Microsoft’s new Windows Live OneCare product will be in stores tomorrow. The subscription service costs $50 a year for up to three computers, and includes anti-virus and anti-spyware features, the ability to back up photos and other files, regular “PC tune-ups” and phone support.
Offering free phone support with the service could be a pretty pricey proposition. After all, it can take a good chunk of an hour sometimes to work through tough spyware and virus issues on the phone. But one analyst I talked to yesterday, Gartner’s John Pescatore, said this is an investment on Microsoft’s part to sell more copies of its operating systems.
“If you’re Microsoft, the way you make money is you sell more Windows and you remove the fear of Windows that might cause more people to try out a Macintosh,” he said. This article has more details about the service.
To promote the launch, one of the retailers selling OneCare, Best Buy, has added the OneCare logo to a stock car sponsors. The car will be in the Neighborhood Excellence 400 race on Sunday at the Dover International Speedway.
With the service, Microsoft is directly competing with PC security giants Symantec and McAfee, who are working on their own versions of OneCare due out later this year. Today, Symantec said that its service, previously code-named “Genesis,” will now be called “Norton 360.” Did Symantec take a page from Microsoft’s naming playbook?
Norton 360 will be out in public beta this summer, which customers can preregister for here. No word on pricing or an exact launch date, however.