Symantec & McAfee Finally Get Run For Money

Microsoft announced it's working with Sony of America and Toshiba Asia Pacific to pre-install Windows OneCare on new PCs. I say yippee because I'm tried of uninstalling Symantec slow-ware from new PCs. I long ago swore off Symantec's products because of their poor performance and how they slowed down (brought to a crawl in many cases) my PCs. OneCare on the otherhand has been a pleasure to use. I've have very little problems with OneCare and the performance hit is relatively marginal compare to Symantec and McAfee.

ONECARE PLUSES

I've personally talked with members of the OneCare team and when they learned I've used OneCare for quite sometime, they immediately asked me what I like and don't like about the product. My biggest plus about OneCare is it's transparency. It doesn't ask me questions or bug me with useless interruptions. It just does it's job, as an anti-virus and firewall product should do. Yes, I get the occasional firewall message but it's simple, consistent and I anticipate it coming up when I install a new program. Now, I don't expect it when a product is upgrade, like the constant iTunes upgrades that always re-asks if I want to allow iTunes through the personal firewall following any iTunes upgrade.

The other thing I like about OneCare is it's impact when scanning is much less than other products. I remember when one of our Microsoft admins set everyone's Norton Anti-Virus to run a scan every Monday at noon. We had a standing lunch date scheduled every Monday so we didn't all sit there staring at our computers, waiting for them to return to a useful state.

ONECARE'S MINOR MINUSES

Most of my improvement suggestions for OneCare are pretty minor. As I've said, I'm really happy with that product. If I were OneCare product manager for a day, here's what I'd put at the top of the improvement list.

1. Support reporting status of other backup methods. I don't use OneCare to back up my PCs and laptops. I abandoned scheduled backups for everyday use computers long ago. No, I'm not flying blind without a backup of my computers. I use a continuous backup product called Auto Backup by Memeo. For example, anytime my laptop is plugged into its base, the files that have changed automatically (with no user intervention) get pushed to a USB drive connected to my laptop docking station. 

But OneCare only knows about backups it performs, not backups by other programs. As a result, the OneCare icon loves to flash its warning colors telling me a backup hasn't been performed. It has, just not by OneCare.  So guess what, my OneCare icon stays in a constant state of "fair" and never turns green. Because of this, the icon's not of much use unless things go from bad to worse.

2. Coordinate with Vista Firewall and Defender. OneCare replaces the firewall and phishing programs that come with Vista. But after OneCare's installed, Vista thinks you still might want to go back and install Defender again. I wish these two Microsoft programs would schedule a lunch or something so they can coordinate things a little bit better. It's very confusing to some users.

3. Where does Forefront fit into this picture? I understand OneCare is the consumer AV/security product but why isn't the OneCare agent a subset of the Forefront agent? Then when a device with OneCare installed joins a corporate network, it could be taken over and managed with Forefront. As it stands, the OneCare agent needs to be ditched and replaced with a Forefront agent (and another CAL license purchased for the user device). Not a huge deal, but it would make it easier for new PCs to join up with the corporate standards.

Like this? Here are some of Mitchell's recent posts.SaaS, If It Was Easy, Everybody Would Be Doing ItAnother Cuil Search Engine On The BlockMicrosoft Cloud Initiative Announcement LoomingPodcast/Video: Xobni & Co-Founder Matt BrezinaIs Live Search Making Headway Against Google?Live Mesh Sighting For Macs Product Reviews: Microsoft Live Mesh Google App Engine LiveNewsCameras.com Xobni Outlook plugin Recent Converging Network Blog Posts: Get Ready For XaaS Everywhere Unbelievably Bad Web Password Security Back From Hiatus, Saved by Web 2.0 Technology It Takes a Village.. ah, actually, being there first and tons of hard work

Favorite Book Recommendations: The Big Switch Zero Day Attack Clear Blogging

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