Security firms McAfee and Symantec announced this week details of their coming Internet services which aim to keep consumers' computers secure and safe online, as Microsoft rolled out the final version of its own service.
McAfee announced on Tuesday the first details of its project, codenamed 'Falcon.' The service has been under stealthy development for more than 12 months and will be released later this summer, the company said in a statement.
In January, rival Symantec, the parent company of SecurityFocus, also announced a consumer-focused security service--codenamed 'Project Genesis'--aimed at competing with Microsoft's OneCare. On Wednesday, the company announced it had renamed the service Norton 360, expected to start its beta testing soon, and would roll out the service to consumers by the end of its fiscal year in March 2007.
Both companies underscored the confusion caused by PC security as their reason for launching their services.
"We know from our research and relationship with millions of consumers that PC security is confusing and complex to them," Marc Solomon, director of product management at McAfee's consumer division, said in a statement. "For the consumer, we not only continue to stop the bad guys in their tracks but we will even be able sniff out and stop suspicious activity."
Both offerings are well behind Microsoft's own service, OneCare, which is part of the software giant's Windows Live offering of Internet services. Microsoft announced OneCare a year ago, started its beta program last November, and kicked off the U.S. availability of the service on Tuesday.
Microsoft also focused on the ease-of-use factor, likening OneCare to the pit crew that tends a race car. The company priced the service at $49.95 for up to three PCs.
Each service brings together a standard suite of security technologies--such as antivirus protection, automated backups and a personal firewall--with an online component to keep the users' computers up to date.
An annual survey of consumers conducted by America Online and National Cyber Security Alliance found that PC users had improved their online safety but much improvement remained. For example, the number of respondent's PCs that were compromised by spyware declined to 61 percent last year, compared to 80 percent the year before.
Posted by: Robert Lemos