Microsoft has stepped further into the SME and consumer security market with the launch of Windows Live OneCare anti-virus software.
The software, unveiled in the US yesterday and planned for rollout across the rest of the world over the next 12 months, costs $49.95 for an annual licence to use across three PCs and includes multiple features, such as anti-spam and firewall protection.
Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, said: "Windows Live OneCare delivers what millions of consumers have been asking for: one source for top-to-bottom maintenance, support and performance optimisation tools plus increased protection that take the worry out of PC care."
OneCare, which will be sold both through retail and via direct download, also includes a data backup and restore facility designed to protect, for example, photos and music files.
However, Sue Richards, managing director of EBM, told CRN that OneCare would only bring limited benefits to Microsoft's channel partners.
"It sounds like a good product, but I'm not sure about the value-add this will bring to channel partners. It's a box-shifter product that is looking to expand Microsoft's SME presence," she said.
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