here are some links for more information:
What's in a Name? Redmond Revamps Customer
Shakespeare's Juliet observed that "that which we call
a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." But it remains
to be seen whether that adage will hold true for Microsoft's
newly revamped approach to customer service.
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced the creation of a new Customer
Service and Support unit, created by the merger of its existing
Customer Service and Product Support Services groups. The company
says it undertook the overhaul to provide customers with more comprehensive
and better-integrated service. Read our report here.
For more, check out Microsoft's
PressPass Q&A with Todd Parsons, Microsoft's general
manager for customer service.
EMC + SMB = New Partner Program
EMC Corp. has long been the 800-pound gorilla of the data-management
industry. But at the moment, the Hopkinton, Mass.-based company
is thinking small on purpose.
column was originally published in our weekly
Redmond Partner Update newsletter. To subscribe,
This week, EMC unveiled
a new global program for channel partners serving small and
midsize businesses (SMBs). EMC says its Velocity SMB Partner Program
"enables, supports and rewards" partners selling the new
Insignia line of software and hardware, which is targeted to smaller
The two-tiered program's offerings include training, lead referrals,
rebates and other assistance for qualified partners.
Posted by Anne Stuart on February 08, 2006 at 11:53 AM